One more year, and they go 12, Atlético de Madrid begins the preseason with Diego Pablo Simeone in charge and Cholo, more entrenched than ever after the hesitations of last season, has decided to be true to himself, to his style. It doesn't change the Attic and it doesn't have the means to do it. At the moment, at the Seoul Stadium, it has started with a defeat against the combined of the K-League by 2-3.
The team is clearly betting on quick transitions perhaps because it is their safest bet for this year. Several of them were the cause of the greatest chances of the rojiblanco team starting with the first goal. Steal of Samu Lino, ball for Thomas Lemar and the Frenchman, in a dizzying drive, combines with Griezmann whose shot is repelled by goalkeeper Lee Chang, ball back to Lemar and goal. Play of three touches and 10 seconds.
Samu Lino, the Brazilian loaned to Valencia last season and who, at the beginning of this preseason, placed outside Atletico Madrid was a cyclone on the left wing. In attack and defence, the 23-year-old was one of the most outstanding players in Simeone's side. His connections with Griezmann generated a lot of danger in the Korean team that, it must be said, in defense was very soft.
In fact, his ease in the exit of the ball was another weapon for Simeone's team. Atletico, on many occasions of the game, did not have to build just wait for the opponent to give him the ball and it was not on a few occasions. The problem is that it cost a lot to materialize them.
The rojiblancos continue to have a great lack above that the animosity of Álvaro Morata does not solve. The Spaniard scored three times, but all were canceled for offside. That said, there are things at Atletico that don't change. The number 19 also had a chance with a header from a corner, but ended up repelled by the crossbar.
The issue of corners was not new. Atletico had many and finished them all. Morata, Hermoso, Savic, Mouriño... all headers with greater or lesser difficulty, but all ended up in the hands of the goalkeeper of the K-League set. Atlético imposed its height, but that was not enough to take off on the scoreboard and closed the first half with a meager 1-0.
The Korean team, by the way, who came out with another spirit in the second half. Much more aggressive with the ball and generating more things in attack thanks to the changes made by coach Sung Min Lee. The coach changed the 11 players and, on the first occasion they had, it was inside. Frontal foul, bad start of the young Antonio Gomis and goal of Kryvotsyuk. 1-1 and the whole second half ahead.
With a more daring Korean team, Atletico lacked creation in midfield. He couldn't, because he didn't know, because maybe he doesn't have the players to build. Barrios and Saul do not have the imagination of Griezmann or De Paul, nor their experience. And that ended up paying for an Atético who could not pass the tie against the Korean team.
Beyond the debut of some Catneranos like Carlos Martín or Gismera, little new had to do with the Cholo on the field. At least from the medullar upwards. Although it must be recognized that Martin, the one he had, transformed it. After a somewhat fortunate move by Correa, the 21-year-old was where he needed to be, and scored to put Atletico ahead of a goal of real nine.
However, the back of the red-and-white defense was a drag. In the first half Witsel, a player who this year, and more after the injury of Giménez, looks like he will repeat as a center had several errors that his speed prevented them from being greater. Mouriño, on the other hand, debutant in the set of Cholo was not so lucky.
The young Uruguayan center, who the Cholo wanted to try from the side, put his hand to try to win the position after an error throwing the offside of the red-and-white back, and that hand brushed the face of Gerso Fernández, end of the Korean team. The referee found the action punishable. Penalty and goal by Palocevic.
But things were likely to get worse. Just two minutes later, a ball badly cleared by the Atletico defense reached the boots of Lee Son who beat Gomis from outside the area and overcame the adverse result. Tough defeat for a Simeone team that was clearly from more to less.
It gives the impression that this year's squad is going to fall short for the remainder of the season. With a Joao Felix who does not count for Simeone and who was absent today due to alleged muscle discomfort, the team lacks imagination above. The new signings are going to contribute a lot in defense, but there is a lack of someone to help generate play upstairs.
Atletico, at the moment, is looking for a midfielder and remains expectant about what will happen with Álvaro Morata and Joao Felix, two players who have one foot outside the rojiblanco team. If they left, they would go for a nine, despite the flashes of young Martin. The question is: who will pass the balls to that nine?
- Atletico Madrid
- Antoine Griezmann
- Alvaro Morata
- South Korea
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