'He has to keep improving' - Simeone wants more from Joao Felix after La Liga debut

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The teenage sensation got his first taste of Spanish football on Sunday and must keep getting better, according to his manager

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone said Joao Felix has to keep improving following his La Liga bow against Getafe.

Felix had his first taste of Spanish top-flight football as Atletico opened their La Liga campaign with a 1-0 victory thanks to Alvaro Morata's 23rd-minute header at home to Getafe on Sunday.

A club-record €126 million signing from Benfica, Joao Felix was largely subdued by Getafe, but the 19-year-old did produce a stunning solo run from inside his own half to earn a second-half penalty, which Morata failed to convert.

The Portuguese sensation was substituted in the 66th minute following a knock with Simeone hoping for more from Felix now his La Liga debut is out of the way. 

"The first league game is not easy. It's complex," Simeone said. 

"We faced a team who tactically moves well defensively. They have not left him space in the first half so that he can take advantage of his game.

"But, as an individual, he showed his power and hopefully these situations appear more often. He has to keep improving."

Joao Felix Atletico Madrid Getafe

England international full-back Kieran Trippier also made his La Liga debut alongside Felix and Renan Lodi, after arriving from Champions League finalists Tottenham in the off-season.

Trippier provided the inch-perfect cross for Morata to head past David Soria in Madrid, while Lodi was sent off following two yellow cards in quick succession prior to half-time after Getafe's Jorge Molina had been controversially sent off at the conclusion of a VAR review moments earlier.

"He played very well with depth, quality and precision," Simeone said of Trippier.

"His cross to Morata was great and he found a specialist like Morata."

On Morata – who led the line in the absence of injured team-mate Diego Costa – Simeone stressed that he was content with the Spaniard's performance despite his failure to convert a penalty.  

"From him I expect what he did in the whole game today," he said. 

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"Obviously having more forcefulness on the penalty, but Morata's match was fantastic, he fought for all the balls, scored a goal and constantly generated danger."

Simeone was also asked about Valencia forward Rodrigo Moreno, who has been tipped to join Atletico before the transfer windows shuts on September 2.

"We cannot talk about Rodrigo, because he is in Valencia. We have to talk about the players who are here," Simeone said.

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