Luis Suarez will have to wait for his full Atletico Madrid debut after the former Barcelona striker was named on the bench for Sunday's clash with Granada.

Uruguay star Suarez completed a €6million move to Atleti on Friday, after being deemed surplus to requirements by Barca.

New Barca boss Ronald Koeman revealed in his news conference on Saturday that, while he planned to discard Suarez anyway, the decision to sell the former Liverpool star had already been made before he arrived at Camp Nou, much to Lionel Messi's chagrin.

Diego Simeone was full of praise for his latest addition in the build-up to Atleti's home game against Granada, confirming the 33-year-old would be involved, though he did not reveal if Suarez would start.

Ultimately, the striker had to settle for a place on the bench at the Wanda Metropolitano, with Joao Felix partnering Diego Costa up front.

Alongside Suarez among the Atleti substitutes is midfielder Thomas Partey, who is reportedly the subject of interest from Arsenal.

Simeone elected to go with Koke and Saul Niguez in central midfield, with Yannick Carrasco and Angel Correa out wide, and a back four of Kieran Trippier, Stefan Savic, Felipe and Renan Lodi – who enjoyed a fine maiden LaLiga season in 2019-20.

Defender Jose Gimenez – a mooted Manchester City target – is in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus.

Diego Simeone wants Luis Suarez to improve on the goalscoring output of Alvaro Morata and be the catalyst that makes Atletico Madrid LaLiga title challengers again following his move from Barcelona.

Suarez completed a €6million switch from Barca on Friday, signing a two-year contract with Atleti following a largely acrimonious Camp Nou departure.

The Uruguayan striker, 33, reached third in Barca's all-time goalscoring charts in his six years at the club and netted 16 in the league last term, a respectable figure given he made just 22 starts and missed a significant portion of the season through injury.

Ronald Koeman revealed in his news conference on Saturday that, while he planned to discard Suarez anyway, the decision to move the former Liverpool star on had already been made before the Dutchman arrived.

But one man's trash is another man's treasure, and Simeone is adamant Suarez's impact at the Wanda Metropolitano could be massive, challenging him to improve on the 12 LaLiga goals scored last season by Morata, who was allowed to leave for Juventus.

"The arrival of Suarez encourages us to continue growing," Simeone told reporters, having also confirmed the striker is in the squad for Atletico's season opener at home to Granada on Sunday.

"He will give us internal competition. He is a forward who has impressive offensive power and hopefully he can continue to produce the numbers that he has been doing in the past.

"These six years [at Barca] have been wonderful [for Suarez]. His colleagues have received him with enthusiasm we hope he adapts as soon as possible.

"We all know him – he's a great reference for the team. Given the option that Alvaro had of being able to leave, the best way to continue improving was to look for someone who could improve on Alvaro's scoring contribution, and when the option of Suarez appeared, what was I going to say? His numbers speak for themselves.

"We were lucky that when we had a very good [Radamel] Falcao, a very good [Diego] Costa or a very good [Antoine] Griezmann, we came close to fighting for everything. Let's hope that with Luis Suarez it will be like that and we can overcome what we did last season."

Atletico finished third in LaLiga last term, 17 points adrift of a Real Madrid side that, while certainly solid, was hardly spectacular as they clinched the title.

Six teams – including Sunday's visitors Granada – scored more than Atletico in 2019-20, but Simeone feels things will be different with Suarez having a point to prove.

"I'm going to be sincere with you, he was convinced that this was the place where he could show that he was a top-notch forward," Simeone added. "I found what I was looking for for this club – ambition and a desire to be here.

"Hopefully he will give us back the options we had when we had the best Falcao, the best Costa or the best Griezmann. That would mean getting closer to the successes that all fans want."

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone has tested positive for coronavirus, the LaLiga club have confirmed.

Atletico's full squad and coaching staff underwent COVID-19 tests on Friday after returning from their pre-season training camp in Los Angeles.

