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Three things we learned: Atlético’s humbled in Supercopa defeat

Atlético Madrid followers confronted but extra disappointment and frustration as Athletic Membership dashed their hopes of a Supercopa ultimate look.

Athletic fought again after Unai Simón turned João Félix’s 62nd-minute header into his personal web and received 2-1 to advance to Sunday’s ultimate in opposition to Real Madrid. The way of Atlético’s collapse was all too acquainted for the gamers and followers.

But once more, Atleti’s noticed their silverware hopes dashed by poor defensive errors that aren’t often related to a Diego Simeone facet. However this defeat was regarding for that cause and so many extra.

Listed below are three things we realized from the fixture.

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Set items. Once more.

This level is one which needed to be thought-about. Are you able to be taught one thing whenever you’ve already realized it a number of occasions earlier than? Impartial readers might imagine such an idea can be nonsensical. Atlético followers can guarantee you that their gamers nonetheless can not be taught the much-needed lesson.

On Thursday, Athletic scored two objectives from two set items. Nearly unsurprisingly, the primary critical likelihood got here from a useless Mario Hermoso foul, conceded deep in his personal half, once more exhibiting a scarcity of self-discipline. Jan Oblak needed to be at his finest to disclaim Iñigo Martínez from the following free kick, taken moments after Atleti had gone forward.

It solely went downhill from there.

FBL-KSA-ESP-SUPER CUP-ATHLETIC BILBAO-ATLETICO MADRID

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Picture by -/AFP through Getty Photos

The equalizer got here from a nook, with Iker Muniain’s supply perfectly-weighted cross for Yeray Álvarez. Yeray misplaced his marker, Koke, with a sensible routine, which caught Atleti out. José Giménez didn’t get well in time to stop the free header eight yards out.

The second purpose, one more Muniain nook, noticed three Athletic gamers contact the ball in the field earlier than an Atleti participant did — that man being Oblak, choosing the ball out of his personal web. Nico Williams utilized the completion, unmarked and ready for the ball to drop, after Yeray and Iñigo Martínez had been each left free to go and deflect the ball.

Atlético’s present defensive system isn’t working. Man-to-man marking isn’t suited to gamers with such little self-discipline or positional consciousness. A change to a extra zonal method might assist, however provided that executed accurately, and there could be little religion the present squad can do this.

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Simeone placating his stars

The choice to carry on Luis Suárez at 1-0 up on 70 minutes was fairly merely inexplicable.

The veteran’s entry might have made sense had Atlético been on the lookout for a purpose, however the mixture of a workforce sitting deeper to defend their lead whereas introducing him was baffling.

However in phrases of studying from it, what went on? It’s exhausting to think about Simeone noticed Suárez serving to Atlético with their counter-attacking play. His tempo will not be what it as soon as was, nor what different gamers might provide, and Athletic had been in a position to comprise him simply. Suárez’s motion continues to be spectacular, however he had little assist. The Uruguayan was making runs alone, with no actual choice to cross as soon as on the ball.

It might be argued Suárez presents extra of a focus as a centre-forward, permitting a extra direct method from the Atlético facet. That is the form of quantity 9 that Atlético haven’t changed since Diego Costa’s departure over a yr in the past. Atlético lack a participant who will sit in between the opposition’s central defenders, win aerial battles, and usually look to carry the ball up by being a nuisance.

FBL-KSA-ESP-SUPER CUP-ATHLETIC BILBAO-ATLETICO MADRID

Picture by -/AFP through Getty Photos

Is that the place Simeone sees Suárez’ future this season? Probably.

Alternatively, it’s simply as attainable Simeone knew that leaving Suárez as an unused substitute would enrage the participant. There has already been discuss of his attainable departure, both in the summer time and even as quickly as this winter, and Suárez’s significance to the squad is clear. Having left him on the bench with Antoine Griezmann already dominated out was maybe a stunning name from Simeone, nevertheless it was one he ought to have caught with. If Cholo’s choice decisions are primarily based on meritocracy, as they at all times have been, Suárez didn’t deserve a shot in Riyadh.

(Matheus Cunha, left on the bench for an additional quarter-hour, might have achieved a greater job — not solely in suiting the counter-attacking type, but in addition together with his work charge to assist the workforce defensively.)

Would Luis Suárez have been the substitute had his identify not been Luis Suárez? It’s a troublesome query to reply, and one which few would ever count on to ask a coach as brave as Simeone.

An actual lack of management

Josema Giménez’s damage time sending-off was the second that encapsulated all that was going incorrect with Atlético. Giménez needed to apologize on social media Friday morning for his headless rooster act, going right into a problem together with his studs up at head top. Coming from the workforce’s third captain, it is a clear indication of the expertise and maturity missing in this squad.

Think about Gabi or Diego Godín making a problem like that. These are the figures Atleti are so desperately lacking.

Atlético seemed fragile. Even after conceding the primary purpose, the Colchoneros had been visibly nervous on the subsequent set piece and struggling. Gamers seemed devoid of confidence and unclear in the set-up.

And sadly, the chaos didn’t finish on the pitch.

For the altering room’s second-in-command to come back out and seemingly criticise his coach so publicly is extraordinary in the Simeone period.

“If, after the purpose, we go for extra, slightly than sitting again and ready, things like right now can occur,” vice-captain Jan Oblak stated after the ultimate whistle.

For the altering room’s second-in-command to come back out and seemingly criticise his coach so publicly is extraordinary in the Simeone period.

But so to was Cholo’s post-match response.

“Lodi might have discovered João on the precise and he despatched it broad, we might have completed higher. Carrasco had individuals forward of him to shoot and he didn’t see them,” he raged in his press convention. This, coming from a coach who has nearly by no means singled out people to the media.

It’s evident that every one will not be effectively in the Atlético camp. Far past tactical set-ups, who can play at right-back, or an imbalance between assault or defence, Atlético followers ought to be involved by the clear lack of unity. Final season, Simeone had the workforce working as a unit, getting extra out of them than the worth of their particular person elements. This season, every particular person half is underperforming, and there’s clear friction between them.

Such a scenario will not be sustainable, and Simeone could be the person to finish up paying for it.

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