Atlético, from disaster to abyss | sports


Speculating ended up condemning Atlético to lose against Milan and turning their pass to the knockout stages of the Champions League into a chimera. Although he wins in Porto on the last day, he will have to wait for what the Italian team does, which receives a Liverpool that does not play anything. If Milan win, Atlético will have to do it in Portugal with two more goals than the Rossoneri do. Porto have five points in the group, by four Milan and Atlético, but the Italians are ahead now, as they have a better overall goal difference (somewhat better than the colchoneros).


Oblak, Giménez, Mario Hermoso (Renan Augusto, min. 63), Savic, De Paul (Vrsaljko, min. 76), Lemar (Correa, min. 63), Marcos Llorente, Koke, Carrasco, Luis Suárez (Matheus Cunha, min 76) and Griezmann (Kondogbia, min. 80)



Tatarusanu, Pierre Kalulu Kyatengwa (Florenzi, min.64), Kjaer, Romagnoli, Theo Hernández, Alexis Saelemaekers, Kessié Franck, Sandro Tonali (Bakayoko, min.64), Brahim Diaz (Bennacer, min.77), Rade Krunic (Junior Messias, min.64) and Giroud (Ibrahimovic, min.65)

Goals 0-1 min. 86: Junior Messiah.

Referee Slavko Vincic

Yellow cards Giroud (min. 26), Marcos Llorente (min. 59), Bakayoko (min. 66) and Theo Hernández (min. 92)

A complicated mission for Atlético, especially given the symptoms that Simeone’s group offered to a parish that despaired before the racana and conservative proposal of his team. The Italian was Atlético, who assumed from the beginning that swap so much of the oldest calcium, not fitting in in exchange for not playing and less risking. After all, Milan was the one who would leave the competition if they did not win. So Simeone sheltered his team in his field, in that 4-4-2 where the ball matters just enough and the tactical foul becomes a recurring resource. Not a football sign that his team was local. He only seemed to be looking for the error in a pass to mount counterattacks that with the body of Luis Suárez at the tip of the spear are usually unfeasible. Suárez is Suárez in the area. Away from her, any past time was better.

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Nor did it turn out to overtake Carrasco to measure and fix Kalulu. There was no way for Atlético to patch up two passes. Simeone alarmed by the scoring bleeding that the team has suffered in this first third of the season, Atlético has returned more concrete. Mazacote football, without resources to get out of the pressure to which Milan was subjected. Throughout the first half, Atlético stayed in the small society that Marcos Llorente and De Paul set up.

Faced with such a flat proposal and a lack of ambition, Milan had no problem in assuming the party’s government. He did it from the power of Kessie to sweep, the orthodoxy of Tonali to order the game and the prodding of Brahim Díaz every time he started some vertical driving. If Milan did not do more damage it was because in the last meters they did not have a definitive player. Reserved Leão and Ibrahimovic, Giroud was what he has always been. An open book to hold the balls back and a nine more blank than with dynamite in the auction. Still, Pioli’s team conveyed the feeling that the moment he fine-tuned a couple of passes in the zones of truth, he could threaten Oblak. Only a volley from Theo Hernández unsettled the Slovenian goalkeeper in response to another high shot from De Paul. That was the offensive baggage of both teams in the entire first half. One because he did not dare to uncover, the other because he lacked the imbalance to take advantage of the shameless delivery of command that his rival made him.

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Atlético faked with a less wrinkled start, certified with a few recoveries and a centered shot from Lemar. A mere mirage. The rojiblancos continued to play with the need of Milan and with the score of Metropolitano and Anfield. He didn’t even seem to encourage Liverpool to get ahead of Porto. There were clear orders not to break down, to keep playing with the points calculator in his head and the anxiety of his rival to score.

Steps back

Simeone’s first two trades were a simple pawn swap. Correa for Lemar and Lodi for Hermoso. Those of Pioli were four in one go. Florenzi, Bakayoko, Messias and the dreaded Ibrahimovic. Legs and quality up to try to specify his domain. Ibrahimovic put tension in the stands with a pass that broke lines for Messias to put a center back that Bakayoko hunted. Savic avoided the goal with Oblak defeated and overcome.

Fears kept invading Simeone’s thoughts. Suárez and De Paul left the pitch to make way for Cunha and Vrsaljko. The auction was already the departure of Kondogbia by Griezmann. The clearest proof that the Atlético coach was only playing with the scoreboards.

So much speculation ended up taking its toll. A foray to the left of Kessie and a sweet thread was driven by Messias with a forceful header in the front of the small area. Oblak was not there to prevail nor Savic and Giménez to avoid the auction. A very common sequence in this Atlético that begins to attack worse and worse and has been defending very badly for some time.

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The goal was already final. He rewarded Milan, who always wanted to play more and left Atlético waiting for a carom that he himself won because of the racanería with which he played.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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