Diego Simeone brought his men to battle with the ambition of repeating the plan that served Atletico Madrid so well back in 2014 according to a report in Marca. Los Rojiblancos drew the first leg at the Vicente Calderon 0-0 before going to Chelsea and winning 3-1 to secure their place in the Champions League final.
That’s why the Argentine coach set up as he did last night, with an ostensible 4-4-2 that became a flat back six when out of possession. Their ambition was to keep a clean sheet, reliant on the Slovenian wall of Jan Oblak between the posts. Simeone’s ambition was to keep Atletico alive in the second leg, only for Oliver Giroud’s overhead kick to ensure Chelsea would go into it with an away goal in their back pocket.
It was a tough ending to a bad week for Atletico. They drew and lost with Levante during the week to open the door to the cabal of teams chasing the title, and are now in serious danger of failing to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Their worst moment of the season has arrived at the end of February and the beginning of March, the campaign’s decisive moment.