Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo has been discharged after spending a night in hospital following a head injury sustained in Tuesday's 3-1 LaLiga win against Celta Vigo.

Araujo suffered a concussion when clashing heads with team-mate Gavi shortly after the hour mark as both players contested for an aerial ball just inside their own half.

Gavi stayed down, whereas Araujo initially appeared to chase after the ball, only to then collapse to the turf.

Both sets of players urged medical staff to come onto the field, and the 23-year-old received around 10 minutes of treatment before leaving the pitch in an ambulance.

Barca head coach Xavi confirmed shortly after the match that Araujo was "conscious and out of danger" but would spend the night being monitored at a nearby hospital.

In a further update on Wednesday, Barca confirmed Araujo has been discharged from hospital and will be further assessed to determined when he can return to action.

The Uruguay international has played 42 times this term, totalling 3,181 minutes on the field – only Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Frenkie de Jong have played more minutes among outfield Barca players.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hopes "with all my heart" that Ousmane Dembele will sign a new deal to stay on at Barcelona.

Dembele is into the final few weeks of his contract and has been widely tipped to join another club as a free agent.

The France international was told publicly to leave Barca by the club during the January transfer window after talks over fresh terms broke down.

But after initially being shut out of the side, Dembele has forced his way back in and has been a consistent performer for the Blaugrana over the past four months.

Indeed, after setting up two goals in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Celta Vigo, Dembele has now assisted a LaLiga-high 13 goals this season.

That includes 11 assists alone since the turn of the year, which is two more than former team-mate Lionel Messi as the most across Europe's top five divisions in 2022.

Aubameyang profited from another of those assists against Celta and has called on Dembele, who he also linked up with at Borussia Dortmund, to remain at Camp Nou.

"He is my little brother," Aubameyang told Movistar+. "We have been together for a long time, from the first day he arrived at Dortmund.

"Over time we have built up this sibling relationship. That's why I love him so much.

"He's doing very well now and I am very happy for him. I hope with all my heart that he stays." 

Dembele is one of three French players since 2006-07 to have provided 13 or more assists in a single season across Europe's top five leagues, along with Kylian Mbappe and Christopher Nkunku. 

 

Aubameyang scored twice for Barca after Memphis Depay had earlier opened the scoring, before Iago Aspas' strike seemingly gave Celta a route back into the match.

That was Aspas' 10th goal in 15 LaLiga games against Barcelona, a tally that only Diego Forlan can match against the Catalan giants in the competition this century.

But Jeison Murillo was dismissed for a foul on Depay and Barca saw out the win, albeit one that was overshadowed by a sickening head injury sustained by Ronald Araujo.

Barca have now won three in a row to all but seal second place in LaLiga, though head coach Xavi was left with mixed feelings as his side were not at their best.

"We didn't play a good game, yet we still got the three points," he said. "The feeling is not overly good. We have to understand what each game requires.

"It was hard for us to understand that we had an extra man. We lacked the neatness that we have asked so much for. But we were effective and continue to fight for second."

Barcelona coach Xavi has confirmed Ronald Araujo "is conscious and out of danger" but will spend the night in hospital after leaving the win against Celta Vigo in an ambulance.

Araujo clashed heads with team-mate Gavi shortly after the hour mark in Tuesday's LaLiga match when contesting an aerial ball just inside their own half.

Gavi stayed down, whereas Araujo initially appeared to chase after the ball, only to then collapse to the turf.

Both sets of players urged medical staff to enter the field, and the 23-year-old received around 10 minutes of treatment before being taken to a nearby hospital.

The incident somewhat overshadowed Barca's 3-1 victory, but Xavi provided a positive update on Araujo's condition shortly after full-time.

"We were scared at first," Xavi told Movistar+. "The doctors have told us he is conscious and out of danger. But he will be spending the rest of the night in the hospital.

"Tomorrow, hopefully, he will be back at home. It's just a scare."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's double, after Memphis Depay had earlier opened the scoring, gave Barca a 3-0 lead against Celta.

Celta recovered from three goals down to draw 3-3 in November's reverse fixture, though, and pulled one back through Iago Aspas at Camp Nou.

However, a red card issued to former Barca loanee Jeison Murillo ultimately ended the visitors' hopes of rescuing another unlikely point.

With his goal, Aspas has now scored 10 times in 15 league games against Barcelona – only Diego Forlan has scored as many against them this century in LaLiga.

