Atletico coach Simeone defends VAR for making football fairer

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Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone said football had become fairer thanks to video technology and insisted he was not worried Real Madrid’s furore over refereeing decisions could condition the final stretch of the La Liga title race.

Simeone’s side were in danger of losing top spot when Real Madrid met Sevilla on Sunday but the game ended 2-2 following a VAR decision which saw a Real penalty overturned and one given for Sevilla instead for an earlier handball.

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Real coach Zinedine Zidane and director Emilio Butragueno both expressed their anger at the decision while the fallout has continued in the Spanish media.

“There will always be controversy in a game as dynamic as football. As I’ve said many times, VAR has made football fairer,” Simeone told a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s game at home to Real Sociedad.

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“Sometimes it will go your way and others it will go against you. Let’s forget about referees. Coaches should focus on our task, which is to make sure our teams play better. We’re just going to concentrate on our game with Real Sociedad.”

Atletico lead second-placed Real Madrid and third-placed Barcelona by two points and know that victories in their last three games against Real Sociedad, Osasuna and Real Valladolid will deliver a first La Liga crown since 2014.

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Real Sociedad, who are fifth in the standings and looking to clinch a European berth next season, look like being Atletico’s toughest opponents in the run-in.

“They are a team who have picked up big results away from home and who are growing each year. They are a dynamic team who play beautiful football and have many ways of starting attacks. We’re expecting a very tough game,” Simeone added.

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