Diego Simeone is keeping his fingers crossed that Antoine Griezmann’s injury is not too serious after the striker hobbled off in Thursday’s 5-0 Copa del Rey win over Rayo Majadahonda.
The France international – who scored his side’s fourth after being introduced as a substitute – sustained a thigh injury in last month’s derby defeat to Real Madrid before testing positive for COVID-19 last week.
Simeone did not reveal the nature of Griezmann’s injury but said he hopes the France international, who left the pitch visibly upset, is not sidelined for long.
“The doctors will inform better than me,” he told a media conference. “He is a very important player for us and it is a shame that he was injured again.
“We hope he does not have much time out.”
Copa del Rey last 16 here we come! pic.twitter.com/BysgclGxje
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) January 6, 2022
Simeone fielded a strong starting XI for the game, which was played at the Wanda Metropolitano despite Majadahonda being drawn as the home team, and they never looked like they would suffer an upset after Matheus Cunha’s early opener.
Renan Lodi and Luis Suarez made it three before the interval, while Griezmann and fellow substitute Joao Felix rounded off the scoring in the second half.
After scoring against Granada in LaLiga before the mid-season break, Joao Felix has now scored in consecutive away games in all competitions for just the second time ever after doing so against Real Mallorca and Lokomotiv Moscow in October 2019.
Simeone was full of praise for the Portugal international and wants to see more of the same from him in the coming weeks.
“It was an extraordinary performance in the second half,” the Atleti boss added.
“He has come out with great enthusiasm and everything he has tried has turned out well for him. I’m very happy for him and I’m sure it will be good for us if he continues at this level.”
After four defeats in a row before the mid-season break, Atleti have started 2022 with back-to-back wins.
Simeone has been pleased with his side’s attitude since their return to action and he does not want them to let up.
“The side has a lot of desire to do things well,” he said. “The players have great intensity from minute one to get out of the moment of difficulty that the team was going through.
“Achieving consistency in the league is the most difficult thing and it is what we are trying to do.”
Atleti are next in action on Sunday when they visit Villarreal in LaLiga.