Aspas was asked about his goal in his post-match interview, but his immediate focus was the well-being of Araujo.

"Firstly, I want to send a message of encouragement to Ronald. I don't know what happened," he said. "He left on a stretcher, but they have told us that now he is better. 

"At first when I saw the incident, he looked a bit stunned. Then I saw him from the side, with his head down and that's why we called the medics.

"In the game, we have had many more chances than Barcelona, but we weren't effective neither in the rival area nor our own."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice as Barcelona eased to a 3-1 win over 10-man Celta Vigo in a game overshadowed by Ronald Araujo leaving the field in an ambulance.

Araujo clashed heads with Gavi shortly after the hour mark at Camp Nou and, after initially appearing to run off the injury, collapsed to the floor before being attended to by medics.

That incident came shortly after Iago Aspas had struck to give Celta some hope following Memphis Depay's opener and a couple of goals from Aubameyang either side of half-time.

But a red card for former Barca loanee Jeison Murillo ultimately left the visitors, who recovered from three down to draw 3-3 in the reverse fixture, with too much to do in Tuesday's LaLiga contest.

 

Dembele showed superb trickery to take the ball past two opponents and pull it back for Depay to sweep past Matias Dituro, who got a hand to the shot but could not keep it out.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen, returning from illness that ruled him out last weekend, kept out Thiago Galhardo at full stretch and denied the same player from a header soon after.

Barca doubled their advantage before the interval through Aubameyang, who tucked into the bottom-right corner after Nestor Araujo failed to deal with Depay's cross into the box.

Aubameyang took advantage of some more good play from Dembele three minutes after the interval by clinically sweeping home Barca's third.

A poor pass from Ter Stegen to Araujo allowed Galhardo to pounce and play in Aspas, but Celta's momentum was halted when last man Murillo fouled Depay and was sent off.

Barcelona saw Araujo leave the field with a head injury soon after and had a fourth goal for substitute Riqui Puig ruled out for offside, but they had no trouble seeing out the win, despite 11 minutes being added on.

Celta Vigo have "temporarily" removed Santi Mina from their first-team squad pending disciplinary proceedings after the forward was sentenced to four years in prison for the sexual abuse of a woman.

A ruling handed down by the Third Section of the Provisional Court of Almeria sentenced Mina in relation to an incident on June 18, 2017.

According to Spanish news agency EFE, Mina's friend and fellow footballer David Goldar was acquitted.

Mina's legal representation confirmed he will appeal the decision.

In a statement reported by EFE, they said: "With important errors in the assessment of the tests carried out and therefore of the events that occurred, [the legal team] will proceed to file the corresponding appeal in the coming days."

Celta subsequently acknowledged the court's sentencing and communicated the opening of disciplinary proceedings against Mina while continuing to respect "the player's right to defence" ahead of his appeal.

A club statement read: "As a result of the ruling of the Third Section of the Provincial Court of Almeria, issued today [Wednesday], RC Celta has decided to open a disciplinary file on the player Santiago Mina to elucidate his work responsibilities in view of this resolution.

"For this reason and as a precaution, it has been decided to temporarily remove the player from first-team training, without prejudice to his continuing to carry out the activities indicated by the club for this purpose.

"RC Celta respects the player's right to defence, but is obliged to take measures against those events that notoriously undermine the image of the club and directly attack its values, showing once again its absolute rejection of the offense defined in the judicial resolution."

Mina, a Celta youth product, returned to the club from Valencia in 2019 and has been a first-team regular ever since.

In 2021-22, Mina has played in all but one of Celta's 34 LaLiga games, scoring seven goals.

Thibaut Courtois expects his former club Chelsea to respond strongly when they meet Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals, despite their heavy defeat on Saturday.

The Blues were shockingly thrashed 4-1 at home by Brentford in the Premier League, while Madrid claimed a 2-1 win away at Celta Vigo in LaLiga.

Courtois made 154 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea before moving to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2018.

Following Madrid's win over Celta, Courtois told reporters: "Today, winning is important. Chelsea lost at home and they will be very strong for Wednesday. We lack intensity sometimes and Chelsea are good at [exploiting] that."

Though Los Blancos were victorious, they enjoyed some fortune after being awarded three penalties by referee Pablo Gonzalez Fuertes. It was the first time Madrid took three spot-kicks in a single LaLiga game since Opta began recording such data in 2003-04.

