Champions, Cholo Simeone’s debt at Atlético

The slogan for Diego Simeone is clear: conquer the Champions League from UEFA. Raising the “orejona” has become the obsession of the “Cholo” who, with titles from LaLiga, Europa League, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup and European Super Cup, has renewed the illusion of being champion of the maximum club tournament and pay off debts with the fans of Atlético de Madrid.

The draw for round of 16 he has put Chelsea in front of him as a rival of the Colchoneros. Since the 2013-14 season, the Argentine coach’s first appearance in the Champions League, Atlético de Madrid has advanced to the quarterfinals in five of its eight participations.

With Simeone at the helm, Atlético has maintained a positive trend against rivals english. Of the eight games played against British clubs, the Spanish have won four times, tied for three and lost only once.

Of the eight times in which the rojiblancos have faced rivals from the Premier League, four have been against Chelsea. The most recent antecedents in the Champions League against the “Blues” were during the 2017-18 season in the group stage, and were a prelude to their subsequent elimination in the first stage of the competition.

However, the peak moment in European competitions between the two clubs took place in the semi-finals of 2013-14, when Atleti eliminated those then led by Jose Mourinho, although the final in Lisbon was for him Real Madrid.

The freshest memory against English rivals in the Champions League dates back to the 2019-20 season, when, before the pandemic, Atlético de Madrid carried out a historic feat to advance the quarter finals. In the second leg of the round of 16 at Anfield, Marcos Llorente and Álvaro Morata scored in overtime to eliminate the Liverpool.

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On the other hand, at the moment, Atlético de Madrid remains at the top of the Spanish League, beating Real Madrid by three units. Although they have only allowed three defeats in 29 games played between the Champions League and the local championship, in exchange for 19 wins and seven draws, the rojiblancos missed an important victory on matchday 24 against Levante, falling 2-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Meanwhile, Chelsea made life more difficult in their most recent game, by drawing a 1-1 draw against Southampton, allowing West Ham to climb to fourth place in the Premier and keep the site to go to the next Champions, for the moment.

Wide favorite

In the other meeting of the day, for him Bayern Munich It will be the first official confrontation with the Lazio de Rome. Although the Italian team has only lost one of their six Champions League matches against German rivals, by two wins and three draws, the Teutonic team comes as a wide favorite to win the series, after having conquered the “sextete” (Bundesliga, German Cup, Super Cup, Club World Cup, Champions League and European Super Cup).

Even having lost 2-1 to Frankfurt on the 22nd day of the Bundesliga, Bayern remains in first place in the competition, two points more than RB Leipzig, their main pursuer.

Meanwhile, Lazio continues to fight to reach European positions in Serie A, establishing itself in fifth place in the tournament, with the same units as Atalanta, a team that will host Real Madrid tomorrow.

Finally, the last match of the second block of the first leg of the round of 16 will be between Borussia Monchengladbach and Manchester City, current leaders of the Premier League.

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