Connect with us

Liga

How are Simeone’s Anfield heroes falling short in LaLiga?

Published

on

Diego Simeone masterminded another memorable Champions League night for Atletico Madrid at Anfield but they are off the pace in LaLiga.

Atletico Madrid’s thrilling Champions League extra-time triumph over Liverpool at Anfield already feels like an event belonging to another era.

As the days and weeks of sporting lockdown stretch on, we have Diego Simeone and his battle-hardened players to thank for tiding us over with a last, lingering memory of gripping sporting theatre.

When Jurgen Klopp’s post-match critique of Atleti’s reactive style – one that has served to make them a compelling and legitimate heavyweight of European football in the modern era – was put to Simeone, he offered his own interpretation.

“We try to exploit deficiencies in the opponent. That’s what we do,” he said, before adding, somewhat deliciously, “And we try to win, with all our soul.”

However, while most of the footballing world except Michael Owen joined in with the plaudits, it was tempting to wonder whether this very same approach has left Atleti running on empty domestically.

LaLiga paused with 11 matches to play, topped by Barcelona and Real Madrid despite the two superpowers enduring unremarkable campaigns. Atleti are languishing in sixth, so we felt it was worth teaming up with our friends at Opta to examine how the land lies at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Dwnindling with Diego?

In all of their full seasons under Simeone, dating back to 2012-13, Atletico have never collected fewer points after 27 games than the 45 they have this time around.

Their next lowest was 52 points heading into the final stretch of 2016-17, where they promptly took 26 from the remaining 33 on offer and finished third. Do Simeone’s current vintage have a similar charge for the line in their locker?

They still rely on a solid defence, although the departure of the formidable Diego Godin to Inter has left a mark. A return of 11 clean sheets from 27 games is not to be sniffed at, although neighbours Real Madrid (13) and Getafe (12) have earned more shutouts.

The problem is those solid foundations are being forced to do more work because the goals have dried up.

A haul of 31 LaLiga goals is Atleti’s lowest at this stage of a season for 10 years. In fact, they have only scored 31 or fewer four times in their history after 27 matches.

The net result is 12 draws – at least three more than at the same point of any campaign over the past decade.

Cholismo in retrospect

Nevertheless, it is worth remembering we are judging Simeone by standards he has set himself – and what standards those are.

On Atletico’s all-time list, he has managed the second highest number of LaLiga matches (315) behind Luis Aragones (407).

Simeone is just three behind former Spain boss Aragones’ tally of 194 top-flight wins with the Rojoblancos.

It means his win percentage far outstrips any other long-serving incumbent. Indeed, victories in 60.6 per cent league matches in charge of Atleti can only be beaten by Otto Bumbel (66.7 per cent) and Antonio Briones (63.6 per cent), who oversaw 30 and 11 games respectively.

Trigger-happy Morata

An unusually fired-up Alvaro Morata was on hand to score the winner on the night against Liverpool and spark those enduring celebrations.

Life has not always been so enjoyable at Atleti for the Spain striker but he is the club’s top scorer in LaLiga this season with eight goals.

Morata’s best overall campaign in Spain’s top flight came when he scored 15 for Real Madrid in 26 2016-17 appearances.

If there is disappointment regarding his overall numbers not being better, then it is not for the want of trying. Only Iago Aspas (30) has attempted more shots on target than Morata (27) this term.

In terms of the supply line, Angel Correa leads the way with six assists, needing just two to equal his best in Atletico colours from 2016-17.

Please follow and like us:
error20
fb-share-icon0
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20
Advertisement
Loading...
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Liga

Coronavirus: LaLiga Fest raises €625k as Pique talks of ‘invincible’ unity

Published

on

LaLiga stars and musicians came together for LaLiga Fest on Saturday, where a huge sum was raised to buy medical equipment.

LaLiga Fest raised more than €625,000 on Saturday as Barcelona stalwart Gerard Pique spoke of the need for unity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Where Saturday nights would normally consist of fixtures in Spain’s top flight, the live action was restricted to performances on an internet stream.

A host of LaLiga stars – including Pique – addressed supporters, while musicians performed at the online festival.

Fans were encouraged to donate to the Banco Santander Foundation, where the money would be used to buy medical equipment to combat COVID-19.