Karim Benzema scored two and saw one saved, but it was enough for Madrid to extend their lead at the top to 12 points, and Courtois – who made a spectacular save from an Iago Aspas free-kick in the first half – acknowledged how tough the game had been.

"We have suffered here, all the games I have played here have been very tough," he said. "I don't know if we deserved to win because in the first half I made two saves.

"The three penalties are, there is nothing more to add. The first and the second, yes. Perhaps the third is the one that I see as more difficult from my goal, but if you put your foot in... Today, they call us three in favour, since it had been a long time since they called us three."

Aspas was less than convinced by the referee's performance, saying after the game: "He only needed to call a fourth penalty to take it himself. It seemed that a hat-trick from Benzema was what he wanted and what he was looking for."

The former Liverpool striker did have words of praise for Courtois, though, after the Belgian saved his free-kick as well as efforts from Denis Suarez and Thiago Galhardo, whose header he tipped into the post before it rolled in, only for the goal to be disallowed when an offside Aspas stopped David Alaba from clearing.

"He is the best goalkeeper in the world," Aspas added. "I already said it in the previous one and it seems that he listened to me."

Nolito did find a way past Courtois, but to no avail for Celta, who sit in 11th place.

Real Madrid secured a hard-fought 2-1 win at Celta Vigo on Saturday as Karim Benzema's two penalties extended their lead at the top of LaLiga to 12 points.

The victory owed immense credit to the fact Madrid were awarded three spot-kicks at Estadio de Balaidos, with Benzema missing once but making sure with his other two attempts.

Nolito had equalised Benzema's first penalty early in the second half and the hosts pushed to win the game themselves, only to be undone at the other end.

Celta Vigo were furious with the referee, particularly for the third spot-kick given just minutes after France international Benzema had seen one saved by Matias Dituro, but Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti will not mind as he saw his team return to winning ways in the league following their Clasico humiliation last time out.

Madrid had their first penalty in the 18th minute when Nolito clipped the ankle of Eder Militao, with Benzema calmly rolling his effort to Dituro's left.

The hosts had made a good start despite the penalty, and Iago Aspas nearly equalised with a free-kick, only for Thibaut Courtois to make a superb save diving to his right, denying the former Liverpool man.

Celta Vigo thought they were level when Thiago Galhardo's header hit the inside of the post and rolled into the far corner of the net, but Aspas was judged to have been offside as well as stopping David Alaba from clearing the ball off the line.

Nolito made up for the penalty concession with the equaliser early in the second half as he swept home a cross from the left by Javi Galan.

Madrid had another chance from the spot just after the hour when Rodrygo was felled by Jeison Murillio, but Dituro made the save to deny Benzema down to his right.

However, the goalkeeper could do nothing about Los Blancos' third penalty of the game, with Benzema slotting this time after Ferland Mendy went over the trailing foot of Kevin Vazquez.

Diego Simeone was full of praise for match-winner Renan Lodi after the left-back's two goals fired Atletico Madrid to an important 2-0 win over Celta Vigo.

The Brazilian struck once in each half, with both goals being assisted by Geoffrey Kondogbia as Atletico moved into LaLiga's top four ahead of rivals Barcelona, who host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Lodi scored his first brace for Atletico Madrid in 105 appearances in all competitions, becoming the only defender to score two goals in a game for the club during Simeone's time as coach.

Kondogbia, meanwhile, set up two goals in the same league game for the second time in his career, last doing so for Valencia against Sevilla in March 2018.

Speaking after the win, Simeone was keen to highlight not only Lodi's quality but also his work-rate, saying the full-back fully deserved his moment of glory.

"[I am] very happy for Renan," the Atletico boss said. 

"Last season he had fewer minutes than in his first year, but we always told him that due to his characteristics he could be very dangerous.

"The most important thing is what is not seen, [how] he works.

"[Fellow defender] Reinildo arrived [from Lille in January] and the first thing he did was try to help him. They are [both] noble, whole people, who are committed whether they play or not.

"In the end football rewards [those people], giving you moments like today."

Atletico Madrid boosted their hopes of a top-four finish in LaLiga, as Renan Lodi netted twice in a hard-fought 2-0 home win over Celta Vigo.

