Goal-shy Atletico face early, em­bar­rass­ing exit

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

Atletico Madrid, within inches of Cham­pi­ons League glory twice in the last four years, are in dan­ger of an em­bar­rass­ing early exit from the com­pe­ti­tion un­less they can re­dis­cover their scor­ing touch against Qarabag FK on Tues­day.

Diego Sime­one’s side have only net­ted five times in their last seven games in all com­pe­ti­tions, of which they have only won one, and their profli­gacy con­tin­ued in a 1-1 home draw with Vil­lar­real on Satur­day.

The strug­gle to score has been most pro­nounced in the Cham­pi­ons League, with An­toine Griez­mann’s penalty in the 2-1 de­feat by Chelsea the only time they have found the net in this sea­son.

Atletico have made their worst start in the tour­na­ment since 2009 af­ter tak­ing two points from their three games and must beat Azer­bai­jani cham­pi­ons Qarabag to have a re­al­is­tic chance of reach­ing the last 16.

Atletico’s growth has been stunted by a ban on reg­is­ter­ing new play­ers, although the team’s big­gest prob­lem has not been their abil­ity to cre­ate chances, but their strug­gle to put them away

—REUTERS

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