For the primary time in Diego Simeone’s reign at Atlético Madrid, his group have fallen to three consecutive LaLiga defeats.
Sevilla’s late objective by way of Lucas Ocampos was a deserved blow after a lacklustre efficiency wherein Atlético by no means took management of the sport. Felipe’s header cancelled out Ivan Rakitić’s rocket strike, however Atlético had been at all times on the again foot.
With Granada up subsequent on Wednesday, Atlético want to react rapidly. So what are three things we learned from the tie in Seville?
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Set items are scary
Atlético have conceded now from 9 set items this season. NINE. And three of them from corners.
“We are able to’t be crushed like that at a set piece. It’s not the primary time and we have to work on it,” Felipe mentioned after the match.
That’s an understatement. It displays an absence of preparation on the coaching floor, but additionally a weak point within the squad — a aspect missing aerial capacity, significantly with Stefan Savić unavailable.
On this event, Atlético’s 88th-minute concession was woeful dead-ball defending. Each Felipe and Koke failed to win a header, and João Félix’s marking on Ocampos was lax. Koke just isn’t the strongest within the air and was fully dominated on the far put up. And whereas sufficient has been made already about Félix’s work fee and his perspective, letting his man go within the last minute is the form of mistake which has seen others crucified by Simeone.
Final yr, Atlético let in solely eight targets from set items, and that determine has been surpassed in 17 video games this season. The winter break supplies an opportunity to relaxation, however it’ll additionally give Cholo Simeone the chance to work on this weak point in coaching. With out the form of dominant aerial presence a participant like Diego Godín possessed, Simeone has to discover one other means to cease the leak.
One other uncommon Simeone name is the incorrect one
Pre-match, all of the speak was about whether or not or not Simeone would subject João Félix within the beginning lineup. When the groups had been introduced, it virtually slipped previous many observers that Rodrigo De Paul was benched for the match on the Pizjuán.
De Paul was one of many group’s higher performers at Real Madrid final trip, however was dropped to accommodate Thomas Lemar and Marcos Llorente, whereas Kieran Trippier returned at right-back. Ángel Correa stored his beginning position in assault after disappointing towards Madrid, and he was hauled off at half-time having failed to make an influence.
Dropping De Paul noticed Atlético get overrun in midfield. Koke sat deep to defend a fragile defensive unit, which left Llorente masking the runs of Rakitić and Joan Jordán whereas Lemar dropped again when doable. De Paul would have added further self-discipline and supplied an important outlet. Whereas Llorente is understood for his physique and stamina, he isn’t the participant who can look to spark a counter assault with a 40-yard move.
With Simeone clearly content material to enable Sevilla to dominate possession, it appeared an uncommon name to go with out De Paul’s passing vary and imaginative and prescient.
Evidently, Simeone is aware of he isn’t getting the very best from his gamers at current. However whereas working with accidents, he’s additionally making unnecessary adjustments. Benching Lemar towards Actual Madrid, and now De Paul towards Sevilla, had been two essential flaws that had to be remedied at half-time. In Seville, Llorente’s damage compelled Simeone to change tack, back-tracking on a call that regarded uncommon from the off.
Saturday’s 11 fed into the sensation of poor preparation when Simeone drills his group to comply with a system and a line-up all week, solely to change things at half-time.
Luis Suárez can’t be stored on for 2022/23
Anybody who has watched Sevilla this season is aware of their defence struggles towards fast strikers who look to get in behind, and Luis Suárez hasn’t had that in his locker for no less than 5 years.
So Simeone selected to begin him on Saturday, and acquired one other inconsequential efficiency from the Uruguayan.
Suárez is but to produce the form of show the place he dominates a sport. As soon as once more, he regarded drained, and the bodily Diego Carlos nullified him simply. Suárez completed with solely 0.06 anticipated targets on the night time, by no means posing an actual risk.
The 34-year-old’s response when substituted on 56 minutes mentioned all of it.
Voicing his anger as he walked off across the pitch, Suárez appeared to hit out at Simeone, complaining that “it’s at all times the identical” — little question in reference to his touches and present match within the group. Whereas that want and combat could also be what Simeone desires, he can not tolerate such an perspective from anybody in his squad. Suárez is about to flip 35 in January and should settle for he received’t play 90 minutes in each huge sport Atlético play, and that his position will step by step diminish.
If Suárez can’t settle for that, it’s a recipe for catastrophe each on the sector and within the Atlético dressing room. And if that’s the case, Simeone noticed sufficient with Diego Costa final yr to comprehend it wouldn’t be a good suggestion to retain an sad veteran ahead’s providers.
The dilemma Simeone might face is that Suárez, by way of his anger, confirmed the form of motivation severely missing from a aspect that appears fully devoid of confidence. Taking a look at Sevilla on Saturday, it was arduous not to suppose that a number of of Julen Lopetegui’s gamers could be higher suited to Simeone and Atlético than the gamers who had been wearing blue.
Simeone even thought as a lot.
“They pushed with drive, they’re a courageous group, with character, with tall gamers who we knew might undergo,” he mentioned post-match.
Whereas it might appear at first look like a complementary view of his opponent post-defeat, that quote was virtually actually a thinly-veiled demand to Simeone’s personal gamers. With lowly Granada up subsequent earlier than a short winter break, a response is critical.