Towards the end of a turgid first period, Lodi fired a deflected effort past Matias Diruto to give Diego Simeone's team the lead, then volleyed in a second on the hour, with Geoffrey Kondogbia providing assists for both goals. 

Simeone's solid rearguard stood firm as Atletico closed out the win in the latter stages, piling the pressure on top-four rivals Barcelona, who can move level with the Spanish champions by beating Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

After Atletico started slowly, Reinildo was forced into a brilliant block by Franco Cervi after 15 minutes.

Correa failed to meet Marcos Llorente's inviting cut-back at the other end, but Atletico did break the deadlock on 35 minutes.

Lodi was the scorer, beating Hugo Mallo before firing a low shot past Diruto, who looked to have been wrong-footed by a touch from the Celta skipper.

Frenkie de Jong believes "a bit of personality" is missing at Barcelona after the Blaugrana surrendered a three-goal lead at Celta Vigo.

Iago Aspas' last-gasp strike snatched a share of the spoils for Celta in Saturday's 3-3 draw, leaving new Barca boss Xavi with plenty to ponder.

Xavi was officially appointed as Barca's new coach earlier in the day, though the legendary midfielder was not in charge at Balaidos.

That duty was left to interim coach Sergi Barjuan, who looked set to claim his first LaLiga win and snap a three-match winless streak in the top flight for Barca as they cruised into a 3-0 lead.

Ansu Fati, who then went off injured in what will be a blow to Xavi, Sergio Busquets and Memphis Depay got Barca's goals, only for Marc-Andre ter Stegen's mistake to gift Celta a way back into the game.

Aspas capitalised on that error and was on hand again to curl in a wonderful goal with the last kick of the match after Nolito had set up a grandstand finale.

Barca only mustered 40.5 per cent possession in the second half, during which they had just four attempts to Celta's 10.

One of Barca's efforts saw De Jong hit the crossbar shortly before Aspas' equaliser, but the Netherlands midfielder knows the Blaugrana were found lacking once again.

 

"I think in the second half we forgot to play football. A bit of personality is missing, I think," he told reporters. "The players are the ones who have to change, that's it.

"This game was very important to get us a little boost. This is a very big blow for us. We can fight because we have quality. It will be very difficult, but we have to continue."

Asked if Xavi is the right man to turn Barca's situation around, De Jong added: "We must see. People are excited about his arrival, and we are going to work hard."

Saturday's match saw Barca squander a three-goal advantage in a LaLiga game for the first time since January 1998, against Valencia at Camp Nou in a 4-3 defeat.

The Blaugrana sit ninth in LaLiga heading into Sunday's matches ahead of the international break, with Xavi's first game in charge set for November 20 – a derby against Espanyol.

Barcelona threw away a three-goal lead to underline the issues faced by new coach Xavi as Iago Aspas' last-gasp strike secured a 3-3 draw for Celta Vigo.

Blaugrana legend Xavi was named as the new coach earlier on Saturday, but interim boss Sergi Barjuan remained in charge for the trip to Balaidos and Barca appeared to be cruising to victory after first-half goals from Ansu Fati, Sergio Busquets and Memphis Depay.

Yet an injury to Fati on the cusp of half-time dented the visitors' confidence, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen's error gifted Aspas a goal to spur Celta on.

Nolito headed home in the 74th minute to set up a grandstand finale and just as it seemed Barca had survived the onslaught, Aspas curled in with the last kick of the game. 

Fati's quality was on show from the off, and he did brilliantly to keep his balance and curl a wonderful finish between two defenders and over Matias Dituro.

Barca's second came from a more unlikely source – Busquets curling a superb finish into the bottom-right corner from 20 yards out – before Depay made it three with an excellent header from Jordi Alba's cross.

Fati's game was cut short just shy of half-time, the winger pulling up and clutching his left thigh after trying to race clear of Celta's defence.

The offside flag came to Barca's rescue when Thiago Galhardo slotted in, though there was no such reprieve two minutes later as Ter Stegen fumbled Javi Galan's effort, with Aspas on hand to tuck in.

Hit by injuries to Eric Garcia and Nico Gonzalez, Barca wilted, with Nolito seeing a goal disallowed for handball before he directed a brilliant header beyond Ter Stegen.

