Following Atlético’s match at Aris last night, manager Quique Sánchez Flores expressed his thoughts about the team’s defeat in their Europa League opener. The coach felt that “we could have avoided the loss.” Rojiblanco team captain Antonio López spoke about his side’s disappointment with the result.
The reigning champions have made a false start in the Europa League. Atlético lost in Thessaloniki tonight, where home team Aris are unbeaten in European competition since 1969. It was the home team that took the lead in the second half through a spectacular goal in the 59th minute. One of Aris’ two Spaniards, Javito, struck the ball beautifully on a volley after controlling it on his chest.
Atlético heads out to Greece today in preparation for its Europa League opening match against Aris Thessaloniki FC. The game takes place tomorrow night at 19:00 CET at the Greek side’s Harilaou Ground. Atleti will be looking to maintain their impressive form, which has carried the team to three straight victories against Inter Milan, Sporting Gijón and Athletic Bilbao to jump-start the 2010-11 campaign.
Fran Mérida and Tomas Ujfalusi are on path to full recovery ahead of our Europa League opener against Aris Thessaloniki on Thursday. Fran had already returned to training with the rest of the team, while Ujfa made his way back this morning.
In between the current and the next international break, Atlético play two Europa League matches, and we face almost all of our direct rivals in the next six la Liga matches. While the media and some of the optimistic fans among us have been talking up our title chances, the coming period will show us where we’re really at. We take a look ahead.
Europa League holders Atlético Madrid have been drawn in the same group as Bayer Leverkusen, Rosenborg and Aris Thessaloniki in the group stages of this season’s Europa League. It could have been a lot tougher for Atlético as we looked certain to be drawn with big-spenders Manchester City as they could only be placed in Groups A, B or C. Luckily they were drawn into Group A against Juventus, in perhaps the tie of the round.