Simeone says Joao Felix has to keep improving as Atletico boss praises Trippier

By Sports Desk August 18, 2019

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone said Joao Felix has to keep improving following his LaLiga bow against Getafe, while fellow debutant Kieran Trippier earned praised after setting up the winning goal.

Joao Felix had his first taste of Spanish top-flight football as Atletico opened their LaLiga campaign with a 1-0 victory thanks to Alvaro Morata's 23rd-minute header at home to Getafe on Sunday.

A club-record €126million signing from Benfica, Joao Felix was largely subdued by Getafe, but the 19-year-old did produce a stunning solo run from inside his own half to earn a second-half penalty, which Morata failed to convert.

Discussing Joao Felix's debut at the Wanda Metropolitano – where the Portuguese sensation was substituted in the 66th minute following a knock – Simeone told reporters: "The first league game is not easy. It's complex.

"A rival who tactically moves well defensively. They have not left him space in the first half so that he can take advantage of his game.

"But in an individual action showed his power and hopefully these situations appear with more continuity. He has to keep improving."

England international full-back Trippier also made his LaLiga debut alongside Joao Felix and Renan Lodi, after arriving from Champions League finalists Tottenham in the off-season.

Trippier provided the inch-perfect cross for Morata to head past David Soria in Madrid, while Lodi was sent off following two yellow cards in quick succession prior to half-time after Getafe's Jorge Molina had been controversially sent off at the conclusion of a VAR review moments earlier.

"He played very well with depth, quality and precision," Simeone said of Trippier. "His cross to Morata was great and he found a specialist like Morata."

On Morata – who led the line in the absence of injured team-mate Diego Costa – Simeone added: "From him I expect what he did in the whole game today. Obviously having more forcefulness on the penalty, but Morata's match was fantastic, he fought all the balls, scored a goal and constantly generated danger."

Simeone was also asked about Valencia forward Rodrigo Moreno, who has been tipped to join Atletico before the transfer windows shuts on September 2.

"We cannot talk about Rodrigo, because he is in Valencia. We have to talk about the players who are here," Simeone said.

Related items

  • Naps, Presentation lock in top positions, challengers still around Naps, Presentation lock in top positions, challengers still around

    Naparima College locked into the top position on the Secondary Schools Football League Premier Division after a 2-1 win over high-riding newcomers Malick Secondary on Saturday. 

  • Rumour Has It: Man United tracking Tuchel as Barca also eye PSG boss Rumour Has It: Man United tracking Tuchel as Barca also eye PSG boss

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is at the wheel but for how long?

    After a blistering start to life at Manchester United, initially as interim manager, the Red Devils have struggled to convince.

    United have won two of their opening five games ahead of Sunday's trip to West Ham and Paris could be the location of a possible replacement…

     

    TOP STORY – UNITED AND BARCA BATTLE FOR TUCHEL

    Manchester United have sounded out Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel, according to Le10 Sport.

    United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed a permanent three-year deal after initially replacing Jose Mourinho in December, but the Red Devils have been far from convincing following a brief upturn in results.

    United have reportedly informed Tuchel of their interest, though LaLiga champions Barcelona are also tracking the German as pressure mounts on Ernesto Valverde after Saturday's shock loss at Granada.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - According to the Sunday Express, Tottenham have identified Leicester City star James Maddison as a potential replacement for soon-to-be free agent Christian Eriksen. Maddison has also been heavily linked to Manchester United.

    United, meanwhile, have been told it will take £90million (€101m) to lure Germany star Kai Havertz from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, claims the Express. The 20-year-old is also attracting interest from Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Liverpool. As for United and their hopes of signing RB Salzburg star Erling Haaland, they could be scuppered by agent Mino Raiola. The 19-year-old made headlines with a hat-trick on his Champions League debut. However, United's relationship with Raiola could thwart their plans, writes The Sun.

    - The Mirror says Arsenal are keen to re-sign PSV's Donyell Malen, who left the Gunners two years ago. It could cost Arsenal up to £50m (€56m) to bring the 20-year-old back to London. Liverpool are also believed to be interested.

    - Marca reports that Real Madrid are keen to sign Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga. The 16-year-old has dazzled in Ligue 1 this season.

  • Valverde accepts responsibility for Barcelona's worst start in 25 years Valverde accepts responsibility for Barcelona's worst start in 25 years

    Ernesto Valverde admits he is to blame for Barcelona's poor form after Saturday's 2-0 loss at Granada confirmed their worst LaLiga start in 25 years.

    Barca went down to goals from Ramon Azeez and Alvaro Vadillo as the promoted side moved top of the table, with Valverde's men seventh after five games.

    Seven points is the fewest they have collected at this stage of the season since a difficult 1994-95 campaign under legendary coach Johan Cruyff.

    Valverde's team have failed to win any of their past seven away games in all competitions, a run that dates back to last season, with pressure growing on the coach.

    Although Valverde has led Barca to the title in each of his two full seasons in charge, they lost last term's Copa del Rey final to Valencia after crashing out of the Champions League in humiliating fashion against Liverpool.

    Questions about Valverde's future have been a constant background presence throughout his time at the club, and the coach accepts the blame for poor results must lie at his door.

    "In the end the actors are the players and the coach is responsible," he told a post-match news conference.

    "I feel responsible for what has happened. You can lose but when you lose you have to deserve to win - and today we have not deserved it.

    "Away from home we are not reaping good results. When it happens in four games it is already a symptom that we are not too well.

    "Today we have not been well. Away from home we are not playing good games. We are dominating but we do not translate it into goal situations. It is also true that the opponent is scoring the first goal."

    Valverde gave credit to Granada, who have won three LaLiga games in a row without conceding a goal.

    "Granada deserve a lot of credit and we have to recognise it," the coach added. "They have been intense, strong, they have troubled us a lot.

    "The first goal has put the game in their hands and they hit us when they hurt us the most. They have made their game and that we have not played well is to their credit."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.