A plan that worked perfectly, until it happened

No, what happened at the other end is more important. There is a form of defense that Atletico, this Atletico, could not master, an aspect of its chosen art that continues to prove elusive: attack.

The best defensive performance necessarily includes moments of danger. It is in those moments, when those rare attacks emerge, that it is time to restore, reorganize, and reorganize an overworked defense. And at that moment, that suspicion is sown in the mind of the opponent, when even a great team like Manchester City begins to think twice of itself, when it begins to wonder whether it is committed to so many players. Forward

Among Simeone’s best Atletico teams were: Antoine Griezmann’s Speed, Autumn David Villa’s Trick, Diego Costa’s Tarin Belicocity. This Atletico team doesn’t do that. Couldn’t take a shot in the first half. It had a, perhaps, second, although there is a very good chance that it was meant to be a cross.

This, in the end, is the error of planning, the problem of finding satisfaction in emptiness. The defense couldn’t hold on, not quite, and now Atletico must win next week in Madrid, and to do that they have to open up places, not close them. Must be created without destruction. Simeon was quite happy, it seemed, to bother Ederson. Although he was not as happy as Guardiola.

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