Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone said his team had no excuses after a 3-0 dismantling by Real Sociedad in Thursday evening's La Liga game at Anoeta.
La Real opened the scoring midway through the first half when Willian Jose hammered home a clever cut-back by ex-Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj and the Basque side were deservedly ahead at the break.
A frustrated Simeone sent on Fernando Torres at half-time, then winger Vitolo for full-back Juanfran 10 minutes later, but the visitors struggled to create clear chances with Antoine Griezmann very quiet on his return to his former club.
With 10 minutes remaining La Real substitute Juanmi made it 2-0 with a cool chip after being sent clear by Willian Jose's clever flick, and the one-time Southampton forward added a second late on with a clever header guided back over Jan Oblak to the far top corner.
With his team now 12 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona with just five games remaining, the Rojiblanco coach told the postmatch news conference that his side had not been able to get going, while by contrast their opponents had found ways to do damage.
"Today we did not play a good first half, the second half we improved at the start, but we did not have the consistency to get closer on the scoreboard," Simeone said. "We have to look at what happened, but congratulate Real Sociedad on their deserved win.
"They played a very good game, found the paths they were looking for, and did us damage."
Simeone said a couple of big refereeing decisions had gone against his side at 1-0 down, however he did not feel he could complain given the three-goal difference by the end.
"The game might have changed with [Kevin] Gameiro one on one with the keeper, called offside when it was not, you could see that clearly from the stand," Simeone said. "Then the handball against Torres [when Gameiro was through again], I don't know if it was or not. These are details, after a 3-0 coming out to talk about a one-on-one... today we were not so good."
Atletico have now won all of their last 10 games at their Wanda Metropolitano stadium while keeping 10 clean sheets, but away from home they have conceded in each of their last eight and not won any of their last four.
"Against Villarreal [1-2] was a closer game, with [Real] Madrid [1-1] too," Simeone said when asked what was going wrong away from home. "At [Sporting] Lisbon [0-1] the first half was bad, but the second half was good."