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3 things we learned: Atlético complete dramatic comeback over Valencia

It seemed like Atlético Madrid had been ready for but extra disappointment as Valencia raced to a two-goal lead within the Spanish capital on Saturday.

However drama was ready simply across the nook to offer a much-needed confidence increase that Atlético will hope can kick begin their season.

Following first-half targets from Yunus Musah and Hugo Duro, Atlético had all of it to do within the second half and needed to act accordingly. Atleti didn’t correctly begin their comeback till the sixty fourth minute when Matheus Cunha tapped in. After that, Los Rojiblancos scored two targets in stoppage to vary the end result of a match at that time in a sport for the primary time this century.

Listed below are three things we realized via the chaos at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano:

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Diego Simeone has nonetheless bought it

Who would’ve thought that bringing on Felipe Monteiro, the previous it and ageing defender, for João Félix, the younger celebrity, was the answer?

That the adjustments Simeone made gained the sport go to point out his unequalled expertise.

The Metropolitano most actually didn’t, judging by the whistles and boos that rang across the stadium because the substitution was introduced on Saturday.

“With Felipe, we had been attempting to be careful for counters when we had been going all-out,” Cholo Simeone defined post-match.

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He did simply that, and the change allowed Mario Hermoso and Yannick Carrasco to double up down the left flank, which triggered issues via the sport’s closing part.

As well as, Ángel Correa and Matheus Cunha added far more depth in assault, urgent excessive and drifting into vast positions greater up the sector.

These swaps had been simply what Atlético wanted, and added to the pressure on visiting Valencia.

That the adjustments Simeone made gained the sport go to point out his unequalled expertise. With such restricted choices to name upon, he managed to show the sport round with the likes of Felipe, Cunha, Correa, and Héctor Herrera. Solely Correa could be in with an opportunity of beginning in Atlético’s strongest line-up.

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This win might show to be an important turning level. Following experiences of a breakdown within the dressing room, and with criticism for Simeone at its peak, it was a joyous picture to see the coach embracing his gamers, the total squad celebrating following the ultimate whistle. Specifically, his hug and joke with Luis Suárez was some change from the Uruguayan’s tantrum after his substitution within the loss at Sevilla final month.

Club Atletico de Madrid v Valencia CF - La Liga Santander

Photograph by Jose Breton/Pics Motion/NurPhoto by way of Getty Pictures

One different attention-grabbing notion is to look throughout the dugout. José Bordalás led Valencia with the type of efficiency Simeone would have been pleased with had it been his crew up till the ultimate moments, when the younger squad misplaced its focus. Whereas Simeone’s bench wasn’t probably the most thrilling, 4 of Valencia’s 5 substitutes weren’t even registered for the primary crew.

If or when the time comes for Simeone to depart, Bordalás would nearly actually be the closest continuation.

João Félix and Matheus Cunha present the proper distinction

Two shut associates inside the Atleti squad, Félix bought the nod to start out in opposition to Valencia, nevertheless it was Cunha who got here off the bench to vary the sport.

There might be little query that the Portugal worldwide has much more pure expertise, however he stays but to persuade at Atlético, both this season or since becoming a member of the membership in 2019. In opposition to Valencia, he was once more quiet, with only one shot and solely seven passes within the opposition half throughout 57 minutes. He dropped deep to seek out the ball with out doing a lot defensive work, and he was misplaced within the transition. With Rodrigo De Paul removed from his greatest, no-one picked up Félix’s attacking runs.

Following Correa’s introduction on the suitable, Félix took to the left however lacked requisite depth. Dropping deep, there was little to no link-up play and he didn’t press excessive.

Cunha’s arrival modified that.

Club Atletico de Madrid v Valencia CF - La Liga Santander

Photograph by Denis Doyle/Getty Pictures

Carrasco and Hermoso teamed up on the left flank. The Belgian did the urgent, whereas Cunha did so within the center as Suárez drained, whereas Hermoso supplied an overlapping choice.

Cunha’s work-rate noticed him in the suitable place on the proper time to spark the comeback with a purpose from a nook, however his relationship to the Atlético followers was clear for all to see. Whereas some voiced their displeasure with Félix as he skulked across the facet of the pitch, throwing his shirt into the followers behind the purpose on the best way, there have been no complaints about Cunha, who headed straight to the followers to have a good time the third purpose.

Not solely in time period of angle, but in addition when it comes to match, it’s evident that Cunha’s long-term future at Atlético seems to be a lot brighter than Félix’s.

Mario Hermoso is best at left wing than he’s in defence

When contemplating what to do with a central defender who can’t defend, few instances would result in suggesting “stick him on the left wing.”

To start with, think about Hermoso’s uncooked defensive capability. Yunus Musah’s opening goal was fully the Atleti center-half’s fault. Pushing up too excessive, he misplaced the ball and was watching from the turf of the Valencia half as Gonçalo Guedes tore away to arrange Musah. His absence pressured Šime Vrsaljko to float extra central, opening more room for the younger USMNT star.

The second purpose didn’t cowl the previous Real Madrid defender in glory both, as he collided with José Maria Giménez after which failed to trace Hugo Duro.

Hermoso was twice proven up by his poor positional consciousness, which continues to show problematic in his heavy sport time. Such poor positioning repeatedly leaves Atleti susceptible on the counter, whereas additionally spreading worry and uncertainty throughout the squad.

Hermoso’s questionable angle compounds his continued gaffes within the defensive third. Following the Copa del Rey defeat to Actual Sociedad, he complained concerning the refereeing. Days later, he stayed down on the turf flailing his arms whereas Valencia countered and scored owing to his lack of possession. It’s arduous to think about a participant like Diego Godín, Stefan Savić or João Miranda doing the identical.

(*3*)

Photograph by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Pictures

Hermoso doesn’t mirror the values Simeone has lengthy seemed for in a defender for his facet. That could be why the Argentine boss opted to maneuver him into a brand new place on the hour mark as he introduced on Felipe so as to add defensive cowl.

Cholo moved Hermoso into an offensive position, a marauding left wing-back who would even convert to left wing at occasions as Atlético bombarded Valencia. Thierry Correia, already lucky to not have seen a second yellow, lasted solely quarter-hour till Bordalás acted to take away him. Dimitri Foulquier didn’t fare significantly better.

Finally, in fact, it was Hermoso who confirmed up within the splendid place for a far-post tap in to seal the three points. That’s what all Colchoneros will bear in mind for a while to return.

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