Matchday LIVE: Astana vs. Atlético

Rojiblancos' trip to Astana the second furthest in Champions League history

Astana's modern 30,000 seater stadium

Astana's modern 30,000 seater stadium

Atlético Madrid have made the 3,500 mile trip to Kazakhstan for their latest Champions League clash against Astana today, and need three points in their bid to qualify for the last 16.

However, playing in minus temperatures on an artificial pitch makes this a tough task for Diego Simeone’s men, as well as a five hour time difference that has caused UEFA to start the game at the earlier time of 16.00 CET.

You can prepare for the match by reading our Match Preview.

Starting XIs

Atlético: Oblak; Juanfran, Giménez, Godín, Siqueira; Tiago, Gabi, Koke, Saúl; Griezmann, Torres.

Astana: Erić; Aničić, Ilić, Postnikov, Shomko, Maksimović; Kéthévoama, Muzhikov, Cañas; Dzholchiyev, Kabananga.



  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Too many things I don’t like about the line-up, it’s even worse than other lines-up we criticized in many previous games .
    The only positive thing is that Siqueira is playing again, because -and I will never get bored of repeating this- he is not as bad as many people think he is, and Filipe is not as good as many people think he is .

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    I still don’t understand why Oliver hasn’t started and yet again Simeone is playing his favourite two in the middle

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    And as expected with this line up we won’t be offering much for our strikers unless mistakes are made by Astana like that one

  • BlasiusMagnus

    Cholo definietly needs to bring in carrasco and/or oliver, cos our attacking game is literally nothing. Also despite the fact that koke is my fav player, i hope he wont come out in the 2nd half.

  • Othman Bk

    Totally agree with you Ahmed, it’s getting worse and worse, no winger no creative player in the middle, how could Grizi and Torres be provided… it may be sufficient for today game but Athleti and Simeone must show more ambition especially when playing against team like Astana…
    In addition to this Tiago and Gabi are not too young, why they are playing almost all the games…

  • 007

    What a lifeless display from atletico.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Simeone doesn’t deserve a player like Oliver, he should leave to another club where he can find a coach who appreciates his great talent .

  • 007

    I am still confused why did he let Raul go if he is still sticking to its Defnsive tactics,

  • Arjit Barua

    Simeone is seriously making me decide liking football vs liking atletico…

  • BlasiusMagnus

    Wtf is that torres-jackson substitution? Why? Torres havent got a ball from the midfield…

  • Hannu

    This is just embarrasing! Even HJK played better there.

  • Hannu

    So we have only one player that can play some football at the moment?

  • Paweł Kosiński

    We do – Carrasco.

  • Hannu

    Absolutely.

  • Chewie

    I’m seriously considering skipping the next couple of matches. Why watch this pathetic shit? Now we’re playing for a draw against Astana. Bravo. The mighty fearful Atletico.

  • BlasiusMagnus

    it’s not about their age, it’s about that when they both play, the centre midfield is slow as fuck.

  • Chewie

    Yeah, and notice how much time they get to pass the ball further, almost always allowing the opponent’s defenders to get into position.

  • Chewie

    I’m happy for the man, he’s playing good foorball with Athletic, scoring, assisting and just having a great time.

  • atleti lover

    So last time i said to Giminez fuck u And alot of u guys blamed me…. and here i am SORRY Giminez i meant FUCK U SIMEONE YOUR FOOTBALL AND TACTICS IS KILLING ME!!!!

  • Abdil Egriøz

    I haven’t been able to watch the last few matches including this one, thus it’s difficult for me to feel the fans frustration. By looking at the scoresheet even I can tell that someone needs to be held responsible for the disappointing results and I agree that Simeone is the one responsible. Despite of this I’m seriously wondering if you are a little kid or a very immature person, because we still have a very decent chance of getting out of the group. Nonetheless being last in the group wouldn’t even call for childish words like “fuck you”directed to the manager or the players…

  • Ringo

    I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt because of the trip and weather conditions (doable, but such a change of climate all of a sudden might change things), etc., but I really don’t understand how Koke was taken off for Oli.

    First of all, he should have entered the field at an earlier moment (same for Carrasco). Second, Koke was the only player getting the ball forward. He even dropped back to do so because Tiago and especially Gabi were way too slow at moving the play and the latter pretty invisible tonight overall.

