La Liga news

De Gea disappointed despite win

May 22, 2011

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David De Gea reflected on a "bittersweet'' final day of the Primera Division season after seeing his side defeat Real Mallorca but still miss out on their aim of a top-six finish.

Atletico were already guaranteed a Europa League spot heading into their clash with Mallorca but were eager to claim either fifth or sixth spot in order to avoid going through an extra qualifying round.

The Rojiblancos did what they needed to do, captain Sergio Aguero scoring a hat-trick in a 4-3 win at Mallorca, but with Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao also winning, the capital club had to settle for seventh spot.

The highly-rated De Gea, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United this summer, said: "It was a bittersweet victory, as we haven't managed to avoid the qualifying round.

"When you depend on other results, you already know that you don't only have to win but hope your rivals slip up as well. Unfortunately it hasn't been like that.''

Coach Quique Sanchez Flores, who was taking charge of his final match in the Atletico hotseat, said: "We knew that it was difficult, but we had a good game to complete the season. We also finished close to our objective of getting into the Champions League places. We're aware that it has been a tough season.''

Looking back on his time at the Vicente Calderon, which last season saw him help Atletico win the Europa League and reach the Copa del Rey final in his first campaign in charge, Sanchez Flores added on his club's website: "We've been very happy winning the Europa League and next season the team will play in this competition. We appreciate what we've achieved.

"There were times during the season when we were six to eight points off the Europa League places. We've managed to get into this competition and we need to appreciate that.''