Atletico Madrid welcomed Getafe to the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano with a team featuring three debutants as they faced starting a new era with the unwelcome visit of a side who became notoriously hard to beat on their route to a return to European football last season.

In the end, as could have been expected between two sides built on defensive principles, the tie was settled by a single goal as Alvaro Morata headed home from a Kieran Trippier cross in the first half. Red cards for Jorge Molina and Renan Lodi made for an intriguing battle, with Morata missing a second-half penalty, but the three points went to the hosts to get their 2019/20 La Liga campaign off on the right foot.

This tactical analysis will consider how both Atletico Madrid and Getafe performed in this hard-fought battle in eastern Madrid on Sunday evening which ended in a 1-0 home win. The analysis will use statistics to prove how Diego Simeone’s men came out on top on the tactics board as well as on the field of play.


La Liga 2019/20: Atletico Madrid vs Getafe - Tactical Analysis tactics
Bordalas stuck to his rigid 4-4-2, while Simeone looked to experiment with a 4-3-1-2.

Simeone tweaked his tactics for this tie, primarily to accommodate Joao Felix into the side. He looking to change the shape of his team, from a more traditional and rigid 4-4-2 to a more liberal 4-3-1-2. Thomas Partey got the nod ahead of Marcos Llorente whilst Stefan Savic continued in defence ahead of Mario Hermoso, both reflecting Simeone’s desire to avoid changing too much too soon.

Jose Bordalas’ line-up involved three new debutants, but largely stuck to the typical structure and set-up that they stuck by last season. Damian Suarez and Allan Nyom teamed up on the right in an interesting selection which was experimented with throughout pre-season.

A new system for Atleti

In the past, Simeone has always stood by a traditional 4-4-2. To some extent, Antoine Griezmann was given a free role, though the midfield bank of four could always be relied upon to bring consistency and reliability. For the first time in a significant amount of time, Simeone looked to experiment in a competitive fixture. The 4-3-1-2 formation he deployed was, in reality, a midfield diamond. Thomas sat at the deepest point, protecting the backline, with Koke and Saul ahead of him.

To read the rest of this tactical analysis, go here