Jan Oblak speaks of Atletico Madrid fear against Barcelona: ‘It doesn’t make sense’

Atletico Madrid have had a frustrating season so far, often lying around the fringes of the Champions League places in La Liga, while they were dumped out of the European competition in the group stage, finishing last for the first time. Their defeat to Barcelona was a further chapter in that plot line, and Jan Oblak has put it down to playing with fear.

Barcelona took the lead through Ousmane Dembele, controlling the first half hour of the match. From there on, Atletico Madrid dominated the game though, and most would consider them unlucky not to have found an equaliser.

“We played a good game except for the first 25 minutes.” Oblak explained to Marca.

“We pressed very well, we had chances, but we lacked a bit of luck to score. I think that in general we played a good game and we were able to score, but the ball didn’t go in.”

Oblak referred to a before and after with the Barcelona goal, which was more or less an accurate representation of how the match went.

“We started badly, the first 25 minutes we went into with little confidence, and then we woke up, but with 0-1 deficit it’s already more difficult. Barcelona scored and then it was more complicated. Afterwards we’ve done everything, but the ball hasn’t gone in. In the end one of the chances could have gone in.”

Oblak was pressed on why exactly Atletico Madrid had come into the match with so little confidence.

“I don’t know, it doesn’t make sense, because the last games we’ve played we were good. It wasn’t the time to start like this. I hope that doesn’t happen to us anymore, we’re going to play with confidence. We know how to play, we have good players. We have to start the game from the first second and not when they score against you.”

The Slovenian was keen to separate Diego Simeone’s strategy from the conversation though.

“It was not the approach, it is something mental, we entered with fear or with the brakes on. We woke up after the goal, [which] is happening to us quite often, but I have no answer.”

In many ways, it is understandable that Los Colchoneros are struggling for confidence. They have rarely put together a run of games or used a settled line-up throughout the season, which takes its toll. The concerning thing for Simeone is that those problems dogged Atleti last season too.

Tags Atletico Madrid Barcelona Jan Oblak
La Liga - Club News