Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone played down an incident that saw Antoine Griezmann shush fans who criticised him for keeping possession rather than starting a counter-attack late in the 1-0 win over Valencia.
A tight game was won by Angel Correa’s 25-yard strike, and Griezmann was caught on camera shushing Atletico supporters in the closing moments.
The incident highlighted a sometimes uneasy relationship between France international Griezmann and Atleti fans after he was linked with a move to both Manchester United and Barcelona.
But Simeone, whose side are second in the table, nine points ahead of third-placed Valencia, told beIN SPORTS: “The communion between the team and the fans is spectacular.
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“Griezmann made very good decisions through the whole game. He did what he had to do. Logically what the fans want is to win, and they have gone home happy.”
Former Atletico player Clemente Villaverde, now a director, told Spanish TV he did not give Griezmann’s gesture “any importance.”
Villaverde said: “There was very little time left in the game, and the player read the game and knew he had to keep the ball.
“It is normal that the fans want more, but it was not a big thing.”
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan