‘We will find a way’ – Atletico struggling with injuries ahead of Real Madrid UCL clash

first_img But Gimenez was the latest player to go down, hurting a left leg muscle in the Liga win at Las Palmas over the weekend. Gimenez is a central defender but was playing as a right back to replace Torres, who was out with a hamstring ailment. Torres’ immediate substitute at right back is Sime Vrsaljko, but he has been sidelined because of a left knee injury, and is not expected to be back in time for the first leg, even though he has already returned to training. Without a specialist right back, Simeone could use his other central defender, Sefan Savic. That would mean adding youngster Lucas Hernandez to the middle of the defence to replace Savic, who has played as a right back for Montenegro. That would break up the solid duo of Savic and Diego Godin, who have started most matches in central defence. “The absences are important because it will be a new situation for the player who will have to play in that position,” Simeone said. “But this is a team sport and the rest of the squad can make up for that.” The coach may also improvise by playing a midfielder such as Saul Niguez or Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion on the right side, where Real is expected to do most of their attacking through Cristiano Ronaldo and left back Marcelo. Ronaldo, who prepared for the entire season to be in his best physical condition at this point, scored five goals in the quarterfinals against Bayern Munich. Marcelo, Real’s assist leader, scored the winner against Valencia in the Spanish league on Saturday. Atletico’s defence struggled early this season when Simeone tried different formations in an attempt to make the team more attack-minded, but the changes led to more goals being conceded and a loss of valuable points early on in the Spanish league. The coach has found the right balance, keeping the team unbeaten in 11 games and conceding only four goals in its last 12 matches in all competitions. Atletico are virtually out of the title race in the Spanish league. They are fighting Sevilla for third place, but their focus is solely on eliminating Real and getting another shot at the European title that has eluded the club so far. Atletico also lost the final in 1974, to Bayern Munich. MADRID (AP): Atletico Madrid might not be able to rely on their mighty defence when they resume their run at the Champions League title. Atletico’s backline has been depleted by injuries and coach Diego Simeone will have to improvise when his team takes on Real Madrid today in the first leg of their semifinal. Simeone won’t be able to count on key defensive players such as Jose Gimenez and Juanfran Torres for the game at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, and they may not even recover in time for the second leg at Vicente Calderon Stadium next week. “We will find the solutions,” Simeone said, staying positive. Atletico have lost three straight times to Real in the Champions League, including the 2014 and 2016 finals. The same stout defence which helped to carry Atletico to those finals has earned the team the best record in the Spanish league, with only 25 goals conceded in 35 games.last_img read more

Man booked on kidnap charges

first_imgNORWALK – A parolee at large was arrested Friday after witnesses saw him allegedly kidnap his ex-girlfriend in what turned out to be a stolen car, officials said. The suspect was driving a red Honda about 10:30 a.m. on Fairford Avenue at Taddy Street when a 23-year-old woman, later determined to be the driver’s ex-girlfriend, jumped out of the car, said Norwalk sheriff’s Sgt. Craig Harman. As witnesses watched, the driver followed the woman out of the car, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her back inside the vehicle with two other males before driving off, Harman said. Witnesses flagged down a sheriff’s car, and deputies tried to catch the car, which was heading west toward Bellflower, said Harman. When the car reached Ferina Street on southbound McNab Avenue, as deputies were still at least 600 feet behind the vehicle, the driver lost control and hit a curb, causing the car to roll over, Harman said. Deputies arrived as the occupants of the vehicle were crawling out, said Harman. The alleged kidnap victim was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries, and the suspect was hospitalized for observation prior to being booked, said Harman. The two other male passengers were not injured, he added. It was discovered that the car was stolen, Harman said, and Vincent Bejar, 27, of Norwalk was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, grand theft auto, and parole violations. news.tribune@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more