Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Simeone rues two points dropped but expects the goals to soon flow

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Jan 2023

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Diego Simeone was left to rue two dropped points in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Almeria, but backed his Atletico Madrid players to soon regain their goalscoring touch.

Atleti took the lead at Estadio Mediterraneo through Angel Correa’s 18th-minute strike, only for El Bilal Toure to level up before half-time and earn the mid-table hosts a point.

Los Colchoneros’ return of 28 points after 17 LaLiga games is their worst tally at this stage since 2011-12 (20 points) – also the last time they failed to finish in the top four.

Simeone’s side failed to convert three further Opta-defined big chances, with substitute Alvaro Morata missing two of those and Correa the other.

Having scored more than once in a single game just three times in their past nine league outings, Simeone accepts that area of the game is letting his side down.

“We have to understand that the only way to find the goal is what happened in the first 25 minutes here,” Simeone told reporters.

“We had chances and those who came on helped us, but their keeper had a brilliant game. Therefore, come the end of the game, we have the feeling of having lost two points.

“We have to keep working and keep looking to play the way we are doing. The goals will come. They often come in waves.

“We were not so fortunate in front of goal today, but we did get shots on goal. They will end up coming later.”

Atleti, who had substitute Sergio Reguilon sent off late on for two yellow cards, are fourth in LaLiga – as close to Girona in 11th as they are Real Sociedad in third in terms of points.

Simeone’s side have now had a player sent off in each of their past three LaLiga matches for the first time in just under 13 years.

It capped another frustrating day for inconsistent Atleti as they finished with an expected goals (xG) return of 1.17 compared to Almeria’s 0.42.

“It is true that when goals are not scored it is difficult to win,” Atletico defender Mario Hermoso told Movistar. “We’ve done well in our last two matches in terms of chances.

“Football can be this way, and as long as we have opportunities then goals will materialise. When that happens we’ll enjoy ourselves a lot more.”

Atleti, who have now won just one of their past six league games, switch focus to Copa del Rey action on Wednesday with a last-16 tie against Levante.

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