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Combustible Atletico head coach Diego Simeone was slapped with an eight-game touchline ban by the Spanish Football Federation prior to kick-off in Monday evening’s opening La Liga fixture of the new season at Vallecano.
And as a result of the Argentinian’s physical altercation with officials in Friday’s Supercopa second-leg clash with archrivals Real Madrid at the Vicente Calderon, the Atleti boss was forced to watch this city derby from the stands rather than occupying his usual spot in the champions’ dugout.
The visitors, though, appeared lethargic following their recent exertions against Los Blancos—especially after half-time as limbs began to tire—while there is no doubt either that Atletico badly missed the motivational presence of their energetic manager on the sidelines.
However, with Simeone’s suspension also set to include next month’s derby at the Santiago Bernabeu, this was not the start to the defence of their title that the coach would have been hoping for.