Suárez, solution to Atlético's set piece problem

Atlético lost stability from set pieces with Griezmann's march to Barcelona in the summer of 2019. The Frenchman had perfected his direct hitting, both on penalties and especially in direct fouls, and in the 2018-19 season he had scored three penalties on his three shots and three free-kicks in the league, the second best player in that facet of the competition after Messi (six).

Griezmann was undoubtedly the team's specialist, throwing practically all the stopped balls and increasing their percentages of effectiveness year after year. The only penalty that the Frenchman did not shoot was against Leganés, because he was not on the field (days later he traveled to Turin) and with Saúl acting as marksman and marking the second, after Lunin repelled his shot but could take advantage of the rebound.

Since then Atlético has not found its specialist. Last season had five different shooters from the penalty spot, something that shows the lack of confidence of a specific shooter. It started as Morata, who failed in the first match against Getafe but then he scored the other three penalties he took (Seville, Barcelona in Super Cup and Mallorca, where he made a mistake first but the VAR sent him to repeat). Diego Costa was the other main shooter, failing against Sevilla and scoring against Valencia and Alavés (he also failed at the Camp Nou, but the VAR made him repeat). Saul would hit his two throws, the two against Barcelona, ​​and João Félix, both in the Champions League (Lokomotiv and Leipzig), while Trippier it failed against the Russians.

Luis Suárez, with gallons

But the arrival of Luis Suárez changes everything. The forward took the opposite path to Griezmann last summer and He will also do so in terms of set piece responsibilities. In Barcelona, ​​with Messi, it is mission impossible to see another main penalty taker and especially fouls, where he is possibly the best specialist. Despite this, Suárez launched 14 penalties in his time as a Blaugrana, scoring 12 of them (85.71% correct). He would also make a goal from a direct free-kick (in 32 attempts according to Opta data), a facet where he was seen to be more prominent at Liverpool. In his last season in the English team he scored three goals from direct free kicks, decisive goals to win the Golden Boot with 31 goals.

Athletic Shield / Flag

Thus, apparently Suárez will become in the Atlético specialist to take penalties and perhaps some fouls. During the international break he scored three goals, all of them from eleven meters (two to Ecuador Y one to Chile). On the first day against Granada, where Saúl missed the first penalty of the season even without Suarez on the field, the referee signaled a second penalty on the Uruguayan, who caught the ball without the slightest doubt to throw. But finally the VAR would leave him without the opportunity that in the end could have led to a hat-trick, since then his first two goals from rojiblanco would arrive.

As for direct fouls, Atleti was the only team together with Alavés that did not score a goal in this aspect during the whole of last season. Barcelona with five, Alavés with four from the great pitcher Óscar and Celta with three were the teams that most exploited this facet. An aspect where Atlético wants to take a step forward (it did not see the door like that in the rest of the competitions either) and has taken one of the deadliest players in the face of door. It will depend on Suárez to have a safe penalty shooter as they were Falcao, Mandzukic, Gameiro, Griezmann (despite the failure in the Champions League final) or Costa himself in the LaLiga season and be able to generate danger again with fouls in the front of the area, where players like Trippier, Lemar, Koke or Saúl have not managed to find the key.