Atletico Madrid could not get over the line against Bayer Leverkusen and the result of their 2-2 draw is that Los Colchoneros will not be in the Champions League in the new year.
They could barely have come closer to salvation. In the final play of the game, Atleti missed a penalty, hit the bar and had another effort deflected over the bar from just in front of the goal. They must now travel to Porto and match Leverkusen’s result in order to make the Europa League.
“It summarises a little what our play was until today in this competition. Everything has been a significant struggle, in many of the games where we did not gain points, we could have scored a few more goals if we were more effective. The final images, with the missed penalty, the shot against the crossbar and the shot against Carrasco, sum it up.”
“It is clear that we are not looking for excuses, we did not do [many] things. In this match there was a second half of the highest level, good play, scoring situations, counterattacks well stopped by Oblak, the team gave everything at all times. It annoys you not being able to go to Porto with the possibility of continuing.”
Simeone did comment that he had seen positive things. Beyond just the dedication and perseverance of his side, he was pleased with the performances from Yannick Carrasco, Nahuel Molina, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Rodrigo de Paul.
It does reaffirm the image that Atletico Madrid are not a side that can be relied upon either in attack or defence currently, which lies at the heart of their problems.