Ansell gives Atlético a taste of their own medicine Down Under
Simeone's side were beaten by A-League outfit Melbourne Victory in their second outing of their Australian pre-season tour in Geelong on Sunday.
Atlético de Madrid were beaten by A-League side Melbourne Victory in their second outing of their Australian pre-season tour in Geelong on Sunday.
The Champions League runners-up fell behind to a goal against the run of play shortly before half-time and were unable to redress the balance in the second half. Centre-back Nick Ansell rose to connect with Fahid Ben Khalfallah’s free-kick to send a powerful header past Jan Oblak on 44 minutes.
Diego Simeone made five changes to his side in the second half but his side were unable to find a way through a dogged Victory defence. There were positives for the Argentine coach though, apart from being able to give all of his players a run-out, he will have been pleased with the performances of three players who are just breaking though from the youth ranks; Centre-back Theo Hernández, midfielder Caio Henrique and forward Amath Ndiaye.
“I'm really happy. These matches are very helpful for the guys who haven’t played that much” Simeone said post-match. “There are a lot of positive things we can take from this game. The younger players are learning and this is how they can get a chance to improve”.
It has been a memorable 10 days for two-time A-League champions Melbourne Victory, who beat Serie A champions Juventus on penalties in the International Champions Cup last week before posting another high-profile win over Simeone’s Atlético.
Sunday's game was certainly more physical than your average friendly - Velázquez forced Victory's Mitch Austin to hobble off the pitch for treatment in the first half and Atleti’s Lucas Hernández joined him after Oliver Bozanic came flying in late during the second half.
Atlético are due to return home on Tuesday and have a few days to prepare for their next friendly – against Galatasaray in Istanbul on Saturday.
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