After a summer of departures and arrivals and a season of transition, Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid finally look poised to seriously challenge Real Madrid and Barcelona for the LaLiga title.
Summer 2019 saw them lose Antoine Griezmann, Rodri, Juanfran, Filipe Luís, Diego Godín and Lucas Hernandez, ushering in a change in style and an injection of fresh blood.
According to Marca’s Manuel Malagón, it’s working. Atleti are dominating matches through a more considered build-up play, paying special attention to feeding attacking lynchpin João Félix.
The Portuguese, in concert with his grizzled strike partner Luis Suárez, have five goals each so far this season, with the reborn Marcos Llorente notching three. As a collective, Atleti have scored 17 goals this campaign, an average of 2.5 per game – not bad for a team that drew 16 matches in 2019/20.
Félix has been a revelation this season, all the better for his season of settling in last year. Still just 20, the forward has five goals and three assists to his name from just seven league appearances and has had a direct hand in 47% of their goals.
Alongside the aforementioned trio, Koke, Ángel Correa and Héctor Herrera have all contributed guile and steel, as has defensive pillars Jan Oblak and José Giménez.
Atleti are currently top of the league table. On Saturday evening they eviscerated a strong Cádiz side 4-0 – after the international break they will host Barcelona and Lionel Messi, their first true test of an impressive opening.
Featured image courtesy of Bleacher Report.