Jan Oblak praises Porto but admits Atletico Madrid “lacked creativity”

Atletico Madrid faced Porto at the Wanda Metropolitano this evening in their first Champions League tie of the 2021/22 season, and drew 0-0. Given Barcelona, Sevilla and Villarreal all failed to win last night, Diego Simeone would have been hoping that his charges had what it took to secure glory and prove La Liga can still mix it amongst the elite of the European elite. They didn’t, although Real Madrid did beat Inter at San Siro.

Defending champions Atletico are third in La Liga, level on points with city rivals Madrid and Valencia. They beat newly-promoted Espanyol 2-1 away from home at the weekend. Porto are fourth in the Primeira Liga, four points off Benfica and also trailing Estoril Praia and last season’s champions Sporting Lisbon.

Luis Suarez

Simeone started Jan Oblak in goal behind a back four of Marcos Llorente, Felipe, Jose Maria Gimenez and Mario Hermoso. Geoffrey Kondogbia and Koke started in central midfield, flanked by Yannick Carrasco and Thomas Lemar. Luis Suarez, supported by Joao Felix, led the line, with Antoine Griezmann benched.

Atletico failed to click into gear, and had a near escape when Mehdi Taremi had the ball in the net late in the second half only for VAR to rule it illegal due to a foul in the buildup. Porto were also reduced to ten men deep into injury time when Chancel Mbemba saw red for the Portuguese visitors. In the end, the points had to be shared in this all-Iberian affair.

“It’s clear that we were looking for victory, but things didn’t go the way we wanted,” Oblak said post-game in comments carried by Marca. “Porto played well, defended well and came out with danger on the break. We handled the game well until they scored, which luckily was a handball. Porto were very good. We didn’t have much space and we lacked creativity. We didn’t have many chances. When teams sit back like that, it’s never easy.”

Tags Atletico Madrid Champions League Jan Oblak La Liga