By 12 April, 2021 - 10:20pm 3 views
Two points separate the top three in the league, a minimum distance that makes the fight the closest thing to a technical draw. Nobody imagined it very recently. On matchday 23, Atlético advanced like thunder towards the title: 58 points, a defeat in the competition, the defense invulnerable and a nine-point advantage over Real Madrid and Barça , which began to register constant victories, but did not reduce or one centimeter the difference. Seven days later, Atlético maintains the leadership with a precariousness that heralds an explosive end to the championship.
The most significant characteristic of this season is volatility, according to the times we live in, built on uncertainty. Atlético avoided this problem with an impeccable, strong route, without concessions to weakness, or to rivals. It was the highest expression of Simeonism . Without ever skidding, Atlético moved like silk through the tight curves of the calendar, without worrying about injuries, density of matches, postponed dates and the European Cup, all the obstacles, in short, that for others produced a hell of ruta.
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Seven days have been enough for his career to shatter, a period so narrow that it forces all kinds of cabal about the regression of the leader. He has one point advantage over Madrid, which would benefit from the goal average in the event of a final equality, and two over Barça, defeated in a classic that did not indicate the value that it was supposed to be. It didn't keep the loser out of the championship race. With their draw against Betis, Atlético took it upon themselves to tighten the qualifying knot even more .
Both Real Madrid and Barça have gone through times of acute hardship. The position of Zidane and Koeman has been more than unstable, subjected to fierce criticism and suspicions about the continuity of both. Its merits have been expressed in the ability to withstand storms and manage difficulties successfully. All the problems that plague Atlético, and that are used to explain the decline in their performance, have been, and still are, common in their two pursuers.
The ordeal of injuries, covid and calendar setbacks have devastated Madrid and to Barça. In the last classic, Madrid finished the game with Odriozola, Militão, Marcelo, Isco and Mariano, on the edge throughout the season . The institutional vacuum of the club and the long injuries of flag players, the case of Piqué, Ansu Fati and Sergi Roberto, has weighed on Barça.
Something has broken at Atlético. At some point during the season, he suffered a click that upset the team and exposed him to the same miseries as the rest. He navigated with skill and success between injuries and coronavirus, but now he feels the blows that did not affect him before. He misses Luis Suárez, Llorente's suspension hurts , suffers without Savic and fears for João Félix's ankles. Unlike its two rivals, Atlético has become mundane when it was closest to success.
Where and why did Atlético click? On why there are a million opinions and no definitive explanation. Regarding where, it probably happened in the Metropolitano, in the Madrid derby, after an exquisite hour of play. That last minute wall between Casemiro and Benzema only meant the tie, but weighed like an anvil on Simeone's team. Since then, they have fared badly in Europe - two consequential losses to Chelsea - and in the league. He had her in sight, with hardly any competition. Now a nudging sprint awaits him.