In the previous seven seasons prior to the current campaign, Diego Simeone has developed a Champions League knockout round strategy the envy of coaches across the continent.
It isn't an overly elaborate, intricate masterplan. Its beauty comes in its simplicity - don't concede at home, if you score one it is a bonus, and do your attacking damage when goals count for double on the road.
Two finals and one semi-final in seven years, for a side of Atletico Madrid's stature - a huge club but not one who has always been at the very top of the game - is rather impressive, with Simeone's tried and trusted cautious methods bearing fruit.
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In those previous seven seasons on the continent, in 12 knockout games, Atletico conceded just two goals. So when Chelsea came to what was officially Atletico's home game for their last-16 first leg on Tuesday, Simeone reverted to type. This time, however, it backfired, as Chelsea scored a rare away goal against Atleti. The question is, up against a team not exactly at their relentless best in attack, did Simone really need to be so conservative?

Olivier Giroud

Image credit: Getty Images

Atletico, perhaps more so than ever, have a myriad of attacking options at their disposal. They broke the world transfer record to bring in Joao Felix who, after a slow start, is finding his feet and showing what he can do, while Luis Suarez looks like a signing that Barcelona will regret letting leave for a long, long time, with the Uruguayan having found his goalscoring touch again this season.
Further back, Marcos Llorente has developed into a potent weapon, having bulked up and added consistency to his game, while Thomas Lemar provides so much from wider positions.
But against Chelsea, Simeone did not get the most out his arsenal as he stuck with his old faithful system - the wrong move for two reasons.
Firstly, of late, Atleti have not quite been their resolute selves. Before Chelsea's visit, Simeone's side had kept just one clean sheet in 2021, and take out the fact that Jose Gimenez - their best defender - was injured, frustrating Chelsea, as they have done to many an opponent during the Simeone years, was always going to be more difficult than usual.

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It is not just about the back four, of course, in the Simeone defensive unit. We saw in the first half, as Chelsea enjoyed 71.3 per cent possession, Atleti's low block in all its glory. Getting through that was just not going to happen. It would, at the very least, take something very special indeed. Step forward Olivier Giroud.
What Simeone is likely to regret most about his measured approach, however, will be being so negative against this Chelsea team. Chelsea have improved markedly under Thomas Tuchel, but mainly in terms of organisation and solidity at the back - Simeone's dream.
They have conceded just two goals in 12 games since the German took over. It was therefore clear than Tuchel was never going to come to Bucharest and attack en masse. So why, without facing much of an onslaught, did Atletico need so many men behind the ball?

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On nights like this, special moments can happen that you cannot legislate for - Giroud's overhead kick being the perfect example of such. The latter stages of the Champions League feature the best players in the world, a goal out of nowhere is not an altogether uncommon occurrence.
The problem comes when that goal is against you late on, after your have spent the entirety of the match playing within yourselves.
The tie is far from over, and Atletico have previous on the road in the Champions League - just ask Jurgen Klopp - but the first leg will feel like a opportunity missed for Simeone.
It is all well and good putting all your energy into keeping the other team out when the Real Madrid Galacticos of yesteryear are in town, or Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich, but a Chelsea team in transition, whose forwardline are hardly plundering goals left, right and centre? Not so much.
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