Tag Archives: Atletico Madrid

Diego Simeone praises Lionel Messi after La Liga draw

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Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has showered praise upon FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi after the forward starred in a draw with Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Although Saul Niguez and Luis Suarez were on the scoresheet as Atletico Madrid took on Barca in the 1-1 draw, Messi had great influence in the game — first striking the post in the second half and then playing a role in building Barca’s momentum ahead of Suarez’s late equaliser after Saul unleashed an unstoppable attempt beyond him from 25 yards in the 21st minute.

After the game, Simeone singled out his compatriot — who also fired Argentina to the 2018 World Cup with a hat-trick against Ecuador earlier — for particular praise as he revelled in the occasion at Wanda Metropolitano.

“The stadium was wonderful, we had another night of brilliant football, and with the impressive Messi — extraordinary,” Simeone said. “Messi was the only one who you could see where, every time he touched the ball, something different could happen.”

“He was certainly not as tired as many expected after the trip [from international duty in South America] because he played a tremendous match.”

Meanwhile, French forward Antoine Griezmann failed to find the net at the Wanda for the first time for Atleti, but Simeone believed this was his best performance at the stadium yet.

Indeed, Griezmann had to be denied twice by Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, first by a fine one-handed save at his near post after Andrés Iniesta gave away the ball again, this time with his left leg, after the Frenchman had driven into the box by nutmegging Gerard Pique.

“For me, this was the best game that Griezmann has had at home,” he said. “He twice worked the goalkeeper, he countered with [Angel] Correa and he held the ball up well.”

“It was a great game between two teams with different characteristics. Our first half was very good, the goalkeeper [ter Stegen] was key. From the 60th minute, Barca attacked with more clarity due to their need to score.”

Diego Costa completes return move to Atletico Madrid

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Chelsea striker Diego Costa has completed his £57m move to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.

Both Chelsea and the Spanish giants had agreed on terms last week, with the 28-year-old Spanish international having also passed his medical on Monday.

However, he will not feature in the Champions League game between Chelsea and Atletico as he cannot be registered to play for the La Liga side until 1 January, when the club’s transfer window ban comes to an end.

The Brazil-born striker is expected to be at the stadium on Wednesday having attended the weekend league victory against Sevilla, and Blues coach Antonio Conte was asked about his strained relationship with the player. – Cara Daftar Sbobet

While Costa won two Premier League titles and the League Cup with Chelsea, he found himself exiled at Stamford Bridge over the summer after a dispute with a fitness coach which had followed reports of an offer from China that would have been worth £30m a year in salary. Additionally, he was informed via text message by Conte himself that he was not needed in the manager’s plans for this season and he spent much of August in his native Brazil.

“As I said before, I have no problem with Diego Costa,” the Italian said. “I said that we wish, for him, the best for the future. We want to thank him for the last season. But, I repeat, I have no problem with him.”

Meanwhile, Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard, who is yet to start in the Premier League this season after recovering from a broken ankle he suffered in June could feature for Chelsea in the game. Hazard came off the bench against Leicester, Arsenal and Stoke this month and Conte is keen for him to exert his influence on the Champions League.

“Last season Eden played a really important season, played very well and he was very important for us in winning the league,” said the Blues manager. “Last season, he showed in every game great talent, to be a really good player, a top player.”

“This competition is very important for him, but I think it’s important for the team. It brings you to another level.”

“I think he (Hazard) has all the possibilities to do this. He’s a really top player. Now he’s totally fit and in contention for Wednesday’s game. I think it’s the right moment.”

Diego Costa to return to Chelsea in bid to ease transfer to Atletico

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Diego Costa could end his self-imposed exile from Chelsea with suggestions that he is increasingly inclined to return to London in a bid to speed a transfer to Atletico Madrid.

The forward has been in Brazil all summer after receiving a text message from the Chelsea head coach, Antonio Conte, informing him that he is no longer in the club’s plans.

The London club then secured Alvaro Morata for a club record fee in the transfer window as a replacement while allowing Costa to be absent from their preseason tours in Asia, believing that they would be able to strike a deal with Atletico for the disaffected player to move back to Madrid, whom he left for £32m in July 2014.

However, with the situation complicated by the Spanish club’s transfer ban and a compromise over a fee proving elusive, the 28-year-old refused his employer’s demands to return to Cobham and began training on his own in his Brazil hometown of Lagarto.

Costa is understood to be incurring fortnightly fines while he continues to remain absent without leave, and both clubs failed to agree a deal before the closure of the Spanish transfer window on Friday.

For their part, Chelsea had hoped to recoup as much as £49m for the forward’s signature, but can still negotiate the player’s sale over the next few months ahead of the expiration of Atletico’s transfer ban in January.

Still, both Atletico and Chelsea had informed player regarding the need for him to return to London and reintegrate himself into professional football, with Atletico — rivals in Chelsea’s Champions League group — keen to ensure he is fit enough to make an impact with them over the second half of the campaign.

10-men Atletico fights back from two-down to draw against Girona

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A 10-men Atletico Madrid team rallied despite being two-goals down to secure a 2-2 draw La Liga newcomers Girona.

Catalonia-based Girona, who were making their debut in the Spanish Primera division had a dream start against Atletico with two headed goals in the space of three first-half minutes.

Things then went from bad to worse to Atletico when their forward Antoine Griezmann was dismissed in the second half for two bookings, the first for to try to win a penalty and another for dissent.

However, substitute Angel Correa then gave a lifeline to the visitors with a thumping long range strike after a solo run, before Jose Gimenez earned a point for the visitors by heading in Koke’s inswinging free-kick.

Not to be denied, Girona tried to steal an injury-time winner through Olarenwaju Kayode, but the striker saw his header stopped by Atletico keeper Jan Oblak’s quick reactions.

It ended as a lesson fro the home side, as the Catalan team had switched off following a substitution.

Meanwhile, Atletico’s city rivals Real Madrid also had another player sent off in Sergio Ramos, although Los Blancos did secure victory beforehand by three goals to nil against Deportivo.

While Deportivo pressured Real heavily from the start, Gareth Bale scored Real’s first La Liga goal with a tap in against the run of play, and for the third time in three consecutive seasons. Casemiro then followed suit after a 44-pass move, and Bale himself then set up a Toni Kroos goal in the second-half.

Keylor Navas then saved Florin Andone’s penalty late on, before Ramos was dismissed with a second yellow for a high elbow in an aerial challenge, having received his first for shoving Fabian Schar’s face.

The captain’s latest red meant that Ramos, 31, was now sent off 23 times for Real with 18 of those occasions in La Liga, an inglorious record he shares with ex-Sevilla defender Pablo Alfaro and Xavi Aguado, formerly of Real Zaragoza.