Atletico Madrid full-back Filipe Luis has left Diego Simeone with a defensive headache ahead of this weekend’s game against Espanyol.
The Brazilian international has been performing well of late, but his action on the field will now take a back seat after being ruled out through injury.
Having sat out against Girona, Alaves and Club Brugge, the 33-year-old was replaced after an hour against Real Valladolid at the weekend and was replaced by Thomas Partey.
His injury problems continue to mount for Simeone, having Diego Costa, Jose Maria Gimenez and Lucas Hernandez all on the sidelines.
Juventus and Cristiano in the Champions League
Having progressed to the last-16 of the Champions League last week, Atleti will now prepare to face Juventus.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s side won their group, which featured Manchester United and Valencia, and they will play the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano in February – before the return leg in Italy – one month later.
Jose Maria Gimenez, Lucas Hernandez and Filipe Luis are all expected to return for that opening leg, however, Costa’s injury is a little more complex.
Win against Valladolid
Atletico Madrid had to fight hard to beat Real Valladolid on Saturday afternoon, beating them 3-2 in the end.
Unbeaten in their last 12 league encounters, Atletico headed to Valladolid determined to avoid an eighth draw as they aimed to build on last weekend’s 3-0 win against Deportivo Alavés.
Returning from injury were defensive duo Juanfran and Diego Godin with the latter being thrown straight into the starting line-up.
However, Diego Costa remained sidelined with a foot problem which meant Nikola Kalinic would partner Antoine Griezmann up front for Atletico.
And the Croatian striker only took 26 minutes to get on the scoresheet after he slotted in Griezmann’s through ball for his second goal in two matches.
After going 1-0 down, Valladolid reacted well and began to pose more of a threat to Atletico with Oscar Plano coming close to an equaliser 11 minutes later.
But, on the verge of the whistle being blown for half-time, a penalty was awarded to Atletico after a VAR review showed that Griezmann’s shot from the edge of the area had been deflected by Kiko Olivas’ arm.
The French forward then scored the spot-kick to put the visitors 2-0 up at the Estadio José Zorrilla heading into the break.
Into the second-half and Valladolid made an unlikely comeback after a strong start with Enes Ünal and Olivas both testing Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
La Pucela’s persistence soon paid off with Fernando Calero heading into the bottom right corner of the goal following a corner-kick.
Shortly after Filipe Luís was withdrawn with an injury, Atletico’s problems deepened when Saúl Ñíguez accidentally put the ball into his own net from another corner.
It put the scoreline back at 2-2 between the sides to set-up an intense ending to the game with both teams uninterested in settling for a point.
In 80th-minute of the match though, Griezmann stepped up to put Atletico back in front after his left footed shot from a tricky angle found the bottom right corner of Jordi Masip’s net.
Los Colchoneros then held on to claim only their second away win in the league this season and move temporarily level with league leaders Barcelona, who visit Levante on Sunday.