After being held to their third draw in the last four La Liga matches, Barcelona manager Quique Setien admitted that they were moving away from the title but reflected his confidence on the team and said that he was happy with them. Barcelona played a 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

“I’m quite happy with them [the team]. It’s true that we haven’t been able to win, but at times we controlled the game well. It’s not easy against this team. They’re disciplined. I’m quite happy with my players’ work,” quoted Setien as saying after the match at Camp Nou.

“I don’t feel at all under threat. It’s a shame. We’re having more and more difficulties. Leaving these points behind means we’re moving further away from the title. But we have to keep working and Atletico are a good team,” he added.

Waging a controversy of not including French striker Antoine Griezmann in the starting line up for the second time in a row, Setien said that it was a technical decision and that he would talk to the World Cup-winner but “not to apologise”.

“It’s true that taking him out of the team like that is hard for a player of his level but the circumstances forced me to do it. Tomorrow I will speak to him, not to apologise, but it is a decision he has to understand.

“But I understand he may feel bad and I feel bad for him because he’s a great person and professional,” Setien said.

Barcelona suffered another blow in their title hopes as a result of the 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid in La Liga. With 70 points from 33 matches, the Quique Setien-managed team failed to topple Real Madrid who are sitting at the top with 71 points from 32 matches.

Diego Costa had opened the scoring of the night with an own goal, while Lionel Messi netted once for Barca and Saul Niguez scored a brace.