Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone will no doubt be glad to see the end of 2021 despite winning La Liga seven months ago.

Madrid’s defeat away at Sevilla on Saturday marked the first time in the Simeone era where Los Rojiblancos registered three losses in a row.

But the Argentine extended an unwanted record to four defeats after last night’s 2-1 loss away to Granada.

Things looked promising for the reigning La Liga champions as Joao Felix opened the scoring after two minutes with an impressive individual strike from range.

Granada v Atletico Madrid - La Liga Santander
(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

But the hosts equalised 15 minutes later thanks to a stunning long-range strike from Darwin Machis that gave Jan Oblak no chance.

Simeone’s men thought they had retaken the lead on the stroke of half-time via a Felix header, but the Portuguese wonderkid was adjudged to have fouled Granada’s very own Luis Suarez.

Following a VAR check, Jorge Molina completed the turnaround for Granada on the hour mark, to bundle the ball past Oblak.

Granada v Atletico Madrid - La Liga Santander
(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

The goal came a matter of seconds after Felix saw another long-range effort cannon off the post.

Angel Correa and Matheus Cunha had late chances to grab an equaliser, but both opportunities were squandered.

 

Simeone reacts to latest chastening defeat

Granada CF v Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander
(Photo by Álex Cámara/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

El Cholo’s fourth straight defeat for the first time during his 10-year tenue means that Atletico head into the winter break outside of the Champions League places and 17 points behind league leaders Real Madrid.

Atletico’s next clash comes against Rayo Vallecano, who currently occupy fourth spot in La Liga, on 2 January.

Luis Suarez, who extended his goal drought to six La Liga games, was once again hooked at a time when his side were looking to turn the game around.

Granada CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander
(Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Reflecting on his side’s latest defeat, Simeone told Mundo Deportivo: “It is clear that there is neglect, a lot and that sadly makes us pay with defeats matches that we do not deserve.

“We played very well, the inattention, the de-concentration and the small details are costing us dearly.

“I have no doubt that the team has good things. With tranquillity and balance we will move forward.”

Simeone will be hoping for a change of fortunes going into the new year before welcoming Manchester United to the Wanda Metropolitano, for the Champions League last-16 first leg, on 23 February.

On current form, Atletico look to be suffering an identity crisis, but come February, Simeone’s men could be a completely different proposition.

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