Since Simeone take over the Atlético de Madrid Back at the end of 2011, there are not many games in which his team has been seen impotent, uncomfortable. Obviously there have been, but the truth is that the trend has been mostly the opposite. One of the many virtues of Athletic at this time it was precisely that, annoying, bothering, making life bitter for rivals.
But in Bucharest he found precisely the opposite, a game in which he was dominated, in which it was difficult for him to generate, in which he had to defend himself a lot. He had chances, some good of course, because he has good footballers, but the game left the bitter aftertaste of being overwhelmed, tied up, inferior. A bit in line with what the mattress team has been in this Champions, not so solid, much more irregular, less self-assured.
A party that delves into the debate, seeing what happened last week in the cases of Barça Y Seville, if Spanish football has lost a certain ‘punch’ in Europe. By physique, by power, by game … Our duels against the top leaders, but also with second tier teams, have been frustrating.
Lost the Athletic in Bucharest, 0-1, thanks to a goal from Giroud. The good news for the rojiblanco team is that there is still a second leg in which the Athletic he will have to turn the tie around and he will do it with recovered players. The bad, what Tuchel he more than won the bench duel and that the difference between the two teams seemed unexpectedly greater than expected. But hey, in London there will be no room for speculation and those of Simeone they will have to go all out if they want to pass. The Athletic he has earned the right to be trusted.
Diego Simeone, coach of the
Atlético de Madrid
, He made it clear in the preview that his team is not one of those who hide behind excuses. What to play in Bucharest the first leg, no matter how much the stage brings to the memory of the fans the aroma of the first glory of the Era Simeone, it was a disadvantage for the rojiblancos, it is something that even Thomas
Tuchel acknowledged before playing.
Everyone sees it except those in charge of the circus, that although the trapeze artists play it without a net and fall, the show continues, despite everything, despite everyone. Simeone, whom some accuse of being defensive, timorous, timid, when in more than eight years there has been an opportunity to understand that the Cholo he is above all a coach with capital letters, able to cross-dress the team over and over again with the sole objective of winning; he put into play an eminently offensive eleven.
You could almost say that he put it all. Because in this context of so many casualties on account of the sanctions, injuries and the happy Covid, the rojiblanco team that jumped onto the Romanian turf was the most offensive possible from which he could choose Simeone. In front, a revitalized Chelsea from the hand of Thomas
Tuchel after the dismissal of Frank
Lampard, with an investment of 250 million euros last summer.
The German has changed the face of this English team that now dominates the games. And that was seen in the first half of the crash in Romania. The Chelsea seized the ball and pressed with intensity, to a Athletic that it circulated a gear lower than its rival. However, the first strokes of the crash left several good chances, poor control of Mendy that almost took advantage Saul, a cross pass from Suarez the one who almost reached Lemar… Another resemblance of Hudson-Odoi who almost did not touch Werner.
AN UNCOMFORTABLE ATHLETIC
In that first half, the Athletic He could not braid long possessions and on account of this he suffered more than necessary. The mattress team was struggling, especially on their left side. Without Carrasco, injured, with Saul in the medullary next to Koke, Lemar had to help Handsome on that side and Hudson-Odoi Y Mount they imposed themselves. The inaccuracy of the passes from defense to midfield did not help either, with rivals well above. A game with bad sensations on entry, the kind in which when Athletic he looked uncomfortable. Very withdrawn, although perhaps it was part of what the mattress coach had planned. One of those nights when you had to suffer, grit your teeth. Sensations similar to those of the game against him Leipzig.
The English team was imposed by physical and occupation of the spaces. In addition, he also beat the colchoneros in ‘cancheo’, knowing how to stop the play with a foul when necessary. Werner put the scare in the body with a shot in the area well saved by Oblak. The team of Simeone he had no meters to run until almost the last play of the first half, one of the few cons that ended with a death pass from strap to Luis Suarez, who finished off in the air when it seemed that he already holed it.
The second half was lived along the same storyline as the first. A Athletic very entrenched, a Chelsea very pressing. Maybe it lacked a final touch, but it looked bad. The rojiblanco team survived in some isolated play, like a Chilean from Joao Felix that went to the clouds. But the trend of the party was worrying.
So much so that the goal of Chelsea ended up arriving in minute 68, a play in which Handsome touched the ball trying to clear a disputed ball, the ball went backwards and Giroud marked a beautiful Chilean. After review of the VAR, the goal went up to the marker and the party entered a new phase. In that of a Athletic that he had to overturn the attack while the English team made virtue of its speed with spaces.
A final phase with a Athletic braver who showed what perhaps the match could have been, with another script, with another intention. A good number of team changes and departures. Little to reproach people like strap, Joao Felix and others, that yes, they did not appear as expected, but neither could they do so in a work in which the written libretto gave them the role of extras. No ball, no possession, entrenched … What else to expect from talented players?
ATLÉTICO DE MADRID 0-1 CHELSEA
Atlético de Madrid: Oblak; Savic, Felipe, Mario Hermoso (Vitolo, 84 ‘); Marcos Llorente, Koke, Lemar, Saúl (Torreira, 81 ‘); Correa (Dembélé, 81 ‘), Luis Suárez and Joao Félix (Lodi, 81’).
Chelsea: Mendy; Azpikikueta, Christensen, Rüdiger, Marcos Alonso; Mount (Ziyech, 63 ‘), Joginho, Kovacevic (Kanté, 73’), Hudson-Odoi (James, 79 ‘); Werner (Havertz, 86 ‘) and Giroud (Pulisic, 86’).
Goals: 0-1, Giroud (Min. 68)
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany). He admonished Mount (Min. 1), Llorente (Min. 62), Lemar (Min. 92)
Incidents: Match played at the National Arena in Bucharest. No audience.