la liga

Resino laments Atletico's opening day loss

August 31, 2009

Atletico Madrid coach Abel Resino admits his side have plenty of work to do on the training ground after suffering a dismal start to their Primera Division campaign.

Atletico travelled to opening-weekend opponents Malaga in buoyant mood having last week completed a 5-2 aggregate win over Panathinaikos to progress to the Champions League, but there was precious little to cheer on the south coast for Resino's men.

Malaga had lost 4-0 to Atletico on the opening day of last season, but they gained revenge by humbling the same opponents 3-0 yesterday, exposing some weaknesses in the Rojiblancos' side in the process.

"That was the worst we have played since returning back for pre-season,'' said Resino. "They closed down at the back and we had a tough time opening them up. We also had difficulties moving the ball quickly.

"It's not normal that a team like ours fails to score in a match, and we had our chances.''

It was at the back that Resino was most concerned though, as his side gifted Malaga their second two goals with dismal marking at a free-kick and a corner.

Atletico had looked to have strengthened their much-maligned backline with the summer acquisitions of highly-rated goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo and veteran centre-back Juanito, but it seems there is still plenty of work to be done.

"During the whole of pre-season we hadn't conceded a goal from set-pieces and against Malaga we conceded two,'' he said.

"We have to keep working and believe in the project here. You have to know where the problems are and try to resolve them so that they don't happen again.''