Atletico Madrid had trained with ten men the day before their Europa League semi-final first leg at Arsenal, with coach Diego Simeone correctly predicting that his side may lose a player.
Simeone’s men fought back to take a 1-1 draw back to the Spanish capital after losing defender Sime Vrsaljko to a red card inside the first ten minutes of the clash in north London.
Atletico midfielder Thomas Partey has revealed that the Madrid club were so effective shorthanded because they had trained at playing a man down.
“The thing about Simeone a lot of people don’t know is that his instincts are always right,” Partey told British media outlet Independent.
“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.
“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.”