As you might expect, most of the attention after Atletico Madrid beat Chelsea in the Champions League semifinal, as projected by the memes and jokes running around the internet, goes to Jose Mourinho and his parking the bus tactics that seem to have run their course this season, failing for him to the joy of almost everyone.
Chelsea didn’t go out to defend all night long in the second leg. At home they play a different brand of football. But maybe trying to score in the first leg would have helped them. Instead, the moment they conceded an away goal it seemed like all the air went out of the balloon Mourinho has been pumping life and purpose into for the last couple of weeks.
But while everyone who isn’t a Chelsea fan seems to take joy in the faces Mourinho made while losing in a Champions League semifinal, Atletico deserve the credit without it having to do with any other team.They’re on their way to win a La Liga title for the first time in 18 years, and their football, while not always filled with flair and creativity, doesn’t exactly make life boring for anyone.
Diego Simeone, Cholo in the words of some, is leading them to an exceptional, historic season. They’ve taken the fight right into the lair of the beast(s) – Barcelona and Real Madrid, while leading his team to their first European Cup/Champions League final since 1974. There seem to be a lot of special moments for a team that was founded as a branch of Athletic Bilbao a very long time ago; maybe beating Chelsea in London isn’t the last of ’em.