The latest round of testing was prompted by an unnamed member of the travelling party returning a positive on Thursday.

Simeone is now undertaking a period of isolation and is not displaying any symptoms.

"The analysis of these new samples in the laboratory has determined that our trainer, Diego Pablo Simeone, has given a positive result for COVID-19," Atletico said in a statement.

"Fortunately, our technician does not present any symptoms and is at his home isolated and fulfilling the corresponding quarantine after being concentrated with the team since last Monday."

Atletico are due to travel to Cadiz for a friendly on Tuesday before beginning their LaLiga campaign at home to Granada on September 27.

Simeone's side have been granted a later start to the domestic 2021-22 campaign due to their involvement in the latter stages of last season's Champions League, where they lost 2-1 to RB Leipzig in the quarter-finals.  

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid comprised LaLiga's top three for an eighth consecutive season in 2019-20.

The big three of this era in Spain's top fight have not been apart since Valencia came in third in 2011-12 - 30 points shy of second-place Barca.

The order has shuffled into various configurations since, most sensationally when Atleti pipped the Blaugrana to finish top of the pile in 2013-14.

Madrid and Barcelona have cashed in on the superclub era, aided by arguably the two finest footballers of all-time, while Atletico gradually gained the weight they once punched above to become their country's third heavy hitter.

Nevertheless, each club heads into the new campaign with cracks appearing. If the end of an empire isn't quite upon us, it might be closing in.

MESSI, KOEMAN AND CATASTROPHE. WHAT IS GOING ON AT BARCELONA?

"There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it."

It is impossible to know whether Ronald Koeman has dwelt upon the wisdom of Oscar Wilde as he arrives at the apparent end of Barcelona's age of decadence, but there is something devastating about the timing of the Dutchman getting the job he has always coveted.

Indeed, it speaks volumes over how much Koeman wanted to come 'home' to Camp Nou that he would do so under an entirely discredited president to preside over an aging squad left somewhere close to mutiny by a humiliation of historic proportions.

Koeman did say he views Lionel Messi as key part of his project at Barca. And he has him, although there is the monumental catch of context.

In an explosive interview where he focused on everyone's fault but his own - a Leo culpa, if you will - Messi insisted he was only sticking around because Bartomeu had gone back on his word to him and made a departure financially "impossible".

"The truth is that there has been no project or anything for a long time, they juggle and cover holes as things go by," Messi told Goal Spain, in a remarkably damning inditement of those who remain his employers and team-mates.

Ivan Rakitic has gone, Luis Suarez is going and Koeman apparently wants to sign a selection of the Netherlands international players he left behind to take on the poisoned chalice of a lifetime.

As Messi allude to, decline has been eating away at Barcelona for some time. By the time they surrendered LaLiga to Real Madrid after the coronavirus hiatus - performances that effectively condemned Quique Setien's doomed reign even before the 8-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich - they had scored fewer goals (86), conceded more (38), had fewer shots (494), won fewer games (25) and lost more (six) than in any of their past five LaLiga seasons.

The potential saving grace - at the same time a damning indictment of the elite European game in the 21st century - is it seems there is only so far that a club on course for a $1billion record turnover before COVID-19 took hold should realistically be able to fall.

Even if the sum of Koeman's transfer incomings are some Oranje foot soldiers and Manchester City youngster Eric Garcia, a functional defensive set-up in front of the excellent Marc-Andre ter Stegen, a smooth midfield alliance between Frenkie de Jong and Miralem Pjanic and a delightful forward line featuring Messi, Antoine Griezmann, the prodigious Ansu Fati and the returning Philippe Coutinho is an assortment it is not too difficult to imagine as a championship-winning one.

MAGIC OF CHOLISMO STARTING TO FADE

Atletico do not have the luxury of mismanagement on the scale of which Josep Maria Bartomeu has shambolically overseen at Barcelona. At best they'd be Valencia; at worst they'd be playing Segunda Division football.