There have been over 72,000 confirmed cases of the virus in Spain, with close to 6,000 deaths.

The total raised ticked past €625,000 as the festival ended, although donations would continue to be welcomed until Sunday afternoon.

Barca’s Pique was the most high-profile star to address those watching, as he claimed players and supporters alike could be “invincible together”.

“Without training, at home and trying to stay in shape, it is not easy,” the World Cup winner said. “We will get through it between all of us.

 

“It is a difficult situation, but doing something like what LaLiga is doing makes us feel proud of the players and the fans.

“It is something unique that means any LaLiga fan is able to contribute their grain of sand. I am very happy to be able to participate in such an initiative.

“There is rivalry when we are on the field of play, but when people need us, we are united.

“There will be a cost, it is difficult, we will have difficult times. Others will suffer it in person, but we have to make it through together. We are all invincible together.”

Please follow and like us:
error20
fb-share-icon0
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20
Continue Reading

Liga

Coronavirus: Ex-Barcelona goalkeeper Rustu Recber hospitalised with COVID-19

Published

on

Rustu Recber returned a positive coronavirus test and has been hospitalised in Turkey.

Turkey great Rustu Recber has been hospitalised after testing positive for coronavirus, his wife Isil has revealed.

Goalkeeper Rustu spent much of his club career at Fenerbahce, including a loan stint with the Turkish Super Lig giants during a three-year stay at Barcelona.

A star of the 2002 World Cup, Rustu played just seven times for Barca – all within the 2003-04 season – but retired aged 39 in 2012 with 120 international caps to his name.

The 46-year-old’s wife Isil posted on her Instagram page on Saturday to inform fans of her husband’s diagnosis.

“I would like to give you more positive news while sharing the truth in the most transparent way, but I’m sorry to say that my husband Rustu is hospitalised with the diagnosis of COVID-19,” she wrote.

 

“We are shocked by the rapid symptoms that developed suddenly when everything was normal. These are critical and difficult times.

“May Allah give emergency relief to all patients, including my dear husband.

“My only request is that people can be a little more conscientious and respectful in the process. In the tests we have done, my daughter and son were negative and only my husband was positive.

“For this reason, we are at home while he’s in hospital, and we are not allowed to see him. In fact, this is the most difficult part, not being able to be with him.

“Allah is great and is entrusted to him and the Turkish doctors. I hope this will pass.”

Please follow and like us:
error20
fb-share-icon0
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20
Continue Reading

Liga

Messi is Argentina’s ‘leader and protector’, says Tagliafico

Published

on

Argentina international Nicolas Tagliafico lauded Lionel Messi’s impact on the national team.

Lionel Messi is the “leader and protector” of Argentina, according to international team-mate Nicolas Tagliafico.

Messi, 32, has faced criticism for his performances for the national team as his wait for a first senior trophy at international level goes on.

But Ajax defender Tagliafico, a 25-time Argentina international, said the Barcelona star was key for his nation.

“Messi was released from the pressure to get results [at the 2019 Copa America, where Argentina finished third],” he told Ole.

“He more than anyone gets angry when he loses, but Messi became more aware that he has to enjoy the national team.

“I don’t know until when he will play, but it is not that he will have too many cups with the national team. He is at a stage where he wants to enjoy everything, training, games.

“He is the leader and protector of the team. That facet came out that we might not always see.”

The Copa America was due to be played again this year, but has been pushed back to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tagliafico said it was crucial for Argentina, who are unbeaten in seven games, to develop a strong foundation.

“We must find a very solid structure, not only for Leo, but also for the future, for what is to come,” he said.

“To be able to find a structure to grow. It is good to build a solid foundation and don’t build a base and then take it apart.

“If we can help Leo and Leo can help us, we will do much better. Everything is going to multiply. You have to create a structure and from there start to grow.”

Please follow and like us:
error20
fb-share-icon0
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20
Continue Reading



Latest

Egypt5 hours ago

مؤسس “بيراميدز” .. يعلن تكرار التجربة في مصر مع “لافيينا

Views: 15 Mr. Assyiouty & Mr. Haggag أنهى اليوم المستشار /نهاد حجاج “المستشار القانوني لمجموعة نوفافيرا” المملوكة لرجل الاعمال المصري...

