Atletico Madrid's manager Diego Simeone's struggling
Atletico Madrid manager under pressure as Spanish team face Lokomotiv Moscow, needing a win to guarantee place in Last 16
Madrid: Diego Simeone has called it a transition season for Atletico Madrid but while he was the best man before, results have raised doubts about whether he is right for what comes next. A 1-0 defeat at home to Barcelona this month crushed Atletico's chances of rejoining La Liga's title race before a draw away at Villarreal on Friday might have made it impossible for another year. Yet, less than an hour after Lionel Messi darted inside and fired a winner into Jan Oblak's bottom corner, Simeone was framing Atletico's season in a way he had never done previously.
Atletico play Lokomotiv Moscow tonight, needing a victory to guarantee second place in Group D and a spot in the Last 16.
No chance for slip up
Anything less at the Wanda Metropolitano and they will have to match what Bayer Leverkusen manage at home to Juventus, who are unlikely to be at full pelt having already won the group. In normal circumstances, Atletico would be confident of deeming Leverkusen's result in Germany irrelevant but disappointment and doubt means faith in the team, and their coach, is wavering. Simeone cannot afford another slip.
"You have to understand the enormous amount of change that has taken place in the team and we need time to improve," he said. "We must understand we are in a year of transition," he added.
Live on TV
- Atletico v Lokomotiv: Sony Ten 3 & Ten 3 HD, 01:30 (Thursday)
- Dinamo v Man City: Sony Ten 2 & Ten 2 HD, 23:25
- Club Brugge v Real Madrid: Sony Six & Six HD, 01:30 (Thursday)
- Bayer v Juventus: Sony Ten 1 & Ten 1 HD, 01:30 (Thursday)
- PSG v Galatasaray: Sony ESPN & ESPN HD, 01:30 (Thursday)
- Bayern v Tottenham: Sony Ten 2 & Ten 2 HD, 01:30 (Thursday)
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