March's rousing Champions League triumph that unseated European champions Liverpool at Anfield showed Los Colchoneros retain an unmatched thirst for making an unholy nuisance of themselves against Europe's aristocrats.

Unfortunately, the start-up beverage spin-off that is RB Leipzig denied them another such showdown in the latter stages of the competition in Lisbon last month - a performance and result that spoke of problems that have quietly mounted to the point Simeone will struggle to shift them as he approaches nine years at the helm.

With their backs against the wall and the bit between their teeth, few teams want to face Atletico. But in games where they are expected to win and take the game to the opposition, they increasingly appear woefully short of the right moves - the transition from reactive to pro-active football beyond them.

They were favourites to beat Leipzig but played a low percentage game and paid the price, as they did over the course of 16 LaLiga draws last season. Their 14 points dropped from winning positions marked their worst return in the past five years.

That Joao Felix came off the bench against Leipzig to win a penalty, convert it and briefly turn the game in Atleti's favour also spoke ill of Simeone's failure to get the best out of the majestically skilled Portugal forward.

Indeed, there is a mounting list of talented attackers who have failed to hit the heights under Simeone, with Griezmann something of an outlier in the aftermath of their 2013-14 success.

Back then, Atletico beat Madrid and Barca when it did not look possible. Now the Classico rivals look deeply fallible, Simeone is unable to rustle up enough of the old magic.

ZZ STAYING ON TOP?

It is not a story to live up to the self-aggrandising history of Madrid, but Zinedine Zidane's steadying hand last year saw them win the title through not messing up as much as their rivals.

Where Barca and Atleti dropped 13 and 14 points from winning positions, Madrid shelled six.

That is not to do down Zidane's achievements as a serial trophy collector. He now has two domestic titles to go with three Champions Leagues across two spells in charge.

The France great is perfectly in tune with a squad he knows well and coaxed a magnificent, career-best season out of Karim Benzema last time around.

From the resumption after lockdown until LaLiga was secured, Madrid won 10 straight matches to comprehensively overhaul Barca.

Their subsequent Champions League loss to Manchester City, where 2-1 defeats in each leg ultimately flattered the 13-time European champions, put their dominant domestic form in context.

Having led the way for much of the past decade, LaLiga's big three presently feel like they're a rung below Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and the Premier League's top two of City and Liverpool. While it is easy to see Madrid retaining Spain's top-flight for the first time since 2007-08, it is hard the see the wider continental gap closing.

Eden Hazard must improve upon a stop-start first season at the Santiago Bernabeu, while Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Federico Valverde have futures of giddying excitement ahead of them. However, the old guard of Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Benzema remain the core and are the wrong side of 30. Galactico-hunters no more, Los Blancos have once again been fairly quiet in the transfer market.

Zidane's skill at Madrid has been to delay a wholesale transition, even when he returned in the aftermath of Cristiano Ronaldo's 2018 departure. But the clock is ticking on the time for change and, as Madrid's biggest rivals have shown, a painful process awaits.

Atletico Madrid will have to wait until gameweek three to kick off their LaLiga campaign against Granada at the Wanda Metropolitano. 

Atleti's participation in the Champions League quarter-finals in August means their scheduled first two games against Levante and Sevilla will take place later in the season.

Diego Simeone's side, who finished third last season, will first face off against Barcelona on the weekend of November 21/22 before a derby clash against Real Madrid on December 12/13.

Should there be no further coronavirus-related delays to the season they will round off their campaign away to Real Valladolid in late May.

