Atletico Madrid slid to a 1-0 loss at home to Levante on Wednesday as Diego Simeone’s side blew the chance to climb back into the Champions League places in Spain.

The reigning La Liga champions failed to register a single shot on target as bottom side Levante won for only the second time in 24 games this season courtesy of Gonzalo Melero’s second-half goal.

“We played poorly. We lost an excellent opportunity to put ourselves in a good position in the league, and we will have to take double the effort to make up for today,” said Simeone.

“You have to be self-critical, see the reality. Some will think it’s impossible to reach the Champions League, but I say no. It can be done, but you have to prove it with facts because words are boring.”

Atletico is level on points with fourth-placed Barcelona but has played more than the Catalans.

It was a seventh league defeat for Atletico, who host Manchester United next week in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.