    I would have even considered taking off both Tiago and Gabi, with Saúl and Koke taking over their positions, but two players changing positions (to crucial domination positions) might be too much all of a sudden. But what use are Jackson and Griezmann if they pretty much have to conquer the ball by themselves? Carrasco and eventually Oli, too, also had no space to show their talents, but most of all no time.

    At first I thought Grizi wasn’t that consistent with his offensive play, but I’m starting to realize he just has to do too many things for the team. He’s both the fifth defensive midfielder and one of our final forwards. I think he’s able to do that, eventually, but before he’s there give him some slack. In order to do so, Cholo needs to show some guts. He teaches his players to do so, so why can’t he?

    Astana had a huge home advantage, and a draw is not disastrous at all, and I’m keeping in mind some tough conditions were at play, but I blame Cholo for the team not reaching its full potential. You can say you don’t want the team to play too defensively and that you want them to move forward more oftenly. But how true are those words when you play with four naturally deeplying midfielders, while leaving your offense on a lonely island?

    Once again, I’m not too worried about our future because of this game (although Oli should have seen so many more minutes by now), but I am disappointed I chose to watch this game. Aupa Atleti, no exclamation marks today.

  • Ringo

    chill.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Yeah, I was about to say the same thing .
    I’m happy for him, but I’m also sad for Simeone, I mean even Raul Garcia is playing football, beautiful football, he is scoring goals the same way he did with us, but his assists (3 so far) are real class .

    Simeone has a serious problem that could lead him to destroy all what he built in the last 3 years .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I already started, I skipped the last 10 minutes of this game .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Many of you have called this person a kid or a troll, well, maybe he is, but most of you know that I’m not, and I will say the same thing :
    FUCK SIMEONE .

  • Catlos

    Just got out of class and saw that we surprisingly tied. Saw the line-up. Not such a surprise anymore. Is this for real?? Such talent and potential wasted on the bench. To me, only two of our midfield 4 today should ever be playing at the same time.

  • AlPacino

    I see the comments here, and I’m ashamed. Comments that would be heard from Madridistas. You’re crying over that Atleti have not won a game, after a VERY long flight, in a pitch made of artificial turf, in a freezing cold.
    This things happen to every team, even bigger than us (like Bayern).
    I agree with criticising Simeone, he has made not-so-few mistakes lately, but have some respect for the guy who brought us this far. Until he showed up, we were barely the top 10 in Spain. Now we are in the top 10 in the world.

  • Ringo

    I will reply to you with the same thing:

    chill.

    It was a bad game and we’re in a bad groove. That being said, it’s still early on in the season and this game was tougher than it seemed. Yes, these tactics were bad, but Simeone is human and makes mistakes. When he’s grown a little more as our manager, I think, but mostly hope, he’ll play a little less on “secure.”

    No need to insult him, in any case, though. He’s a respectful person, even if he was a harsh player sometimes. I think that’s a lesson we could all learn from him.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I think you know very well that our anger is not just about this game, this has been going on for a long time, not just those 3 months of this season, but since the last 3 months of the last season, and the worst thing is that there is no a single sign that things will change .

    And you do know that we did finish up in the top 4 twice in the last few years before Simeone, we did win 2 trophies, we lost a cup final, and we made some great games against Real Madrid, although we weren’t lucky enough to win, but we did beat Barca many times, and sometimes with big scores, Aguirre beat them 4-2, and Abel beat them 4-3, and it was Guardiola’s Barca, the best Barca ever .
    And Aguirre, Abel & Quique didn’t have such a great group of players like Simeone has .

    This is what I said just few days ago, you are asking respect for Simeone, but I’m asking respect for Atletico Madrid .
    We were barely at the top ten of Spain as you said for only one decade after the big shake we had after relegation and all the financial and sporting problems that resulted from it, and even in that bad decade we manged to qualify to UCL twice and to win 2 trophies as I said .
    Simeone is a great coach and he gave us a lot, but he didn’t turn a small club into a big one, he helped a struggling big club to stand on its feet again .
    People should be very clear about that .

    We all love Simeone, I think everybody loves Simeone, even his rivals, but from what I have seen (again, for too many games and not just this one) I’m afraid that we could return again to what we were in the few years after promotion .