Atletico Madrid's fixtures in full:
September 26/27 - Atletico Madrid v Granada 
September 29/30 - Huesca v Atletico Madrid
October 3/4 - Atletico Madrid v Villarreal
October 17/18 - Celta Vigo v Atletico Madrid
October 25/26 - Atletico Madrid v Real Betis
October 31/November 1 - Osasuna v Atletico Madrid
November 7/8 - Atletico Madrid v Cadiz
November 21/22 - Atletico Madrid v Barcelona
November 28/29 - Valencia v Atletico Madrid
December 5/6 - Atletico Madrid v Real Valladolid
December 12/13 - Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid
December 19/20 - Atletico Madrid v Elche
December 22/23/24 - Real Sociedad v Atletico Madrid
December 29/30 - Atletico Madrid v Getafe
January 2/3 - Alaves v Atletico Madrid
January 9/10 - Atletico Madrid v Athletic Bilbao
January 19/20 - Eibar v Atletico Madrid
January 23/24 - Atletico Madrid v Valencia
January 30/31 - Cadiz v Atletico Madrid
February 6/7 - Atletico Madrid v Celta Vigo
February 13/14 - Granada v Atletico Madrid
February 20/21 - Atletico Madrid v Levante
February 27/28 - Villarreal v Atletico Madrid
March 6/7 - Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid
March 13/14 - Getafe v Atletico Madrid
March 20/21 - Atletico Madrid v Alaves
April 3/4 - Sevilla v Atletico Madrid
April 10/11 - Real Betis v Atletico Madrid
April 20/21 - Atletico Madrid v Huesca
April 24/25 - Athletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid
April 27/28 - Atletico Madrid v Eibar
May 1/2 - Elche v Atletico Madrid
May 8/9 - Barcelona v Atletico Madrid
May 11/12 - Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad
May 15/16 - Atletico Madrid v Osasuna
May 22/23 - Real Valladolid v Atletico Madrid

TBC - Atletico Madrid v Sevilla, Levante v Atletico Madrid

RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann dismissed talk about winning the Champions League title after his side upstaged Atletico Madrid to reach the semi-finals.

Tyler Adams' deflected strike with two minutes of regulation remaining saw Leipzig top Atletico 2-1 in Lisbon on Thursday.

Dani Olmo's 50th-minute opener was cancelled out by Atletico star Joao Felix's penalty with 19 minutes remaining, but Adams' 88th-minute effort proved the last word as Leipzig reached the last four of the competition for the first time.

Leipzig will face Ligue 1 powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain in Tuesday's semi after becoming the first German club outside of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund to make it to the semi-finals since Schalke in 2010-11.

Speaking post-match, Nagelsmann told reporters: "I'm not going to say anything about the title. But of course, we do want to reach the final now.

"That's just normal, I think. If we get there, we can speak about other things."

"The team as a whole beat Tottenham [in the last 16] before and now Atletico," said Nagelsmann. "It's not about duels between coaches – not against [Jose] Mourinho, not against [Diego] Simeone and now not against [PSG coach Thomas] Tuchel either. It is a team game and the guys did brilliantly today."

Nagelsmann also revealed he had a half-time spat with Diego Simeone, though the 33-year-old German played down the incident as he hailed the Atletico boss.

"Simeone congratulated me afterwards, it was very sincere. He said, it was a great game and a deserved wind for us," added Nagelsmann.

"At half-time we had a little spat, but that wasn't very serious. He's just an incredible winner who even wants to win on the way to the dressing room.

"But that's not bad, I actually want to point out that I think he's personality as a coach is awesome. So, everything's fine."

Diego Simeone had no complaints about the manner of Atletico Madrid's Champions League exit, insisting his team gave their all but RB Leipzig deserved victory.

Leipzig stunned Atletico with a 2-1 triumph in Lisbon on Thursday as Tyler Adams hit a late, deflected winner.

Joao Felix had earlier cancelled out Dani Olmo's opener from the penalty spot, but Atletico struggled to break down the Bundesliga side and were carved open too often going the other way.

Simeone simply offered his congratulations to Leipzig as they advanced to set up a semi-final meeting with Paris Saint-Germain.

"We gave it everything we had," he told Movistar. "It was difficult for us to win the duels and they were faster.