Transfer12 hours ago

Reports: Real Madrid target Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, Juventus take decision on Cristiano Ronaldo future

Views: 1 Liverpool star Sadio Mane is reportedly being pursued by Real Madrid. Could Liverpool part with Sadio Mane? The...

Transfer12 hours ago

El Clasico hero reveals he ‘had three days’ to choose Real Madrid over Barcelona

Views: 1 Real Madrid’s El Clasico hero Vinicius Jr. revealed in a recent interview that he almost joined Barcelona in...

Transfer12 hours ago

Roberto Carlos: I wanted Neymar at Real Madrid a long time ago

Views: 4 Real Madrid and Brazil great Roberto Carlos wanted Neymar at the LaLiga giants long ago. Roberto Carlos revealed...

Transfer12 hours ago

Gianluigi Donnarumma focused on Milan amid transfer rumours

Views: 1 Milan and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, 21, spoke about playing for boyhood club the Rossoneri. Gianluigi Donnarumma said...

Champions league12 hours ago

Coronavirus: Cannavaro doubts European football will resume before season’s end

Views: 4 Fabio Cannavaro – now in charge of CSL powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande – is not confident that football will...

Liga12 hours ago

Coronavirus: LaLiga Fest raises €625k as Pique talks of ‘invincible’ unity

Views: 5 LaLiga stars and musicians came together for LaLiga Fest on Saturday, where a huge sum was raised to...

Liga12 hours ago

Coronavirus: Ex-Barcelona goalkeeper Rustu Recber hospitalised with COVID-19

Views: 4 Rustu Recber returned a positive coronavirus test and has been hospitalised in Turkey. Turkey great Rustu Recber has...

Liga13 hours ago

Messi is Argentina’s ‘leader and protector’, says Tagliafico

Views: 4 Argentina international Nicolas Tagliafico lauded Lionel Messi’s impact on the national team. Lionel Messi is the “leader and...

Liga13 hours ago

Reports: Camavinga the preference for Real Madrid amid changes

Views: 3 Real Madrid could be set to make sweeping changes, and they are reportedly interested in Eduardo Camavinga. Real...

Loading…

Asia

Asia5 days ago

Cambodia suspend all football tournaments across country to combat COVID-19

Views: 4 Cambodia has become the latest country in Southeast Asia to suspend all footballing activities including the 2020 Cambodian...

Asia5 days ago

Former Myanmar national team captain Yan Aung Kyaw to retire at the end of 2020 season

Views: 3 Yangon United and Myanmar veteran midfielder Yan Aung Kyaw has announced that he will retire from professional football the...

Asia5 days ago

Stephanie Catley scores winner as Melbourne City edge Sydney FC 1-0 in W-League Grand Final

Views: 7 Melbourne City FC edged Sydney 1-0 in the 2019-20 W-League Grand Final at the AAMI Park in Melbourne...

Asia5 days ago

Health of players, officials and fans always our priority, says AFC amidst COVID-19 disruption

Views: 1 The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has said that the health of the players, officials and fans is their...

Asia5 days ago

Reports: Football Federation Australia set to suspend A-League season due to COVID-19

Views: 2 Football Federation Australia (FFA) is reportedly all set to announce the suspension of the 2019-20 season of A-League...

Asia5 days ago

Philippines good enough to play against any team anywhere: Azkals coach Scott Cooper

Views: 1 Philippines national football team coach Scott Cooper believes that the Azkals have made tremendous leap in quality during...

Asia5 days ago

Korea Football Association turns national training centre into COVID-19 treatment clinic

Views: 2 The Korea Football Association (KFA) has decided to transform its state-of-the-art National Football Centre in Paju into a...

Asia1 week ago

Singapore starlet Ikhsan Fandi’s potential move to Norwegian top division club held up due to COVID-19

Views: 4 Singapore international striker Ikhsan Fandi’s potential move from Norway’s second division to its top flight has been held...

Asia1 week ago

Malaysia Premier League outfit Kelantan FA set to cut player salaries due to COVID-19 losses

Views: 6 Malaysia Premier League outfit Kelantan FA could be cutting their players’ salaries due to the financial impact rising...

Asia1 week ago

IR Iran to face 2018 FIFA World Cup finalists Croatia in international friendly match – Reports

Views: 6 IR Iran national football team are set to take on 2018 FIFA World Cup finalists Croatia in an...