STRUGGLING TEAM LEVANTE STUNS ATLETICO MADRID
LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid experienced a shocking 1-0 defeat by the league underdog, Levante.
Probably to the shock of many, Atletico Madrid fell to a surprising 1-0 defeat on Wednesday at home to Levante, a basement club who only picked up their second win of the season. Gonzalo Melero's goal in the second half secured the result.
On the other hand, this was the sixth defeat in 10 league matches on Atletico.
The team pulled off stunning comeback victories at home against Valencia and Getafe in the last month.
However, this recent defeat might deepen their problems as this potentially confidence-wrecking loss happened just a week before they host Manchester United in a Champions League last-16 first leg.
Angel Correa netted with a spectacular overhead kick in stoppage time, but it was ruled out as Jose Gimenez made a foul move on Martin Caceres. To top it off, Correa earned a yellow card for his angry reaction to the decision.
"I don't know, I was a long way away, but if you let the move play out and then you blow the whistle, it's better to wait to see what the VAR says. He said it was a foul. The referee let play carry on, VAR decided it was a foul," said Atleti keeper Jan Oblak said of the disallowed goal after the match.
Mickael Malsa of Levante almost scored with a spectacular effort from near the halfway line that hit the crossbar. Atletico then came within inches of snatching the lead when Oblak came up to contest a set piece and headed just wide of the far post.
"We didn't start well, we didn't play a good game in general, and the result is what it is," Oblak said after the game.
"We lost. It's tough, it's a very difficult moment, but we have to be better, all of us, we have to all give a lot more, we aren't at the level we should be at, and like this we won't get into the Champions League. We have to change, we've been saying it all season but we have to do it. There aren't many games left and we need our heads here."
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Diego Simeone's team failed to overtake Barcelona in the fourth spot and were left fifth on 39 points. Levante stayed bottom of the table but moved on to 14 points.
"We played a bad game," said Simeone in the post-match press conference. "We lost a beautiful opportunity to move into a good situation in La Liga and we will have to make a doubt effort."
"It's alarming for sure, where we are, with the position we're in in the league which isn't where this club has to be, and for sure it's alarming," Oblak revealed. "We have to start winning games, as I said a month ago, it isn't enough to talk here. I can give my opinion, but we all have to give much more, we have to raise the level if we want to get into the Champions League."
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