Atlético winger José Antonio Reyes was limited in training this morning, but is expected to start this weekend against Málaga, according to Spanish media reports.
Though Reyes was included in the selection and available on the bench against Bayer Leverkusen, he was surprisingly kept out of action for the entirety of the match.
After the game, Manager Quique Sánchez Flores explained his decision to the club’s official site.
“Reyes has been experiencing muscle strains for some weeks now, and given the weather conditions, we didn’t feel it was convenient for him to play.
“It must be considered that we have two very important matches in less than a week,” he said, referring to Sunday’s Liga match away at Málaga and next Wednesday’s Copa del Rey clash against Espanyol at the Vicente Calderón.
Despite the let-down the Colchonero faithful felt when they realised Reyes wasn’t among the starting XI, the move ended up paying off.
No harm, no foul, Quique might be telling himself, as he was able to rest Reyes in a game that ultimately proved meaningless.
A victory at the blanketed-by-snow BayArena would not have altered our fate in the Europa League competition. Aris’ result over Rosenborg ensured the Greek side’s passage into the knockout rounds due to their superior head-to-head record over Atleti.