Diego Pablo Simeone, during the last Sevilla-Atlético (1-0), played on Sunday at Sánchez Pizjuán.MARCELO DEL POZO / Reuters
Atlético's symptoms in their defeat against Sevilla were the same that have led them to lead the League comfortably to run out of error against Barcelona and Real Madrid. The 14 points achieved out of 30 in this second round respond to a multi-organ failure that includes physical wear and tear, tactical disorientation and the individual decline of players who in the first round offered a performance that they have not recovered. In the Sánchez Pizjuán all these symptoms appeared that mark the collapse of the leader in the second part of the championship. A defeat with Sevilla is acceptable, but not the sensations conveyed by a team that aspires to win the championship with its two pursuers on the rise. Progressively, the leader has been losing game and results until exhausting the ample cushion of points that he had. There are hardly any signs, neither in attack nor in defense, of the team that added 50 points in the first round.
From the physical exhaustion, in the Athletic one they indicate to two of the players who had to maintain the scepter of the field in Seville, Koke and Marcos Llorente. Added to the load of minutes they support at Atlético was their participation in the national team. Both played 90 minutes against Greece, and Llorente added 25 against Georgia and another 90 against Kosovo for 72 for Koke. The two succumbed to the high pace set by Sevilla. In both, the team's general lack of legs was reflected to reach the pressure that Atlético tried to exert on Julen Lopetegui's footballers.
Against Chelsea, in London, the rojiblancos also accused the speed of the ball that the English team to disarm again and again the attempts to recover in the opposite field. Internal analyzes indicate that Koke and Marcos Llorente cannot take on all the work in the middle of the field and points to the physical improvement of the team when Kondogbia entered and also to a better version with the ball with the entry of Mexican Herrera. "Although with the scoreboard already against, they were the best 20 minutes," they admit at Atlético. Simeone also alluded to the lack of gasoline to play at higher revs. "We have to increase the intensity, which has always generated resources for us through the talent of our footballers," the coach diagnosed at the end of the match at Sánchez Pizjuán. Atlético emerged as dominator of the championship playing in the opposite field. When he has wanted to take refuge in the vicinity of his area, he has neither been solid nor has he made the counterattack a definitive resource.
The loss on the board is also accused by the team. Simeone has not just readjusted the drawing for more laps than he has been giving it in recent weeks. The defense of three centrals, which was the solution at the start of the championship, is making water again on the sides. The rivals continually seek the backs of the lanes. Sevilla got angry with Lodi, who has not adapted to being a lane all season. Simeone had to change it after half an hour to admit Correa. “We had a first half where the coach did not make the best decisions for the team to be well. When a coach makes a change at 30 minutes it is because he made a mistake in how he imagined the game ”, admitted Cholo.
The drop in individual performance also greatly affects Atlético. In the center of defense, Savic, absent against Sevilla, is the only one of the centrals who has maintained a high level throughout the season. Felipe has not been the same as last year and Giménez does not finish taking the point. Hermoso has lost confidence in the duels and is not so decisive in the exit of the ball. In between, Koke and Llorente's physical wear and tear were added by Herrera's injuries. The brightest moment of the team's game, in the first third of the course, coincided with the Mexican as Koke's companion. From Saúl there has not been a single match to remember.
In the attack, neither Correa nor João Félix have been reunited with the peak in a way that they wore from September to December. Luis Suárez has maintained the scoring tone, 11 goals in the first round and eight in the second, but games like Seville, where he barely touched the ball near the area, penalize him.
With this panorama, Atlético cling to that they still maintain a leadership that on Sunday against Betis, and after the classic, they have to defend without Luis Súarez and without Marcos Llorente, their two scorers.
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