Frenkie de Jong hit the crossbar as Barca tried to put the game out of reach, but it was to no avail and, in the 96th minute, Aspas found the bottom-right corner to snatch a share of the spoils and leave Xavi with plenty to ponder.

Sergi Barjuan is willing to help Barcelona in any way he can, having been in contact with next coach Xavi ahead of his arrival at Camp Nou.

Xavi is soon to be confirmed as the latest Blaugrana boss, with Al Sadd confirming on Friday they had agreed a deal with the Catalans for his departure.

The Barca great, who played 767 times for the club, second only to Lionel Messi (778), will succeed Sergi, who has served as interim coach since Ronald Koeman was sacked.

With the team preparing for Saturday's game at Celta Vigo, Sergi was keen to wait on official news of Xavi's appointment.

"Al Sadd has made the statement, Barca has not yet," he told a news conference. "We have to wait for it to be from both sides.

"We have a good relationship and I have contact with him. If there are any questions, I will be happy to help the club.

"I am the interim coach, I try to contribute so that the team performs. Whether Xavi is a good candidate is a question for the president."

The move means Sergi steps aside after just two games in the hot seat, a 1-1 draw with Deportivo Alaves and then a vital 1-0 Champions League win against Dynamo Kiev.

Certainty was needed in the dugout, with 16 points from 11 league games Barca's worst start since 2002-03, but Sergi's final test is a tough one. Barca have lost three times at Balaidos in LaLiga since 2015-16 – more than at any other away ground in that time.

"It's normal [to step aside], but I already knew it," said the coach, whose only previous game against Celta as a manager was a 2-2 draw with Almeria in 2015. "I knew this had an expiration date, but I'm happy.

"I just have the last step that is tomorrow. We are going to work hard because they are going to demand a lot from us. Historically, they have created problems for us. If we play like in Kiev, I will be happy.

"In the end, when you have a candy and you stop tasting it, you dislike it, but I'm very happy because the little details I've put into the team have been reflected."

Sergi believes Barca have a squad good enough to "fight and be higher in LaLiga and qualify for the Champions League".

However, one player Xavi will not be able to call upon right away is Ousmane Dembele, who suffered a hamstring injury in training having returned from knee surgery against Dynamo on Tuesday.

The winger, who is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked to Newcastle United, has played over 1,000 minutes in a LaLiga season only twice since his €105million transfer from Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Discussing Dembele's return in the Champions League, Sergi said: "When you take charge, you have to make decisions. We were all happy to see Dembele.

"We had a rest day and he got injured in training. If he wasn't injured, no one would speak about this. Dembele played and won, but these are situations that can happen to a player. Football has that risk."

Karim Benzema applauded the performance of Vinicius Junior in Real Madrid's 5-2 win over Celta Vigo, labelling the Brazilian a "phenomenon".

Benzema would have been most people's star of the show, the Frenchman scoring a hat-trick and getting an assist.

But Vinicius was Madrid's other key man, scoring the goal that Benzema set up and also winning the penalty that allowed the France international to score his first LaLiga treble since April 2019.

Vinicius frequently ran at the Celta defence and often caused havoc when doing so, tallying 11 dribble attempts – a figure only he (14 vs Real Betis) and Nabil Fekir (14 vs Cadiz) have bettered in a single LaLiga game this term – and completing five of them.

His goal took Vinicius to four for the season, which is already a personal best for an individual campaign at Madrid, and second only to Benzema (five) in 2021-22.

After regularly being seen as a source of frustration, even for his team-mates, the 21-year-old appears to be coming of age and Benzema is relishing his improvement.

"Vinicius is a phenomenon," Benzema told Movistar. "I really like playing with him.

 

"He is young and I talk to him a lot, giving him advice, because I know what he's going through.

"But he helps us a lot. He's a great player and he's showed that he can play for Real Madrid."

Carlo Ancelotti echoed that sentiment but was also eager to share the praise out, with the Italian clearly thrilled by the exhibition produced by his forwards.

"Vinicius is in a spectacular moment and I am happy for him. He is playing with a lot of quality and is at a very high level," Ancelotti said.

"But not only Vinicius. Benzema was also fantastic, [Luka] Modric, Miguel Gutierrez. Everyone in attack was good."

Though Ancelotti did suggest he was a little perturbed by Madrid's sloppiness at the back, with a mix-up between Nacho Fernandez and Casemiro leading to Celta's opener, before the visitors carved them open to then go 2-1 later in the first half.