"It has been a long year, with those 60 days off. Then there was pressure coming back to the Champions League. We had one week off then back to training.

"We haven't been able to play the way we wanted. I liked Leipzig. They had great determination, enthusiasm and freshness. That cost us. There are no excuses.

"We gave our best and made it to the quarter-finals. We are going out fairly and we have to congratulate our opponents."

Diego Simeone says Atletico Madrid's famous victory over Liverpool will count for nothing when they face RB Leipzig for a place in the Champions League semi-finals.

The Spanish side knocked out the holders with a 4-2 aggregate victory after extra-time in the last round and have been handed a favourable tie against last-eight debutants Leipzig.

However, five months have passed since the second-leg triumph at Anfield and Simeone insists that match will have little relevance on what happens in Lisbon on Thursday.

"That win is not a reference. Many months have gone and the enthusiasm died down during our time in quarantine," he said at a news conference on Wednesday.

"The Liverpool game will remain a part of our history and was very important for Atletico de Madrid, but it was very long ago and another path begins tomorrow."

Leipzig, led by impressive young coach Julian Nagelsmann, finished third in the Bundesliga this term and saw off Tottenham 4-0 in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Nagelsmann said on Tuesday he is eager to avoid a touchline confrontation with fiery Simeone but the Atleti boss chose not to directly reply to those comments.

"I do not respond to opinions of colleagues. I have nothing to comment," he said. "Tomorrow we play a very important game, against a young coach who is doing a fantastic job.

"They play very well and try to get the ball forward. They're a great team and the numbers show it. They finished third in Germany and have won the same number of games as us.

"I have a lot of respect for them and know that it winning is not just important but the only thing that there is."

Influential attacker Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko are not part of Atleti's squad for the one-legged tie with Leipzig after returning positive coronavirus tests.

But while Simeone is ruing the loss of a couple of players, he has his eyes firmly set on a third final appearance in six years with Atletico.

"Angel is important to us and being without Sime, who has fought hard to be back, also hurts,"  he said.

"We have lost two very important men from the heart of the squad, but we hope to have them later and we have to move on. We have to adapt to the circumstances."

Joao Felix hopes to emulate Antoine Griezmann's rise under the stewardship of Diego Simeone, whose style of football the Portugal star insists he has no problem with at Atletico Madrid.

Atleti stumped up €126million to sign the prodigious forward from Benfica after Griezmann departed for Barcelona, beating several suitors across European football to his signature.

It has been a hit-and-miss debut campaign for Joao Felix, who has so far scored eight goals and provided three assists in 35 appearances across all competitions.

Inconsistent form and injuries mixed with flashes of brilliance have been the story of his season, but the 20-year-old still harbours ambitions of becoming a star at Atleti like Griezmann before him.

"If I can do what Griezmann has done or improve it, it will be fine because he has made history in this club," Joao Felix told Marca. 

"He has done it very well, he has grown a lot with El Cholo [Simeone], and if I do it the same, better for me."

Some pundits have suggested that Joao Felix's attacking nature is at odds with the rigid nature of Simeone's coaching style.

Simeone has maintained Joao Felix will show his best form once he has fully adapted to LaLiga, though, which the Portugal international agrees with.

"Many people say one thing, others say another, but I am here to play Cholo football and I do what he asks," he added.

"Let's see. I'm adapting to Spain, doing my football, I'm meeting the club and always thinking of improving."

Joao Felix's situation has been likened to that of Sergio Aguero, who scored just six LaLiga goals in 38 appearances in his debut campaign at Atleti before becoming a fan favourite and earning a move to Manchester City.

"Kun is now a great player, but when he was at Atletico, I was five years old and I don't remember anything," Joao Felix, who overtook Aguero as the youngest Champions League goalscorer in Atleti history, said of such a comparison. 

"It's good to break records, all the players like to make history and of course I'm happy to be part of Atletico's history and to have surpassed a player like Kun." 

