The sensations at the end of the meeting were not the best. That an important rival like Valencia goes out with a tie from the Metropolitan should not be a catastrophe, but that it does so with a goal in the final leg and after another gray game it does mosquea to the red and white parish. To top it off, after ninety minutes Joao Felix's injury was confirmed
: Grade II sprain of the external lateral ligament of the right ankle, between two and three weeks of loss. Bad news never comes alone. More problems for Simeone, who does not finish hitting the key this season.
The Argentine insisted yesterday on his idea of playing with the attack trident, but again the result was not as expected. Joao Félix still does not have the prominence that is expected; Morata, despite playing well, does not finish seeing the door; and Diego Costa is very far from his best level, even if against Valencia he made up another bad game with a penalty goal. «The way is to work, insist and be simpler with resolutions. Surely one day you will be hit with the knee and the ball will enter. We immediately look for guilty parties, when this is work, work and work, ”said Simeone after the meeting.
But the reality is that: the lack of goal again condemned Atlético. Against Valencia, several clear occasions were not taken advantage of due to lack of understanding or errors at key moments. The legs of the strikers seem not to have the necessary confidence and the team is not decisive in the last meters. For sample, two actions. The first was before the break, when Diego Costa failed to take advantage of a ball that left him alone and became entangled between his legs; the second was the protagonist of Arias, who was planted almost in the small area of Cillessen and failed to finish off or attend. It was the 77th minute and it would have been 2-0.
Room for improvement
Atletico have only won a game of the last six in the League, a bad streak that does not prevent them from continuing in the fight for the title. There are only three points that separate him from Barcelona. The feeling is, however, that the team does not carbure and leaves points along the way that can be greatly missed over the months. Simeone, yesterday, referred to the many new faces: «We have to get used to the game and we don't have the balance to handle the moments of the game. The problem is when the rival takes you to a state and you can't solve it. We have a lot of work yet ».
Once it seems that the defensive solidity has recovered – Valencia, except when he was with one more, barely disturbed Oblak -, Atlético must return to the path of triumph at the hands of their strikers. Simeone is clear about it: the team is getting to know each other better with the passing of the matches and, therefore, is optimistic about the future, although yesterday he warned: «At certain times some look guilty and others look forward to work. Those who look guilty will get along with me. Those who want to work will get along.
What Simeone didn't count on was the blow of Joao Felix's injury. The Argentine seems to have found his ideal eleven, but the loss of the Portuguese, one of his fixed, forces him to introduce changes. Lemar and Vitolo knock on the door: the French to demonstrate that it can still be important in the team and the Spanish to reaffirm at the great level shown at the beginning of the season, once he has recovered from the last injury. On Tuesday, again in the Metropolitan, this time to meet Leverkusen in the Champions League, it will be known who has the opportunity. .