I think somehow, Diego Simeone has managed to unlock a vibrant attack minded Athletico Madrid side. The good thing is, they didn’t lose their well known defensive rigidity while attaining this height and shutting critics up. Their goal statistics in La Liga this season buttresses this fact.
Most didn’t think Athletico will easily replace Thomas Partey after he left for Arsenal in the summer. However, not only has Diego Simeone replaced Partey, he has also found a way to reinvent his team and move it away from the Koke-Partey midfield partnership.
Last night against Valencia, Diego Simeone dropped Suarez, J.Felix, etc on the bench, but still managed to grind out a 0-1 victory away from home. Do i even need to tell you how difficult it is to grind out a result at the Mestalla against Valencia? For emphasis, Real Madrid were hammered 4-1 just a few weeks ago at the same stadium. Barca finds it difficult playing at the Mestalla (one of the best counter-attacking football matches you could ever watch in La Liga is always between Valencia v FC Barcelona).
With this result, it means Athletico Madrid have now won both FC Barcelona and Valencia in a single season (after a long while) as Diego Simeone’ men continue to blow teams away. Their wonderful efforts this season have also ensured that they now occupy the number 2 spot in La Liga at the moment. But, Athletico Madrid is tied on the same point (23) with Real Sociedad, the new dark horse (although Athletico Madrid have an outstanding game).
With FC Barcelona and Real Madrid (they lost 1-2 to Alaves yesterday by the way) fumbling and being inconsistent all through this season, the league is now Athletico’s to lose. This is not in any way underrating Real Sociedad. Who knows, maybe they might pull a Leicester City on us!