With just one victory in their last five in all competitions, Atletico Madrid earned a crucial win at Estadio de la Cerámica to take all three points and keep them in good stead for the Madrid derby this weekend.
Thanks to quality in front of goal and some luck raining over the visitors from the footballing gods, Los Rojiblancos came away with all three points, having won once Villarreal in six years.
Atletico Madrid Get Back to Winning Ways With Crucial Win
Positives and Negatives
Despite several positives to take from the east of Spain, Diego Simeone will know an improved performance is required to be victorious over their city rivals. João Félix’s first goal since January will give him enhanced confidence.
Whilst at the back, a desired first clean sheet in eight games for a notoriously defensively excellent team will do Atleti the world of good – though the ever-present Jan Oblak would have to take a lot of the credit for keeping his sides clean sheet intact.
Moreover, Luis Suárez avoiding a yellow card that would have ruled him out of the game against Real Madrid was crucial. La Liga’s second top goal-scorer has propelled Atletico Madrid up the league; the veteran will be looking to add to his tally in arguably their biggest game of the season.
Unfortunately, there were negatives. In truth, Villarreal has come away from the game perplexed that they failed to even score, let alone picking up the points Unai Emery’s men could have gained. Atletico Madrid conceded enough possible goal-scoring opportunities to concede at least twice, as supported by the xG statistics. Although it maybe was not as many as the five goal-scoring opportunities quoted by Guillem Balagué commentating the game on La Liga TV.
Preparation for the Madrid Derby
Kieran Trippier could make his return from his 10-week suspension to replace Šime Vrsaljko who has failed to impress Diego Simeone when presented with the opportunity to do so. Yannick Carrasco could also return from injury, whilst it has not been reported if the knock Thomas Lemar picked up on the 28th February will rule him out of contention.
Atletico Madrid Looking to Extend Gap at the Top
It cannot be underestimated how significant going back to winning ways is for the red side of Madrid, however, Simeone will not be going overboard with the performance. The Argentine takes everything game by game, with his iconic saying: ‘Partido a Partido’ always maintaining that his players are focused, expect to see 11 players roaring.
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