As for the criticisms, Joao Felix says the comments of others do not affect him.

"No, you [the media] do your job and I try to do mine, if things don't go the way you like it, I don't care," he said.

"As I said, I play because I like it and I am not worried about what the press or others think.

"I try not to see [the criticism], but there are some that I hear or come to me, but what am I going to do? Listen and follow my work."

There is high interest in Joao Felix this week as he returns home with Atleti to complete a Champions League campaign disrupted by coronavirus with the tournament being finished in a one-match knockout format in Lisbon.

Atleti face RB Leipzig in the quarter-finals on Thursday and Joao Felix is excited to be playing on home soil.

"Yes, the Champions League is always the high point of any player and even more so playing it here in Lisbon, at home, I am very happy and it is very good for me," he said.

Jan Oblak is an Atletico Madrid player "period" and the best is still to come from Joao Felix, says Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo. 

The future of Oblak has been the subject of speculation with Premier League clubs Manchester United and Chelsea linked with a big-money move for the goalkeeper. 

Chelsea have already splashed out to sign Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, while Kai Havertz is rumoured to be close to joining too.  

The Blues are said to be looking for a new goalkeeper after a disappointing campaign for Kepa Arrizabalaga, while David de Gea's own form at United has come under increased scrutiny. 

Oblak, who saw his four-season stranglehold on the Zamora Trophy - awarded to the best goalkeeper in LaLiga - ended by Thibaut Courtois, has proven himself as one of the best in the world over six years at Atleti. 

Cerezo is adamant the Slovenia international will stay at the Wanda Metropolitano, even when it was pointed out he once made similar assurances about Antoine Griezmann, who moved to Barcelona.

"I always say that Oblak has a contract with Atletico and is the best goalkeeper in the world. It is not strange that he has offers from other great teams," he told Marca. 

"I say the same as always. Oblak has a contract, he is an Atletico player, period. We have many players, our squad is the club's main asset. Oblak is a magnificent player and in his position, unquestionably, there is no one to beat him right now. 

"For me, Oblak - and I speak as an amateur - is the best goalkeeper in the world. Regarding Courtois, he is another great goalkeeper of those in the world and fortunately, both have played for us and with both we have been champions in many trophies." 

Cerezo also discussed the debut campaign of Joao Felix, who arrived in a €126million deal from Benfica last July as a replacement for Griezmann. 

The Portugal forward was one of the most sought-after prospects in world football but scored just six goals and contributed one assist in 27 LaLiga appearances. 

Cerezo remains convinced the 20-year-old will achieve his undoubted promise and believes Joao Felix will particularly relish competing in the delayed Champions League, which will be played as a straight knockout tournament in Lisbon from the quarter-final stage. 

"It was not easy for him because it was the first season, he came with wonderful expectations and I think he has really met it," Cerezo added.  

"We are all happy with Joao Felix's performance. I think for next season it will not be a promise, it will be a fact. I hope that in these Champions League games, it really highlights how great a footballer he is. 

"I think he is very excited and happy that it will be played in Lisbon. You have to think that he is 20 years old, he is a player with a promising future and that we are indisputably proud to have signed him."

Diego Simeone's men will be expected to overcome RB Leipzig in the last eight but Cerezo, who saw Atleti defeat holders Liverpool in the previous round, warned there is no "logic" in football. 

"According to what they say, the one that beats the European champion is the champion and we have eliminated them. Logically, we should be champions," Cerezo said. 

"Everyone is happy with Leipzig, I think it has been a good result of the tournament and we can undoubtedly be in the semi-finals, but from what I say to what happens there is a difference either for or against.  

"I think by logic we have to be there, but who has logic in football?" 

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone acknowledged it will be a challenge for his side to overcome LaLiga "monsters" Real Madrid and Barcelona next season.

Simeone's side rounded off their domestic campaign with a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad on Sunday which secured third place in the table.

