Atletico Madrid had a great start to the season which was overshadowed by their rival Real but there will be no place for hiding on Tuesday against Borussia Dortmund. Almost two weeks back, Dortmund dealt with Diego Simeone’s side with a score of 4-0 which was Atletico’s one of the heaviest defeats since their coach had taken charge about 392 matches ago and on Saturday it had a score of 1-1 draw by the lowly Leganes, 6 defeats already to their name and 18th in the La Liga.
This was supposed to be the best year for Atletico with its impressive signings during the summer. They were surely eyeing a run at the Champions League with the possibility of a final inside its own Wanda Metropolitano in June. But they were defeated against Leganes and Dortmund and it was due to their weakness in their defense side which had been their strong point under Simeone. Dortmund was able to hit a three in about ten minutes at the Signal Iduna Park and the Leganes on Saturday equalized the draw with the lax marking at a free-kick.
According to Simeone, nobody really has a perfect way of playing and it is all about the pursuit of winning. In fact, after scoring a nine-pass move last month against Huesca, he claimed that he liked it as it ended with a goal.
Moreover, the partnership between Antoine Griezmann with Diego Costa seems to have lost its spark which was quite effective in the previous season, as a weaker defense places more pressure on the attack.
Costa had only a single goal throughout the season and turning 30 already, people are wondering whether Spaniard’s best days are almost over. Simeone on the other day is very loyal to Costa and shares his best qualities, which is his determination, grit, and his will to win. He claims he is surely an ‘extraordinary player’ and is very important to the team.
There is an overall feel that Atletico is under-delivering on the expectations that people have. Some people even suggested that the coach may have lost his charm well into his eighth year. The biggest charm of Simeone is his ability to convince his team players about the ideas which he has against Real Madrid and Barca. His players believe in him, according to Xavi Hernandez who is the former Barcelona midfielder.
Winning only five games out of eleven is hardly an achievement but they still have all the games to play, thanks to their rivals who are also stumbling. Atletico is still the third one on the table with just four points down the leader Barcelona and three points ahead of Real.