Diego Simeone has accepted the blame for Atletico Madrid’s disappointing 2-0 defeat at Celta Vigo on Sunday.
The Spanish champions suffered the shock reverse at Balaidos as they failed to build on the superb 4-0 derby win over local rivals Real Madrid.
The result leaves Atleti off the pace in the title race, seven points behind leaders Real and six behind second-place Barcelona after their title rivals both won over the weekend.
Following the game, Simeone insisted the defeat, sealed by a penalty from Nolito and a strike by Fabian Orellana for Celta, was down to his tactics as he took the blame for the loss.
Simeone opted to start with Fernando Torres, Mario Manduzkic and Antoine Griezmann in an attacking formation but it did not pay off as his side were fairly beaten in the end.
“In the first half I chose a bad formation. I lost 45 minutes. I chose badly,” he told AS. “The fault lies not with Fernando (Torres), who had to come off, but we couldn’t find balance to the team.
“We started better in the second half. Then there’s the penalty and the second goal. Celta played very well.”
Simeone’s side will hope to get back to winning ways when they host Almeria in La Liga on Saturday, before a Champions League last-16 first-leg tie at German side Bayer Leverkusen next Wednesday – February 25.
Bayer on offer at 2.90 to win the first leg, Atletico can be backed at 2.42, while the draw is 3.11.