A frustrated Koke said Atletico Madrid did not deserve to lose 3-0 to city rivals Real Madrid on Saturday.
In Atletico’s final LaLiga Madrid derby fixture at the Vicente Calderon, Koke and Co. were upstaged by Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick.
The result helped Madrid move four points clear atop the table and nine ahead of Atletico after 12 rounds.
But while bemoaning the loss, Koke insisted there is still time for Atletico to claw their way back into the title race.
“Atletico go home upset because it wasn’t a 3-0 kind of game,” he said.
“It was a difficult evening because we wanted to win and we could not, yet we have to congratulate them.
“We are annoyed for losing against our eternal rival, but we have to go on, there’s a lot of league ahead of us and without a doubt, we’re going to improve because we have a great team.”
Ronaldo broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute in the Spanish capital before the record-breaking forward doubled Madrid’ lead via the penalty spot with 19 minutes remaining, and the Portugal captain sealed the points six minutes later.
Speaking about the match, Koke lamented the penalty, which he felt should not have been awarded after Ronaldo was tripped by Stefan Savic.
“They looked to play a very direct game and were more comfortable,” Koke reflected. “Then they got the goal with a bit of good fortune.
“In the second half we started better, but then the penalty came and from where we were, it seemed that it wasn’t a penalty.
“From the penalty onwards, it was difficult to come back from going 2-0 down.”