Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone praised the performance of goalscorer Vitolo and insisted that his side still remains in the hunt for the title, following Sunday's 3-0 victory over Celta Vigo at the Wanda Metropolitano
Los Colchoneros bounced back from last weekend's disappointing 1-0 defeat to Barcelona to claim a comfortable three points and cut the gap on La Liga's leaders to eight points.
The excellent Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring for the hosts just before the break with a curling finish from a tight angle. Vitolo doubled Atletico's advantage in the 56th minute with a deft chip over Marco Ruben before Angel Correa rounded off the scoring soon after with a powerful strike from the edge of the box.
"It was a beautiful match, against a rival that throws many players forward in attack. I think we always had the desire to go looking for goals, we weren't precise enough early on," Simeone said in his post-match press conference, as quoted by Marca.
Regarding Vitolo, who scored his first league goal for the club since his January arrival from Las Palmas, the Colchoneros boss revealed: "Vitolo's goal made the match a lot more comfortable for us. He's growing, everyone is performing at such a high level."
"We wanted him to make a leap forwards in his quality during transitional play, he's getting closer to what we want from him. Today he got the reward he deserved by scoring a goal, we hope he continues improving.
"My hope is that we arrive in the last five matches still in with a chance," he explained in his post-match press conference. There are still a lot of matches to be played, we're going from match to match. We'll try to continue in this way, now we have a complicated trip to Russia before Villarreal."
Atletico next face Lokomotiv Moscow - with a three-goal advantage - in the second leg of their round of 16 Europa League tie on Thursday. Thereafter, Simeone's side will face sixth-placed Villarreal in La Liga.