Simeone hails clinical Barcelona after Elche demolition

The Atletico Madrid boss confessed his admiration for the way in which the Catalans broke down Sunday's opponents but stressed he is not yet thinking about their upcoming meeting
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone admitted he was hugely impressed by Barcelona's ruthless display against Elche on Sunday.

Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Pedro saw Barca race into a two-goal lead after the first quarter of an hour before the Chilean completed his hat-trick in the second half as the Blaugrana made light of the absences of Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Atletico battled to a 2-0 win over the same opponents in November and Simeone confessed his admiration for the way in which Gerardo Martino's men put Elche to the sword.

"We saw the reality on television. After two minutes, Barca have a shot on goal, after seven a goal, after 14 minutes it's 2-0... I turned off the television for something else. There was no game," he told a press conference.

"It took them 15 minutes to do what we did in 78, with Neymar resting, Messi recovering, without [Sergio] Busquets..."

Atletico meet Barca on January 11 in a mammoth Liga showdown but Simeone insists he is not preoccupied with the clash.

"Believe me or not, I swear I'm not [thinking about Barca]. I'm absolutely thinking about Valencia [in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday].

"For us, the Copa del Rey is very important. We want to do well in this tie, which will be tough, and then talk about the big game on Saturday."