Atletico Madrid scored a crucial victory in Bilbao at the weekend as they survived an Athletic onslaught, but their inconsistent form haunted them again in midweek. Leading at home for much of the game, they allowed another series of attacks late on against Rayo Vallecano and ended up conceding a stoppage time penalty to drop points.
Not only that, Los Colchoneros had a number of opportunities to kill the game on the break. The likes of Angel Correa, Alvaro Morata and Matheus Cunha were unable to take advantage of the space afforded to them.
“The idea is to work, to have security, to have confidence… And have enough personality so that, in decisive moments, we can be effective. It happened to us in Seville, although we were already two goals up there. You have to work, to improve, because it is a decisive tool [to have].”
He was not alien to the frustration expressed by the Metropolitano at their lack of killer instinct either.
“We were not effective. If you get in front of the goalkeeper several times it has to be a goal, because sustaining the whole game with that advantage… we have to improve in terms of effectiveness and security so that when that situation occurs, we we have the character to see out the game. We had a lot of counterattacks to close the match. We ended up tying a game in which we lost two important points”.
Ultimately that wastefulness has hurt Atleti on several occasions this season, especially in the Champions League. Next week they face a crucial battle against Bayer Leverkusen which is must-win.