Sevilla's La Liga title challenge over, concedes Sampaoli

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Defeat to Atletico means the Andalucians could fall 11 points behind leaders Real Madrid, a gap the coach deems insurmountable

Jorge Sampaoli conceded Sevilla's LaLiga title hopes are gone following a 3-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

Sevilla failed to close the eight-point gap to leaders Real Madrid, who have a game in hand, and now only hold a two-point leader over Atletico in the race for the final automatic Champions League qualification berth.

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In the wake of their elimination from Europe's premier club competition at the hands of Leicester City in midweek, the loss at the Vicente Calderon was a bitter blow for Sampaoli, who sees holding off Diego Simeone's side as their new objective.

"It is the first defeat after nine [sic, seven] games and logically the chance of winning LaLiga is moving away," he told a post-match media conference.

"Now we have to look at the possibility of qualifying automatically for the Champions League.

"It is normal that when you do not get what you want – a win – there is frustration and bitterness [in the dressing room].

"We have taken a very hard blow and we must try to find the solutions and the authentic Sevilla."

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