The Atlético de Madrid did not shoot at the door between the three sticks in front of the Chelsea. Something that makes clear the game played by the rojiblanco team, which was shipwrecked against the English. So what Diego Simeone he put into play a clearly offensive eleven, with quality players from the center of the field forward. But the approach was not to have the ball and play from the opposite area.
“It was very tight, very even. We did a defensive job, well grouped, to see if we could, with the midfield footballers forward -Correa, Joao Félix, Suárez, Lemar…- being able to take advantage of the transition, leaving quickly. Thing that we were not so precise to take advantage of them ”, explained Cholo after the meeting. And then he added that “we were looking to start from order, have a strong block and take advantage of the talent we have from the recovery of the ball.”
Obviously, it didn't come out. But the idea of Simeone should not surprise anyone. Because Cholo has already shown in other qualifying rounds that playing the first leg at home, the main objective is not to concede goals. The icing on the cake is to score and ensure victory, but not receiving grants many options for the return, where each goal scored is worth double in case of a tie.
It's Simeone's idea. And he has never left her. You just have to look at previous seasons to see it. In 13/14, Atlético did not play the first leg at home until the semifinals, precisely against Chelsea, then led by Jose Mourinho. The Calderón match ended 0-0, in a match with hardly any chances, marked by the iron defenses that left everything as it had started at the end: without goals. In the return, 1-3 for Atlético and to the final. A result that would also serve him now.
A year later, in the quarterfinals, Madrid derby. The first leg, at the Calderón, ended with another 0-0. A draw that Atlético had to defend tooth and nail, with hardly any opportunities to harm the eternal rival. On the return, the cross and the desire of the Cholo reaching the extension was not fulfilled, because Chicharito he scored the final 1-0 in the final stretch of the duel.
In 15/16, Atlético played the first leg at home against Bayern. And once again, the goal was to clear the door. He did it, handcuffing the Germans, and furthermore, Saul a great goal was invented to go to Munich with an advantage that was maintained with much, much suffering.
On 16/17 it was the Leicester the one who played the first leg at Manzanares in the quarterfinals. More of the same. Clean sheet and victory by the minimum with a goal from Griezmann penalty. In England, tie to one to certify the pass of the mattresses to the semifinals. A year later, playing in the Europa League did not change Simeone's plan, because in the games against Lokomotiv and Sporting, Atlético managed to leave the door to zero. Of course, winning 3-0 and 2-0 respectively.
JUVENTUS AND LIVERPOOOL
On 18/19, it was the turn of the Juventus stay at zero in the Metropolitano, in the first leg of the round of 16. Atlético took a two-goal booty to Turin, where they ended up succumbing with a crash in the second leg. But the original plan had come back to Simeone, like last season, in front of Liverpool, the most powerful team on the continent at that time.
That is to say, in all the Champions League qualifiers that Atlético has played playing the first leg at home, Tuesday is the first time that the rojiblancos have received a goal. In all the others, he managed to fulfill the plan of Simeone to keep the door to zero. In the return, presumably, the story will be different. Or at least, that's what the rojiblanco team will try to fight for access to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.