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."


After suffering four straight defeats in LaLiga in December 2021, Simeone's team have recorded five wins in their last eight league games (drawing one and losing two) and won back-to-back league games for the first time in 2022.

As the race for Champions League qualification hots up, Simeone praised his team's recent performances and highlighted how these displays have shown Atletico's depth.

"Since the match against Osasuna [a 3-0 win last week], the team has had a different spirit: intensity, aggressiveness, collective work, defending our area and attacking the opponent with more forcefulness, and the results have accompanied this.

"The other day against [Manchester] United, it wasn't to be, perhaps undeservedly because of what we gave, but internal competition is growing and it's the best thing that can happen to us. 
"[Hector] Herrera, Kondogbia, [Sime] Vrsaljko, Reinildo, they came to compete with those who were champions last season.

"There were times when things weren't working out, and luckily since the game against Osasuna we've been on the right track."

The victory means Atletico Madrid have not lost any of their last 10 LaLiga home games against Celta Vigo, posting seven wins and three draws in those clashes, all of which came under Simeone.