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8 December, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Atletico suffer another blow after Villarreal draw

AFP, Madrid
Atletico suffer another blow after Villarreal draw
Villarreal’s Spanish defenders Raul Albiol (R) and Xavier Quintilla (L) vies with Atletico Madrid’s Portuguese forward Joao Felix during the Spanish league football match at La Ceramica stadium in Villarreal on Friday. AFP Photo

Atletico Madrid's title hopes look to be all-but over after a goalless draw away at Villarreal on Friday raised further doubts about their progress under coach Diego Simeone.

After losing at home to Barcelona last weekend, another slip means Atletico are now five points behind Barca and Real Madrid in La Liga, despite having played two games more.

It means by the time Simeone's side head into the Christmas break, the gap could have stretched to double figures and that will be hard to close, especially given they play both Barcelona and Real Madrid away from home in the second half of the season. Asked if Atletico are too far adrift, Simeone said: "What worries me is winning games and then everything will look different."

But familiar failings in attack proved their undoing at la Ceramica, where Villarreal, who climb to 12th, were fully deserving of their point and could easily have snatched a victory too. “It's normal that when you create so many chances without scoring, the players get anxious,” said Simeone. “We have to stay calm.” Atletico came into the game with 25 points from their first 15 league games, their lowest tally at that stage since Simeone took charge in 2011.

Their remarkable title triumph three years later, not to mention two Champions League finals, means Simeone is still held in high-esteem but after an expensive summer, questions are being asked about the club's direction of travel.

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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