SportsSimeone: "We must increase the aggressiveness in the areas"

Simeone: “We must increase the aggressiveness in the areas”

Oblak can’t stop Nico Williams’ shot.ALBERT GEA (REUTERS)

When the referee signaled the final whistle, the Athletic players jumped for joy (or from the bench as if they had a spring) to gather all in the central circle, happy to uncork the joy because they don’t have so many chances to fight for a laurel, for more that they are the current champions of the tournament. A few meters from them, the Atlético footballers walked almost in single file, all with their heads down and their steps heavy, hardly wanting to discuss the team’s indolence in the areas. Especially in his, where he gets a tremendous shake.



Oblak, Mario Hermoso, Vrsaljko, Giménez, Lemar (Matheus Cunha, min. 84), Koke (Héctor Herrera, min. 83), Kondogbia (De Paul, min. 50), Marcos Llorente (Renan Augusto, min. 45), Carrasco, João Félix and Correa (Luis Suárez, min. 70)



Unai Simón, Íñigo Martínez, De Marcos, Balenziaga (Yuri, min. 74), Yeray, Oier Zarraga (Vesga, min. 69), Dani García, Berenguer (Nico Williams, min. 69), Muniain, O. Sancet (Raúl Garcia, minute 69) and Williams

goals 1-0 min. 61: Unai Simon (pp). 1-1 min. 76: Yeray. 1-2 minutes 80: Nico Williams.

Referee Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez

Yellow cards Íñigo Martínez (min. 82), Vesga (min. 89), Williams (min. 90) and Vrsaljko (min. 90)

red cards Gimenez (min. 93)

“The team does not have defensive strength or aerial game. It takes away the possibility of being higher in the League or continuing in this competition. Two corners and two goals”, Simeone complained bitterly. “It is difficult to explain. Two goals from set pieces and we have already conceded a lot”, Oblak lamented at the end of the game, upset because he had made sensational saves during the game to keep Atlético on their feet. But not with those. “Each defeat is very hard, this time more because we wanted the Super Cup and we haven’t done enough. Although words are worth nothing and until we change it there is no use talking. It’s a tough time,” added the goalkeeper.

It happens that Atlético has been struggling for a long time because they have only won six of their last 18 games, far from having the defensive reliability that characterized them so much, since this season they have already conceded 24 goals in the League —one less than in the entire previous course—and Oblak only for half of the shots he receives.

Although the defeat against Athletic had little to do with the goalkeeper. “Personally, I look good, but what we want is to solve the goals conceded because many come through our mistakes and not due to the merit of the other team,” Oblak explained; “We have to find the answer to this problem because otherwise it will be complicated until the end of the season”. This is how Simeone sees it: “We seek to improve and we need to improve. It is clear that we have to increase the aggressiveness in the areas”.

More than anything because the team does not work in the vicinity of the rival goal either, with Suárez dry in the last ten games. Although it was, in any case, the only claim in the stands of the King Fahad International Stadium. “Suárez, Suárez, Suárez!” was heard before the duel began in the stands. “Oeeeeee!”, the Saudi fans cheered later when they said his name when reading the list of substitutes from the public address system. And they even got up from their seats when the Uruguayan waved before heading down the locker room tunnel at intermission. But the best thing was when he entered with 20 minutes to go, everyone applauding furiously.

Although the vomitories rejoiced little more, as much as Óskar Redondo, the phenomenal speaker hired by the federation for the competition. It turns out that the revelry, fanfare and passion that took place in the classic one night before drastically faded in the second semifinal of the Super Cup, punishing the Federation —and by extension the teams— for exporting the trophy. Nor did the prince or the king of the country repeat their appearance. So the passion turned into curiosity, because no more than 10,000 people gathered to see Atlético-Athletic when in Barcelona-Madrid the 30,000 allowed fans were blatantly exceeded as determined by the health competitions as a measure against covid.

A decaffeinated game in the stands that, however, took on color on the pitch because Athletic explained to Atlético how to play in the areas. And that Atlético’s goal also came after a corner. “But losing from a set piece makes me much more angry,” Simeone closed.

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