Simeone lauds prolific Atletico midfield

The Argentine was enthused by the performances of Mario Suarez, Arda Turan and Koke as the reigning Copa del Rey champions kicked off their title defence in style
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone praised his midfield after they played a starring role in Saturday's 4-0 win over Sant Andreu.

The Rojiblancos left Diego Costa on the bench as they began their Cope del Rey defence with a straightforward win over their Segunda Division opponents.

Spain striker David Villa struck late on for Atletico, but Simeone was delighted by the fact that the visitors' first three goals came courtesy of midfield duo Raul Garcia and Arda Turan, who bagged a brace, while Koke also picked up an assist after being deployed in a more central position.

"Every team needs to score to win a match and if a few different members of the team are capable of finding the net that is only to the benefit of the team," the Argentine coach told reporters after the win in Catalunya.

"Today, Raul [Garcia] scored once again, Arda grabbed a couple and that put us in a good position.

"Koke was born to play in the centre. We have been playing him more on the wing recently, but playing him in the middle is another option we can use in certain games against certain teams.

"The result was fantastic but, above all, I was very pleased with the players’ attitude. They treated this game, a cup tie, with the amount of respect it deserves."

The return fixture will be played at the Vincente Calderon on December 18.