Atletico Madrid Didn’t take their opportunity
Simeone vs Cornella
Atletico Madrid’s Copa del Rey loss to Cornella will go down as one of the worst results of Diego Simeone’s era in charge.
Los Rojiblancos’ defeat to Cultural Leonesa in the same competition last year was certainly comparable, but on this occasion it was the fact that so many of the players in the side had points to prove – but ultimately didn’t do so.
We run the rule over those who disappointed against the Spanish third tier side.
It’s not often that a footballer with such talent can show so little of it, as Vitolo has done at Atleti.
In 2017 his acrimonious transfer from Sevilla to Atletico Madrid was pushed through, but little did his new club know how fleeting his impact would have been three and a half years later.
Simeone has been looking to offload him for a number of summers and his display against the Catalan team showed why.
It’s no surprise he hasn’t featured in the last five LaLiga Santander games.
He’s only recently come to Atletico, but so far he hasn’t shown anything like the form he displayed for his previous clubs.
It didn’t reflect well that players of Cornella’s level outdid him in terms of their footballing ability and their intensity.
It seems that the more important Renan Lodi becomes for Brazil, the less important he is for Atleti.
Simeone has invested a lot of time in making Lodi a complete player and at times last season that looked the case.
But it certainly wasn’t on Wednesday night.
With his place in Simeone’s customary starting XI being taken by Mario Hermoso, he could be on his way out of the club soon.
It’s not clear yet if Torreira’s parent club Arsenal are looking to sell him, but what is clear is that the Uruguayan doesn’t look capable of running a midfield for a club like Atletico.
He doesn’t lack for intensity, but he needs more than that.
It doesn’t seem likely he’ll get many more chances before his loan runs out in the summer.
Saul will continue to be a player who gets minutes under Simeone, but he needs to rediscover his best form again.
With a spot in the Atleti first-choice XI not really open, however, that might be easier said than done.
It would be unfair to single out the only academy players in the XI – keeper Miguel San Roman and Ricard Sanchez – but their performances did leave doubts.
San Roman made some good stops but was very uncertain in the air, and Ricard’s poor challenge led to his sending off.