Atleti, however, finished 12 points behind second-placed Barcelona and 17 adrift of LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

Simeone was under pressure earlier in the season before an unbeaten run from February ensured they secured a top-four finish.

"Year after year the responsibility grows and the demand also," Simeone said in a media conference after the game against Sociedad at the Wanda Metropolitano.

"The criticism is a consequence of what the team can give and what others can imagine is possible.

"I think we compete very well against teams like Sociedad, Getafe, Sevilla. And then there are two monsters such as Barcelona and Real Madrid."

Simeone believes regular Champions League football is essential to any hopes of breaking the stranglehold on LaLiga.

He continued: "We compete with two teams who must win the Champions League, LaLiga, Super Cup … so we are always looking for our own space and place, and we will keep going until we have our own chance.

"This season it is objective accomplished. I understand since I arrived the needs of the club that it is to be in the Champions League. I feel more a responsibility.

"For this we need regularity, in order to have important players and stability.

"With all the changes to the team it is strong. It looks competitive and I am glad that there will not be so many changes for next season because we have an important squad."

Simeone's players will now turn their attention to next month's Champions League, where they will meet Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in the quarter-finals.

They head into the mini tournament in Lisbon having not tasted defeat since the restart.

Atleti captain Koke, who scored in their 1-1 draw with Sociedad, claimed his team-mates have the belief to finally end their European Cup hoodoo.

"We are going to think of Leipzig as if it were the final. We are very excited and eager for it," he said.

"We have a very good streak of form at the moment and hopefully it will continue in the Champions League and we can win it."

Adnan Januzaj's 87th-minute equaliser saw Real Sociedad fight back for a draw 1-1 at Atletico Madrid that secured a place in next season's Europa League.

Atleti looked on course for victory in their concluding LaLiga fixture at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday after Koke's close-range finish in the first half.

But Januzaj's curling free-kick late on went through a crowded box and found a way past the otherwise superb Jan Oblak.

The point was enough for Atleti to claim third place in LaLiga but Sociedad were the happier of the two sides as they finished in sixth spot, when defeat would have left them without European football.

Diego Simeone has a clear vision on how Atletico Madrid can make upgrades during the upcoming transfer window. 

Atleti were unable to mount a title challenge this term but have guaranteed a top-four finish in LaLiga, meaning a place in next season's Champions League. 

While Simeone does not anticipate any major transfers taking place ahead of the 2020-21 season due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, he already knows what new additions he wants at the Wanda Metropolitano. 

"We continually talk to Miguel [Angel Gil, CEO] and Andrea [Berta, sporting director] about what we need and what expectations we have," said Simeone. 

"We are clear about what we will seek. We have a growing team, new people who will serve as a base for the next season. 

"In this transfer window, where surely there will be no big moves, the one that gets a solid, strong base and can keep competing from one year to the next is the one that will continue to be in the fight for all competitions." 

Atleti are unbeaten in 17 games in all competitions and have won seven of their 10 outings since LaLiga resumed in June. 

Their final domestic fixture before a Champions League quarter-final against RB Leipzig comes against Real Sociedad on Sunday. 

Asked if his squad is in the best shape it has been all season, Simeone said: "When the team wins the coach is very good, and when they lose he is very bad. When players are injured, the fault lies with the doctor and the coaches.

"The team prepared very well in quarantine. We came back in the best way, we were able to rotate in almost every game, especially at the beginning we changed six or seven players each game.

"Later we reduced the rotations because the players were able to respond to the demand, both when they were starters and when they came off the bench."

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone claimed his side's determination to churn out results to secure a LaLiga top-four finish during a season of upheaval augurs well for the future.

Simeone's side are on course to finish third in LaLiga after goals from Marcos Llorente and Thomas Partey secured a 2-0 victory over Getafe in their penultimate league game of the season on Thursday.