    Last thing : I respect Simeone very much, but this is not tennis, it’s football, and stuff like “fuck you” at the heat of the moment is a normal thing, players and coaches use them themselves, I watched El Dia Despues last week, and after the final whistle of Valencia game Simeone said : “la concha de tu madre”, and he is still a respectful person .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I wish I can chill, but I can’t .. maybe I need to skip some games like Chewie to calm down a little .

    And as I just said to AlPacino : I know Simeone is a respectful person, and that is one of the best things I love about him, but yet he did say very clearly after Valencia game ended “la concha de tu madre” .. it’s a part of the game, and I’m sure that he will forgive me for what I said .

  • atleti lover

    Okk thank you very much ahmad hussainy for understanding me… i am 30 years all i am supportinv atleti since torres was the captain pof simeone.. i am strong lover and believer in simeone BUT when he insists to play like shit and waisting oppurtunities game after game, when he insists to use saul as winger, when he insists to use tiago and gabi each game whether home or away, when he doesn’t know how to use koke and oliver and finally when he doesnt know how to use jackson and the player lost the confidence.. i have one thing to say FUCK YOU MR SIMEONE… ATLETI IS OVER YOUR STUPID TACTICS.

  • Asik

    Hi guys Im from Astana. I was at the stadium today. It wasnt actually cold inside, so thats not the reason why atletico played so poorly. I actually went there just to watch Torres cause Im a huge Liverpool fan. Torres was just disappointing. I was expecting from a team who has beaten Real and Barca. Good luck 🙂

  • AlPacino

    I know what you mean, in the heat of the moment we all say stuff we don’t mean. After that damned UCL final, I almost broke my hand hitting the wall. And it’s true that before Simeone we were going slowly slowly up the table, but without Simeone I don’t think we could have won La Liga, nor reach the UCL final. I have said that I agree with you all about the critism, but Simeone is probably the man I respect the most in world football right now.
    And I’m sorry, but I haven’t heard any complaints about Simeone’s style when we won games and titles.

  • Asik

    I was expecting more from a team who beat Real and Barca

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Hi Asik, I really wanted to travel to Astana but I couldn’t, I wish I visit this part of the world someday, Central Asia, there are many people from there living in my city, Alexandria, Egypt, and I’m a friend with some of them, from Tajikistan and Dagestan, most of them are here to study at Al Azhar .

  • Asik

    Hi Ahmad. I have friends from Egypt too. And I dont know why would someone want to visit my country, when there are so many better countries out there)) Its cold here, people are rude and not very civilised

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Well, that’s exactly Egypt -except the cold- so maybe this is the reason I’m attracted to your country !

  • Asik

    Well if youre planning to visit someday soon hit me up, I will show you everything. By the way I dont agree with you criticizing Diego, hes a top coach. the last thing I remember about Atletico before they got into top 10 teams was them being an average team. A year ago all the top teams wanted simeone. I think he is still the right person for Atletico.

  • Othman Bk

    Of course it’s mainly about the slowness, but at least if cholo is considering that it’s not a problem, he should consider the age and rotate.
    Actually the real problem for me is : Gabi+Tiago+Koke

  • Ringo

    Haha okay fair and that is true, but still.

    And about your other comment. We might have our most talented squad in years, but the new talents are 1) new, 2) mostly very young. The biggest challenge with a new team is creating consistency. Defensively the team is already pretty far. Yes, we are showing some mistakes, but overall the defense is still incredibly solid and that should not be understated.

    I think Simeone is afraid to break things up and Gabi and Tiago probably take up high positions in the teams hierarchy. We should all be equal, but I think Cholo is afraid the team could break up by not playing Tiago and Gabi in 80-90% of the games. I think we’ll be better off with a revamped midfield, and faster, offensive, tactics, but I think there might be many factors slowing that process some bits.

    At some moments I did see promise, though, like the first half against Valencia and Correa’s and Griezmann’s early moments, the tight defense. I just hope that unlike last season, it won’t stick with that. To make that happen Oli, Ángelito, etc need to grow and the little more experienced guys (Koke, Griezmann) need to consistently lead the team forward.

    That is a rough responsibility and I think Simeone is cautious, too cautious. I also think that’s understandable, though. It just saddens me to see lifeless games like this.

