SOCCER-SPAIN-ATLETICO:Atletico must recover their aggression says Simeone
MADRID (Reuters) - Two defeats in a week have ended Atletico Madrid's impressive unbeaten run at home and in Europe, and coach Diego Simeone has put it down to a loss of aggression.
Atletico lie second in La Liga, three points behind leaders Barcelona, after suffering their first defeat of the season 2-0 at direct rivals Valencia last weekend.
That reverse ended a 23-match unbeaten run in all competitions stretching back to last April, and was quickly followed by a surprise 2-0 defeat of a second-string side by Portugal's Academica in the Europa League on Thursday.
"We controlled both the games, but with a passiveness that does not favour us," the Argentine told a news conference ahead of Sunday's visit of near-neighbours Getafe.
"The team was positioned well on the pitch, but lacked directness, aggression down the wings, and did not create the chances we had been doing in the past.
"We need to recover the team's identity. It's not a situation that worries me."
Simeone's Atletico prefer to play on the counter-attack, allowing rivals to dominate possession, and the 42-year-old commented approvingly on Celtic's shock 2-1 midweek victory over Barcelona in the Champions League.
"The way a team plays depends on the characteristics of its players," he said. "The other day was a perfect example of the different styles.
"Barcelona had the possession and the chances, and Celtic, with three percent of the possession, won an incredible game."
(Reporting by Mark Elkington, editing by Pritha Sarkar)