It left Atleti two points clear of fourth-placed Sevilla – who drew 0-0 with Real Sociedad – and with a superior goal difference.

Simeone's side conclude their LaLiga campaign with a home match against Sociedad before their attention switches to the Champions League.

Atleti have a quarter-final match with RB Leipzig which will be played as a single-leg tie in Lisbon in August as part of a mini tournament to finish the competition.

It has been an impressive turnaround for Atleti and Simeone, who was under pressure earlier in the season but has now seen his side go 15 games unbeaten in LaLiga.

"There were many changes this year," Simeone said in a post-match media conference after the win over Getafe.

"Senior players left and new players came. In defence, for example. Periods of difficulty pass, but the team after the victory in Liverpool and the work since starting again has improved us.

"Being in the top four is important and a necessity for the club to continue growing.

"Is this a good signal for the Champions League? After the quarantine, except for the game against Real Betis and the first minutes against Getafe, the team has had work and a willingness to reach these good results."

Simeone started Diego Costa ahead of Alvaro Morata in attack against Getafe, with Llorente continuing in a playmaker role in behind.

And the Argentinian acknowledged the impressive displays of Llorente have made it difficult for his two leading strikers.

"Marcos has physical strength and danger with an assist, and with a goal. He is a boy to whom nobody gave anything and earns it day by day," added the Atleti coach.

"Costa has been through bad times and it is complex for the coach because Morata scores goals and whoever of the two is left out will be angry. 

"I have to guess the one that suits us in every game and maybe they are getting closer to being able to play together."

Marcos Llorente and Thomas Partey gave Atletico Madrid a 2-0 win over Getafe on Thursday to keep Diego Simeone's side on course for a third-place finish in LaLiga.

Getafe squandered a number of chances in the first half before Llorente struck eight minutes after the break with a fine finish from 20 yards.

Partey added a second goal when he tapped in from close range after a counterattack with 10 minutes left.

Getafe had Allan Nyom sent off late on for a high challenge as the defeat dented their bid to secure a Europa League place.

Atleti coach Diego Simeone made six changes to his side as Diego Costa and Yannick Carrasco were both recalled to the starting line-up.

With an entirely new back four, Atleti's defence looked vulnerable and they were fortunate not to be behind at the break after an impressive first-half display from Getafe.

Jaime Mata had three good chances in quick succession early on as he lifted a shot over the bar, saw an effort hooked off the line by Felipe and miscued a close-range shot.

Atleti's best opportunity before the interval fell to Costa after he got on the end of Llorente's cross, but the striker could only guide his header over the crossbar.

The same combination linked up again three minutes into the second half, but Costa failed to hit the target from a central position following Llorente's cut back.

Llorente took matters into his own hands shortly afterwards when he smartly turned Getafe's David Timor on the edge of the box then wrong-footed goalkeeper David Soria with a low shot into the corner.

Partey made the points safe when he confidently guided the ball home after Getafe were caught on the break, and the home side then saw Nyom sent off in stoppage time.

 

 

What does it mean? Atletico edge closer to third

With Champions League football already assured for both, Atleti are jostling with Sevilla to finish in third spot.

This victory gave Simeone's side a two-point cushion over Sevilla – who drew 0-0 at Real Sociedad – meaning they are well-placed to achieve their target.

Getafe are clinging on to the final Europa League spot in LaLiga after this defeat.

Llorente stars up front

Originally a bustling central midfielder, the former Real Madrid man has been reinvented as a versatile attacker by Simeone, and he oozed class against Getafe. Llorente was Atleti's most creative player with intelligent movement and capped a fine display with a well-taken goal.

Mata fails to make his mark

The Getafe striker escaped the attentions of Atleti's defence and frequently found himself in dangerous goalscoring positions, but all too often his poor finishing or a lapse in concentration let him down at the key moment.

What's next?

Atleti host Real Sociedad in their final LaLiga fixture of the season on Sunday, while Getafe travel to Levante.

 

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