Antoine Griezmann slotted home a deserved penalty at the end of the first half, but Chelsea stormed back, scoring in the 59th minute and stoppage time to earn the win and six points from six in Champions League Group C.
The 2-1 loss for Atletico means the red and whites are third in the table with only one point from two matches. The remaining four games are all must wins, and Atletico fans may be happy that they will not play another CL game until October 18th when they travel to Qarabag.
Instead, Atletico can focus on the league and a tough trip to regional rivals Leganes on Saturday. Los Pepineros or the Cucumber Growers play in an intimate 11,000 seat stadium and sit a surprising seventh in La Liga.
Kickoff is set for 20:45 local time in the Estadio Municipal de Butarque.
Atletico’s form seemed to be on an upswing as they got much needed wins against Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla, outscoring those teams 4-1. However, the team put in an overall poor performance on Wednesday. They did not create enough chances and conceded far too many.
Leganes are coming off two clean sheets including an away victory at Las Palmas in which Alexander Szymanowski assisted on goals from Claudio Beauvue and Javier Eraso. The team was able to win away from home despite only two changes from manager Asier Garitano after a 0-0 draw with Girona. The green and whites sit seventh in the table with a 3-1-2 record, just two points off the Champions League spots on the young season.
This is Leganes’ second season in La Liga, so the clubs have only met six times before. Atletico leads the overall series 4-1 with one draw. Los Pepineros held on for a 0-0 score line at the Butarque last season in the second match of the 2016-17 campaign. Atletico won the return trip 2-0 at the Vicente Calderon with Fernando Torres scoring in the 15th and 51st minutes.
The poor performance against Chelsea could mean several changes from manager Diego Simeone. Filipe Luis and Lucas Hernandez both injured hamstrings on Wednesday meaning Sime Vrsjalko or Jose Gimenez will have to play out of position at left back. Gimenez or Stefan Savic will replace Lucas at center back. Gabi could also regain his position in midfield. Kevin Gameiro returns to the squad list and could see time off the bench.
Asier Gartiano’s Pepineros line up in a 4-1-4-1 with Ivan Cuellar in goal and Joseba Zaldua, Mauro dos Santos, Dimitrios Siovas and Raul Garcia along the back line. Ruben Perez is the lone defensive midfielder. Darko Brasanac, Javier Eraso, Gabriel Pires, and Alexander Szymanowski cover the midfield and Claudio Beauvue is the lone striker.
Atletico must shake off the loss and bounce back with a win in a stadium where they struggled to score goals last season. Once again, the red and whites have the toughest fixture of the top three as Barcelona host Las Palmas and Sevilla host Malaga. A win would be a great send off before the international break and the upcoming home test against Barcelona.
Atletico squad list:
Goalkeepers: Oblak and Moyá.
Defenders: Godín, Savic, Vrsjalko, Juanfran and Giménez.
Midfielders: Koke, Saúl, Carrasco, Gabi, Thomas and Gaitán.
Forwards: Griezmann, Torres, Vietto, Correa, and Gameiro.