Koke fears for Atletico Madrid’s Champions League hopes after record 13th Liga draw

Diego Simeone’s charges are in the
Champions League quarter-finals but the
midfielder fears they could miss out on next
season’s competition
Koke believes Atletico Madrid’s 1-1 draw at
Athletic Bilbao has done damage to their
Champions League qualification prospects.
Diego Costa’s 39th-minute goal on the end of
a clever Koke pass ensured the first-half
advantage Iker Muniain’s splendid strike
granted Athletic was short-lived.
However, Atleti were unable to affect a full
turnaround, with substitute Santiago Arias going
closest to a winner when he drew a point-blank
save from Unai Simon 10 minutes from time.
It means Los Colcheneros have now won only
one of their past 11 away matches in La Liga,
with Sunday’s behind-closed-doors encounter at
San Mames their 13th draw of the campaign –
setting an unwanted club record.
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Never before had Atletico been held to so
many ties in a single season, and that number
looks bound to grow even higher with 10
games still remaining in the current Primera
campaign.
“I believe it was a very strength-based game. It
was a tough situation to be in,” Koke told
LaLiga TV, after the draw moved sixth-placed
Atleti level on points with Getafe and Real
Sociedad, the latter of whom take on Osasuna
in Sunday’s late kick-off.
“We didn’t take our chances. We have to suffer
and accept the draw. We want to be in the
Champions League and we need to get hold of
the points.
“It’s difficult from this position that we’re in.
“They were better placed than us all over the
pitch. We managed to change things after the
first goal and a couple of minutes after found
the equaliser.
“Santi had the chance at the end to get us the
win.”
Ex-Atleti forward Raul Garcia impressed for the
hosts alongside the influential Muniain and
rued his team-mates switching off as Costa hit
back.
“We knew it was going to be a very difficult
game,” he told LaLiga TV. “There was a bit of
speculation about how the teams were going to
come back to the league action but we both
went out to win the game.
“Once you’ve just scored you normally relax a
little bit and that’s what happened to us today.
“But we have to take the positives. We manged
to compete against one of the best teams in
the league and unfortunately we couldn’t get
three points.”
Copa del Rey finalists Athletic lie 10th, five
points behind Valencia in seventh, which is
likely to be the last Europa League qualifying
spot should they lose to rivals Sociedad in the
showpiece.

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Shawa Michael Terpase (Terxzy) is a Nigerian artist, songwriter and award-winning blogger. He loves writing and socializing. He is the CEO of Mic9ja Media Inc. call or Whatsapp 08160762448 for all kind of promotion.

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