Sun, 27 Nov 2022

MADRID, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Problems continue to mount up for Atletico Madrid following their 2-0 defeat away to Club Brugge in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The win leaves the Belgians as surprise leaders of Group B with three wins from three games, while Atletico are bottom of the group with just three points, the same as Porto and Bayer Leverkusen.

"There is still a lot of Champions League still to be played. We can't get nervous and we have to know how to play the remaining matches because there is still everything to play for," commented coach Diego Simeone after the defeat.

The loss means Atletico can't afford any slip-ups in their remaining games, but it also means the Atletico coach will have his options of rotating his squad limited between now and the end of October.

As well as the decisive Champions League matches, Atletico have La Liga matches at home against Girona and Rayo Vallecano and difficult away trips to face Athletic Club Bilbao and Betis, who currently sit third and fourth on the league table.

Tuesday also saw Atletico lose two key players to injury, with Spain international Marcos Llorente pulling up with a muscle problem in the first half, while central defender Jose Gimenez didn't appear for the second half due to injury.

It is another setback for the Uruguayan, who had only just returned from injury in Saturday's win in Sevilla, and his absence leaves the inconsistent Mario Hermoso as the only player fit to partner Stefan Savic in central defense and although Geoffrey Kondogbia filled in on Tuesday, Simeone's options are limited at a moment when he needs them everyone available.

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