Atletico Madrid’s disappointment has green shoots of promise
Adefeat against one’s eternal rivals is never an easy pill to swallow, even less so when it sees a title slip away in a penalty shootout.
But the truth is that Atletico Madrid stood up against two of the world’s strongest sides in the Supercopa de Espana and they leave Saudi Arabia with more positive feelings than negative.
On the pulse
Atletico have returned to third place in LaLiga Santander with recent results, but the Supercopa showed that the gap between them and the top two is smaller than the five points the table suggests.
Diego Simeone’s side overcame Barcelona and were on the verge of beating Real Madrid as well.
Had it not been for that Fede Valverde foul, Los Rojiblancos likely would have come back to the capital with the trophy.
A moral victory
Moral wins are of little use to sides who come up short, but Atleti leave Jeddah knowing they can compete.
They have a commendable ability to battle against the odds and that’ll serve them well when they visit the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for the next derby in three weeks.
Diego Simeone is eternal
Just a month ago people were pointing to Simeone’s figures and saying they were his worst the Atleti bench, but he has shown again that doubting his leadership is misguided.
Within six months of losing the bulk of his squad, he had Atletico Madrid in another final.
In eight years he’s been a champion or runner-up on 13 occasions.
Players stepping up
Aside from the disappointment of Joao Felix and a couple of others, Atletico’s stars stepped up again.
Jan Oblak gave his latest demonstration that he’s the star of the new Atleti, performing miracles between the posts.
Alvaro Morata imposed himself as their best striker, Angel Correa showed that he’s back to his best, while Vitolo and Felipe also showed themselves in a good light.
It was a night of heartache in Jeddah, but there are promising green shoots at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.
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