Atletico Madrid endured a shocking defeat at the hands of Segunda B side Cornella which resulted in the LaLiga table-toppers being knocked out of the Copa del Rey. Cornella, who are currently the 7th ranked team in Spain’s third tier of football also known as the Segunda B division, pulled off an amazing upset on Wednesday by defeating Atletico Madrid.
The win against Athletico was critical for the Segunda B team given how they were in a poor run of form prior to the match. The Copa Del Rey hosts walked into the game against the LaLiga giants following a winless streak. Cornella were winless in their previous three league matches as they suffered narrow losses against Espanyol and Barcelona in the Segunda B division and sandwiched between those two losses was a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Badalona. However, despite all the difficulties, Cornella managed to register a massive win for themselves and knock out Atletico Madrid.
A loss for Atletico Madrid to a third-tier team is not something new as the La Liga leaders were also knocked out of the Copa Del Rey by a third-tier team last year. While Cultural Leonesa emerged victorious 12 months ago, it was Cornella's turn in 2021. The loss on Wednesday now means that Atletico Madrid have now been defeated in more matches by third-tier teams than any other Primera team since January 18th, 2020.
Diego Simeone fielded a decent starting 11 consisting of players in Joao Felix, Saul Niguez, Renan Lodi and Lucas Torreira. Despite having a strong starting lineup, Diego Simeone missed the services of some key players like Yannick Carrasco, Koke, Marcos Llorente and Luis Suarez who were not a part of the squad for the Copa Del Rey game. Cornella helped themselves by scoring the only goal of the game within the first seven minutes of the clash as Adrian Jimenez slotted the ball into the back of the net with Agus Medina providing the assist.
Atletico Madrid could not recover from the early blow and struggled to create chances as they could not score a goal. The closest Simeone's side came to scoring was the first half when Saul Niguez's shot hit the crossbar. Later on, Diego Simeone also went on to take Joao Felix off in the second half when they were trailing by a goal and looking for an equaliser. Things went from bad to worse for Atletico Madrid when Richard Sanchez picked up a second yellow card and they had to play with 10 men for the last half hour.
The LaLiga leaders face an uphill task in the domestic league as they welcome Athletic Club followed by Sevilla at the Wanda Metropolitano. With one less competition to play, Diego Simeone will look to turn it into an advantage and focus on the title challenge.