Atletico Madrid star fails to impress Diego Simeone in “audition” for Borussia Dortmund showdown

Atletico Madrid took a significant step towards securing Champions League qualification for next season after defeating fellow top four hopefuls Girona 3-1 at the Civitas Metropolitano. Head coach Diego Simeone used the match to hold “auditions” for his defence ahead of Tuesday’s second leg against Borussia Dortmund, with first-choice left wing-back Samuel Lino unavailable due to suspension.

Atleti started in a 4-4-2 system, but as per MD, Reinildo Mandava massively struggled at left-back in the opening exchanges, which saw the 5-3-2 reverted back to. The Mozambique international had a very poor first half, and was fortunate not to concede a penalty just before the interval, at which point he was hauled off.

Rodrigo Riquelme was moved to left wing-back when the formation change came, and he produced an impressive performance before an injury scare saw him replaced by Lino. Cesar Azpilicueta finished the match on the left, having came on for Rodrigo De Paul in the 75th minute.

Saul Niguez had been a candidate to replace Lino at left wing-back, but he suffered an injury in the first half which caused him to be taken off by Simeone. At this stage, he is a doubt to travel for the second leg in Dortmund, where Atletico Madrid will hope to secure their place in the Champions League semi-finals.

Tags Atletico Madrid Borussia Dortmund Champions League Diego Simeone Reinildo Mandava Rodrigo Riquelme Samuel Lino
La Liga - Club News