Arsenal will take on Atletico Madrid tomorrow in the second leg of their Europa League final. The scores are poised at one apiece after the first leg in the Emirates. It was a match in which Arsenal failed to capitalise after Atletico defender Sime Vrsaljko was sent off after ten minutes, but Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey has revealed in an interview with The Independent that the Spanish side were more than prepared to face the Gunners a man down.
Partey explained that Simeone had already trained playing 11 v 10 in anticipation for any potential red card:
The thing about Simeone a lot of people don’t know is that his instincts are always right.
We trained playing 10 vs 11 the day before the game and he kept telling us that we might end up a man down and it came earlier than expected.
Amazingly prescient from Simeone, though maybe the Argentinian should look at why he expected his side to lose their restraint in the game rather than preparing for the lapse in control.
The defensive midfielder also told the paper how grateful he is to work under Simeone and how the 48-year-old's training sessions are always a 'battle':
I feel so privileged being trained by such a coach for some time now the media always talks about how well players are paid and how we live a luxurious life but for those who know me I keep saying that every player will improve like me if they train under him.
I don’t know what other clubs do but every training session is a battle here because the team keeps changing based on how hard you train and perform in games.