    Also, we all watch football for entertainment. If a game doesn’t entertain you, it’s okay not to watch sometimes. Of course you need to support your team, but if the play annoys you, maybe a break is a good thing to take. We could always tell you the team is improving (hopefully that’s the case) over here 🙂

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    There wasn’t anything to complain about when we were winning titles, we were playing a little conservative, but we played good football and we scored many goals .
    The season we won La Liga we beat Getafe at the Calderon 7-0, while last season and this season we only won 2-0 and with two horrible performances .

    When we won La Liga we played many games with Arda-Koke-Costa-Villa, this is absolutely a stronger attacking combination than Koke-Saul-Griezmann-Torres, and other combinations Simeone used this season .
    Saul doesn’t have Arda’s class nor Raul’s goals, Torres cant’s score 15 goals per season like Villa did, Grizi & Vietto are not physically strong as the beast Costa, and it looks like Jackson can’t reach his level either, beside, Koke is really not an attacking player, people get confused because of his 50 assists, which almost 45 of them came from corners and free-kicks, and because of his 19 goals in 227 games, Tiago has 18 in 208, that’s the average of a defensive midfielder .
    Koke played in that position because we didn’t have anybody else, and Simeone has a big credit for that, he manged to make big things with very limited resources, he changed the positions of several players to make things work, and they did, but now Koke just can’t do it anymore, because it’s not his natural position, and we have many talented players to play as attacking midfielders/wingers instead of him and Saul .

    What I’m saying is : this is not even the style of 2013-14 when we won La Liga .
    Simeone can’t play with the style of 2013-14 because he doesn’t have the type of players to play that way, but he doe’s have a different type that could play in a much better style and achieve much better results, but he is either so afraid to change, or he doesn’t know how, and this is very worrying .

  • thericeking

    you guys are making me angry. saying too many harsh truths at once… let us hope that by game 19 Simeone is playing without three or four DM at once and has tailored olliver and correa and carrasco and martinez to play altogether with koke and saul/gabi/tiago.. he is just training them, give him time.. at the beginning of every season i read ‘in cholo we trust’ and throughout the season i read ‘brilliant cholo’ or ‘cholo failed’ and today ‘fuck cholo’… i am with Ringo and Chewie: everybody just chill and dont watch some games..

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I’m glad that you mentioned the new players and the adaptation, let’s talk about this :
    Simeone still have 6 players who have been with him since day one. that’s a lot, considering that they all are starters and all are outfield players .
    Griezmann has adapted very well and became the most important player in the team, Torres adapted too, Oliver and Saul are homegrowns and they played a good number of games with us before and after their loan spells, Gimenez has been with us since 2013, and he is the partner of Godin in the national team too for a while now .
    So, when we start with :
    Oblak
    Juanfran – Godin -Gimenez – Filipe
    Gabi – Tiago – Koke
    Griezmann – (Correa / Oliver / Carrasco)
    Jackson
    There are only two new players in the team .
    I’m sorry, but I can’t take that as an excuse .

  • Ringo

    I meant implementing the new players will take time, perhaps I didn’t state that clearly, excuse me. To turn Griezmann – Tiago – Koke – Gabi – Carrasco (only one new guy) into one that has two or three new guys (also new as in new team sheet player, Saúl and Óliver haven’t had those responsibilities yet), time is needed. I think Simeone might take that time too seriously. As you mentioned, on midfield there’s pretty much just one new player and Jackson is (not even all the time) a new guy up front. Apparently Simeone only works with one new player at a time and that might be why it takes him a longer time to replace the (at least for him) crucual duo in center midfield. I’m just speculating here, by the way.

    I think the old style de Atleti is getting rusty and that’s why it’s good we’ve got these talented new guys. But to implement them and create the new Atleti takes time. Simeone is slow with changes so it takes more time. Thats my argument, or “excuse.” 🙂

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I don’t want to speak in his name, but I think Chewie is as angry as most of us .

  • Kris

    I have been meaning to say this for a very long time man.. Oliver doesn’t fit in to Simeone’s style, and Simeone doesn’t want to play Oliver in his role, best for him is to leave the club to a team where keeping possession, and controlling midfield is appreciated.