"I have a good taste in my mouth," he added. "The fans helped us a lot. When we were down on the scoreboard, they pushed us and we felt their encouragement.

"It was a great game, with mistakes and with good things. It had everything.

"Defensively we gave away two goals because we lacked balance. The defensive organisation has to improve. With the ball we are fine but without it we are not as good and that can harm us."

Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick and Eduardo Camavinga netted on his debut as Real Madrid marked their return to the Santiago Bernabeu with a thrilling 5-2 win over Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Madrid last played at their iconic home on March 1, 2020, before remodelling work began on the stadium, and fans were treated to a real spectacle.

Twice Celta led in the first half, with Benzema's first strike sandwiched between Santi Mina's opener and Franco Cervi's rather fortuitous tap-in.

But Benzema nodded Los Blancos level again early in the second half before setting up in-form Vinicius Junior with a defence-splitting pass.

Camavinga put the game beyond Celta soon after his introduction from the bench and Benzema completed his treble from the spot after some dazzling play by Vinicius.

Celta stunned Madrid in the fourth minute as Miguel Gutierrez was robbed out wide and neither Casemiro nor Nacho Fernandez could clear, allowing Iago Aspas to nudge the ball on to Mina and he slotted past Thibaut Courtois.

Madrid's response was good, their subsequent dominance rewarded with the equaliser – Benzema driving in a Federico Valverde cut-back from 12 yards.

But the visitors soon restored their lead. Hugo Mallo latched on to Aspas' lay-off and produced a disguised pass to pick out Cervi, whose initial audacious flick hit the post and came back to him for an easy finish.

Marshalling Benzema continued to prove difficult for Celta, however, and the Frenchman got his second of the day just after the restart with a wonderful header from Gutierrez's searching cross.

He then turned provider as Madrid went in front for the first time in the match, pulling out wide and playing a throughball beyond the defence for Vinicius, who capitalised on Jeison Murillo's dozing in the Celta offside trap and calmly stroked past Matias Dituro.

Camavinga got off the mark for his new club six minutes after coming off the bench, burying from a few yards out after Dituro could only parry Luka Modric's shot at the end of a surging solo run.

Vinicius then won a penalty, his feet too quick for Denis Suarez, and Benzema subsequently rounded off an engrossing match by securing his hat-trick with an emphatic finish.

Diego Simeone is confused by the rules for handball after Atletico Madrid were on the wrong end of a contentious penalty decision against Celta Vigo.

LaLiga champions Atleti began their title defence with a gritty 2-1 victory over Celta on Sunday – Angel Correa's double proving decisive.

Correa opened the scoring with a brilliant strike in the first half, but Celta equalised before the hour after Marcos Llorente was adjudged to have handled from Iago Aspas' flick.

Jan Oblak had fumbled a cross to Aspas, who attempted to prod home. His effort struck Llorente's chest and rolled to his knee before bouncing onto the midfielder's arm and, to Atleti's fury, the referee pointed to the spot after checking with the VAR.

Correa swiftly restored Atletico's lead, and the champions held firm despite a late flurry – Aspas missing an open goal before Mario Hermoso and Hugo Mallo were sent off for violent conduct in stoppage time.

In his post-match news conference, Simeone revealed he is struggling to understand what the rules regarding handball are.

"The other day we were meeting with the referees and it is very difficult to understand what is handball and what is not," Simeone said.

"I still believe that VAR is very good and that the referees seek to decide what they see as the best."

Backing up Simeone's point, Celta striker Aspas – who converted the spot-kick – acknowledged he did not initially believe a penalty would be awarded.

"It is not clear to me about the handball. If I'm honest, at the time I thought it wasn't a penalty," the forward told Movistar+. 

"I didn't see it quite right. Marcos [Llorente] told me it was not and I trusted him until the referee decided it was a penalty."

Atleti are now unbeaten in their past 12 LaLiga openers, and Simeone was pleased with a typically battling performance – a 60.7 per cent duel success rate demonstrating their approach. 

"We played a very good game. We created many difficulties for a team that plays very well," Simeone said.

"In the second half after the penalty, a different dynamism is generated and the team responds very well with a goal.

"The pace with which it was played was very high. It makes me very happy. We talked about how to solve this very different preparation that all the teams had and we tried to make it a challenge and not a problem."

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