Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea: Perfect opportunity for Thomas Tuchel with the La Liga leaders on a wiggle
Chelsea will face an Atlético Madrid side on Tuesday who suffered their worst form dip all season, still recovering from a list of injuries exacerbated by a wave of positive coronavirus, and with coach Diego Simeone on the verge of leaving the system that sent them to the top of LA. Liga because he has no more good players to play it.
The weekend defeat to Levante was Atletico’s first home since December 2019. It also added five points in their last four games. And it was the seventh consecutive game that they failed to keep a clean sheet. That has never happened before in the nine years that Simeone has been in charge of Atletico.
The weekend performance was far from terrible. Levante’s goalkeeper Daniel Cardenas was the man of the match who made a series of saves, Luis Suarez hit the crossbar, Angel Correa scored a goal that was ruled out hard and Jan Oblak appeared to be fouled in the area when he last moved forward. minute angle. It was while he was running back that Levante got their second.
Atletico Madrid was beaten by Levante last weekend and is suffering a dip in La Liga
Luis Suarez looks dejected during Atletico Madrid’s worrying defeat over the weekend
Diego Simeone’s Atletico team failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven games
But perhaps the worst news of the defeat was an injury to Jose Gimenez, and the Uruguayan defender’s absence from the Bucharest game poses a selection dilemma for Simeone.
He hit gold earlier in the season when he started playing 3-5-2. Mario Hermoso, Stefan Savic and Gimenez were watertight as a back three, conceding just six goals in the first 16 games of the season. The system also worked offensively, with Kieran Trippier effectively as the right-back and Yannick Carrasco doing the same on the left.
The problem with Simeone’s desire to play three central defenders is that he only has four in the squad. One of them (Gimenez) is vulnerable to injury and another (Felipe) has battled for form this season and doesn’t seem to be enjoying the system.
This may be the perfect time for Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea to take on the leaders of La Liga
Felipe (center) is one of the players who has competed for form in a system he doesn’t like
Despite Trippier being banned, Gimenez missing games, and the impressive Hermoso also being banned – one of the many positives of the coronavirus – Simeone has stuck to his guns. But on Saturday against Levante, he collapsed and went back to 4-4-2 when Gimenez was injured in the second half. The change provided Atletico’s best spell of the game, but they failed to grab their chances and are now just three points away from second-placed Real Madrid, which has played another game.
The dip in form has also delayed the passing of a personal landmark for Simeone. He will be in service for 10 years in December and needs one more win to pass Luis Aragones as the coach with the most wins in the club’s history. Even more impressive, Aragones managed to score his 307 in 661 games. Simeone has only taken charge of 510.
The 1-0 win was the most common result of those games and despite recent blips, his team has once again set the best defensive record this season.
But there is also a new, more expanded dimension to their attacking play. Simeone has finally responded to criticism that the team plays with the handbrake too often despite offensive talent in Formula 1. However, he will not give up the base.
Joao Felix sauntered back to the center line after watching Levante score in the Wanda
Chelsea hopes to secure a victory in Romania in the Champions League on Tuesday
“What is Atletico Madrid?” he asked rhetorically in a recent radio interview. ‘We counterattack, we are physically strong, we obviously have talent, but above all we are a tough team. The day you leave there, you are no longer an Atletico. ‘
Chelsea brings back fond memories of Atletico, who passed them on the way to the 2014 final. Atletico defeated them 3-1 in the semi-finals of the return leg and former Atletico fullback Filipe Luis, who was in the run-up to the game with Sportsmail, fondly remembers the game.
“We dominated possession and Fernando Torres scored for Chelsea,” he said. ‘I said,’ Well, let’s go ahead, let’s enjoy this’. Chelsea were obliged to make it to the final and we enjoyed the moment, enjoyed playing the semi-final.
‘We were relaxed, disconnected, enjoyed the game and it was incredible. It was really beating. And it was no luck. It had all been studied. Behind Ashley Cole there was room for many balls. We had studied that. On the side of Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill, we knew that Azpilicueta was going to come a long way to meet the challenge and leave space behind and that Cahill had no cover there.
However, Atlético has fond memories of beating Chelsea in the 2013-14 semi-final
The Atletico Madrid players are celebrating as they progress to the final at Stamford Bridge
John Terry is watching full time … Chelsea hopes to avoid a similar situation this time
David Luiz was also well studied, although he didn’t play in the end. We had studied Willian’s counterattack, who was a very dangerous player. And Torres who was quite isolated. It was a brilliant game. ‘
Atletico Madrid was beaten 4-1 in the final in the final and would be defeated against the finalists two years later, on both occasions by Real Madrid.
Simeone is determined that despite missing players, a bad run and not being able to play at home, his team will continue.
His response to the news that the home game was being moved to Bucharest summed up the attitude he instilled in his team: ‘We are ready to play the game anytime, anywhere,’ he said. ‘There is no problem.’