Atlético is much more than a Great Defence

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Bayern Munich lost their last match almost five months back against Atlético Madrid at Vicente Calderon. This week they were beaten again by Atlético.  The two games out of 26 that Bayern has lost have been against Atlético.

Atlético has been defeated in two matches in 19 Champions League group games. They have lost only one time at home in this competition under Simeone. They have a record of 13 clean sheets out of their last 14 games. Out of the 269 games with this coach, 143 matches have finished without them conceding and the number is 23 out of 38 in Europe.  The list of European goal at Calderon shows their excellence as defender.

They are known as the good defenders. But that’s not all about Atlético. Although, they were fortunate enough to have reached the finals last year but Bayern did not leave the scope to batter them. The Germans had 33 shots which are considered as the most Atlético has ever endured before.

It did not impress everyone though and there is a thought which provokes the failure against Real Madrid in Milan. The accusation has been pointed on them more than any other defending team seeking for break. There has been quite a lot of cynicism against the team that can be seen with the way people talk about Atlético.

Atlético are defensive but their coach had once called them a horrible team. That was around 18 months ago and now things are changing to a different dimension. The team has been putting a lot of effort to come out as unbeaten and overcome their flaws.

Carlo Anselotti is the only manager who has knocked Atlético out of Europe in the last three years after the Wednesday’s match and also the manager who had defeated them in finals in Lisbon in the year 2014. He was asked the difference between the recent Atlético and the one he had seen when he was the manager of Real Madrid.

Anselotti stated that there’s not much difference in the team except their ability to attack and get behind their defences. The reply seemed slightly dismissive as there have been more obvious changes in the team. The seriousness, the intensity with which they play the game, their statistics and all those clean sheets have come to a standard form and the team has been evolving with time.

Atlético is trying to not lose the solidity they have attained to become successful and it is an evolution for them since last season. It seems that Simeone is ready for a significant shift, symbolised by the position of Koke in centre.

Simeone said that he has been moving towards this since two years and this is not a new idea. He seems ready to leave Koke centrally and he also thinks that Koke is ready as well which could be of great impact. He said Griezmann is among the three best players even after the penalty that was missed by him.

He considers himself fortunate to coach these players because of their enthusiasm, passion and their dedication towards the game.