Atlético Madrid – Bayer 04 Leverkusen – Atlético’s Defense Edges Confused Bayer Offense (1-0)
Atlético Madrid’s stubborn defensive shape frustrated Bayer Leverkusen all evening, as the guests were unable to progress through their buildup play, or establish the lengthy spells of possession they have become accustomed to in the Bundesliga. The staccato nature of the match served Atlético well, as they hunkered down and found a winner through second-half substitute, Álvaro Morata.
Tactical analysis and match report by K.T. Stockwell.
Three straight wins to start the season had many tipping Atlético for the Spanish title. However, since that time manager, Diego Simeone’s side has registered a mere one win from their last six matches – only managing a single goal from the last three encounters. The stagnation of the offense is concerning, as it has become a trend in recent years: the club stocking Simeone’s cupboards with expensive attacking talents, only for the side to slide back into its familiar defensive mindset.
One of those attacking gems is 19-year-old João Félix, whom the club purchased for an astonishing €126m. The Portuguese international has quickly become a fixture in Simeone’s starting eleven and leads the club in scoring, with three goals. Unfortunately, an injury has sidelined the young phenomenon and therefore, Simeone was forced to make changes to his regular starting lineup for this fixture against Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
On Tuesday night Simeone opted for a 4-3-1-2 . . .