“We are playing at home!” Diego Pablo Simeone said sarcastically in the press room at the National Stadium in Bucharest, where Atletico and Chelsea are meeting this Tuesday (9 pm, UEFA Champions League), in the first leg of the 16th round of the Champions League final. The impossibility of flights from the United Kingdom to the Spanish lands led to the duel in the Romanian capital. Since we learned the match could not be played in Madrid, the coach and dressing room’s message has been unified regarding this forced exile. “You don’t have to spend your power or energy on something that is not ours,” Savic said. Later, Simeone endorsed the words of the Montenegrin defender, without denying the discomfort of the flight. “We traveled four hours, Chelsea six hours.” Only the final value of the away goals in the event of a tie breaks the sense of neutrality surrounding the match.
On stage tonight, in May 2012, Simeone began his group of Rogblanco coaching titles by winning the European League against Marcelo Bielsa (3-0). Only the coach himself and Coke survive this team, who at the time was Bibiolo who was nothing more than a simple fan, a scarf on his forehead, to celebrate. Eight years later, growing under the direction of the Argentine coach allows Atletico Madrid to look at Chelsea’s face without bunnies. It has nothing to do with the semifinals of 2014, when Rogibanco crossed Europe in sheepskin against competitors who outdid them in budget and quality.
Had it not been for the two slips against Levante and the sudden defensive weakness, unusual and certain in recent matches, Atletico would have appeared in the event as the favorite against the England team. A team in complete rebuilding after the sacking of Frank Lampard and the arrival of the German Thomas Tuchil. Trippier lost, through suspension, and Fraslico, through injury, leaving Simeone without a normal right-back. Rickard’s youth team doesn’t seem to be the game in a match like this. Marcos Llorente is again a candidate for a position in which he is losing his offensive presence, which his coach admits: “Marcos gives us a lot everywhere. I am the first to appreciate that he gives us a lot at the top, but among the players that I have, he is the one who is very much in this position. On the flip side, with Carrasco also absent due to a heavy blow, Saúl is in competition with Lodi if Cholo maintains the central three lanes design, and is less reliable in the final section of the tournament.Seven consecutive matches conceded at least one goal for a total of nine We are a team that can change the lottery during the match from 3 to 4 defense. With the triple system, it is true that lately we are getting goals, but just like when we got little, that was a question for everyone, and now we all have to improve in the defensive phase. Savic assured the defenders first, of course, then everyone.
As for the midfielder, Koke and Lemar are determined, with Kondogbia, in principle, to overtake them. The attack would be Luis Suarez, whom Chollo sticks to from his experience: “It generates hierarchy and a lot of interest in the opponent.” Tuchel also focused on Uruguay: “At Paris Saint-Germain, we were interested in signing him this summer. He’s a striker from birth. He always wants to show his desire to score, register and score.” It remains to be seen whether Simeone will accompany the Uruguayan striker with Joao Felix or Correa. Once again, as in the quarter-final against Leipzig in Lisbon, the coach faces the dilemma of excluding the most talented player on the team and the club’s great sporting and economic commitment, in one of the matches. season.
In the foreground, the comeback of Chelsea, which has accumulated five wins and two draws since Tuchel’s arrival. “We are facing a team with a coach who has performed very well in all the teams he played,” Simeone concluded.
And to return to London if not prevented by new dynasties
Leaving exile from Bucharest due to restrictions preventing flights from the United Kingdom from reaching Spain, Atlético with a feeling that the principle of equality has been broken as the second leg will take place in London, scheduled for 17 March. Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel admitted that Atletico had been hit by the decision. “They are at a disadvantage because they are unable to play for the Wanda Metropolitano,” the German coach admitted when he appeared in London yesterday. A senior official from Rojiblanca confirmed to this newspaper that during negotiations to select the match venue, the club tried to persuade UEFA to return the match to the neutral stadium as well, but denied continuing to insist on it. this point. The European Commission referred to the protocol established to regulate parties likely to be affected by Covid-19.
The rules state that the meeting places will only be changed when the health condition worsens in the home country. At the moment, Spain is not on the list of 33 countries that cannot schedule flights to the United Kingdom, most of which are affected by the Brazilian and South African strain of the Corona virus. It is the increase in the spread of either of these two types of Covid-19 on Spanish soil that could push the British authorities to blacklist Spain. “Although we do not know whether it is worse to travel to Bucharest again or to another eastern country, which takes four hours by plane, or to go to London, which takes only two and a half hours,” they say with the resignation of Atlético.
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