Sunday, December 8, 2019

Simeone: Precision the problem for goal-shy Atletico Madrid

SoccerNews in La Liga 27 Nov 2019

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Diego Simeone blamed Atletico Madrid’s scoring woes on wasteful finishing rather than chance creation following the Champions League loss to Juventus.

The Rojiblancos drew a blank in Turin as Paulo Dybala’s stunning free-kick before half-time wrapped up a 1-0 win and top spot in Group D for the Serie A side.

Alvaro Morata squandered a good late opportunity, albeit from a seemingly offside position, while Thomas Partey and Saul Niguez missed decent chances as the visitors hit the target with two of their 15 shots.

Atletico have now been restricted to six goals in five Champions League games and are the least prolific of all bar one team among LaLiga’s top 12.

Simeone said: “I think we played a good game against a really great team.

“I think we are lacking precision in the forward areas as we are generating enough dangerous situations to score goals. We worked very well tactically.”

He continued: “We need to work on improving our numbers, which are bad.

“Obviously we all need to work more, have patience and do our best in order to generate more chances.

“Vitolo and Morata put in a great effort and Felipe played an extraordinary game. We improved as the game went on. In the first half we tried to be strong at the back and then play on the break.

“We did well as [Juve] hardly created chances in the first half, except the goal, and in the second half we also improved as the period went on but could not score, which is the most important thing in football.”

Atletico splashed €126million on Joao Felix in the close season but have struggled to replace Antoine Griezmann’s goals.

The loss of Diego Costa for up to three months with a neck injury has further depleted Simeone’s attacking stocks, but the Argentine head coach would not commit to further spending in January.

“I work with the players I have,” he said.

“I’m doing my best in order to make them better and I will not change that mentality. Then, we will see what decisions will be made regarding the needs the team have.”

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