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Antoine Griezmann

Diego Simeone admits starting Griezmann, Mandzukic and Torres was a mistake

Diego Simeone has admitted that his decision to start the forward combination of Antoine Griezmann, Mario Mandzukic and Fernando Torres against Celta Vigo was a mistake.

The Atletico Madrid manager was short on attacking threats for the La Liga contest due to an injury to midfielder Koke, and because of the suspensions of Arda Turan and Raul Garcia.

In an effort to combat his lack of creativity up front, the Argentine boss elected to start the attacking trio of Griezmann, Mandzukic and Torres. But Simeone decided to substitute Torres at halftime and change his formation during Atletico’s eventual 2-0 loss to Celta.

“My poor decision lost us 45 minutes,” Simeone admitted.

“It obviously wasn’t Fernando’s [Torres] fault, even though he was the one who came off. The problem was that we couldn’t position our players in a way that balanced the team.”

Atletico lacked any scoring threat and could barely muster possession against Celta Vigo on Sunday, with the home side accumulating 75% possession in the first half.

Simeone’s halftime tactical changes made a slight difference during the opening minutes of the second half. But his efforts were undone as Celta were awarded a penalty in the 59th minute. Nolito would step up to the spot and put the home team in front, and just twelve minutes later Fabian Orellana would double their lead.

The chances of Atletico Madrid retaining their La Liga title have taken a major hit with the loss at Balaidos, as Simeone’s side are now seven points behind league-leading Real Madrid; with no matches left to play between the two city-rivals.

 

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