Atletico Madrid had to settle for a second successive 0-0 draw in LaLiga as they were held at home by Villarreal on Saturday. 

Diego Simeone's side began the new season with a resounding 6-1 thrashing of Granada at the Wanda Metropolitano but, after being shut out in midweek by Huesca, they failed to fire in attack once again. 

Not even Luis Suarez could inspire Atleti on his first home start, the Uruguayan unable to affect proceedings in the same way he did when introduced off the bench in that stunning opening win. 

Suarez - who scored twice in a 20-minute cameo against Granada following his move from Barcelona - struggled to make an impact before making way for Diego Costa, part of a triple substitution by Simeone in the 70th minute. 

Yannick Carrasco and Marcos Llorente were also introduced, yet a determined Villarreal stood firm through to the final whistle, picking up a useful point that sends them top of the table in the embryonic stages of the 2020-21 campaign. 

Atletico had failed to trouble Sergio Asenjo in the away goal during a tepid first half that saw them on top without truly threatening, Suarez having two of their six off-target attempts before the break.  

Indeed, the visitors had the only chance of note in the opening 45 minutes, Mario Gaspar's rising attempt from outside the penalty area forcing Jan Oblak to tip the ball over his crossbar.  

Villarreal's captain was again denied by the Atletico goalkeeper soon after the interval, this time with a low shot that was parried away by Oblak, while Gerard Moreno had a glorious late chance to secure victory for Unai Emery and his team. 

Picked out by substitute Samuel Chukwueze, the Spain international caught his volleyed attempt cleanly but sent it narrowly wide, one of few opportunities in a game that will not live long in the memory for those who witnessed it.

Could Ousmane Dembele be the solution for Manchester United?

Jadon Sancho has been United's number one target, but the Premier League giants have been unable to prise the Englishman from Borussia Dortmund.

Barca's Dembele is reportedly next on the list and believed to be open to swapping Spain for England.

 

TOP STORY – DEMBELE WEIGHING UP MAN UTD MOVE

Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele is considering a transfer to Manchester United, according to Sport.

Dembele – struggling for game time at Camp Nou – has emerged as an alternative to Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho for United, who are trying to sign an attacker before the transfer window closes.

Initially linked with a loan move, ESPN claims United are prepared to pay €50million (£45m) for Dembele as Paul Pogba attempts to convince the Frenchman to make the move.

 

ROUND-UP

- Goal says Bayern Munich are trying to convince Chelsea to sanction Callum Hudson-Odoi's exit, initially on loan. Bayern previously tried to sign Hudson-Odoi and the Bundesliga champions have returned again, prepared to include an obligation to buy the 19-year-old winger in 2021.

- L'Equipe claims Real Madrid have entered the race for Lyon star Houssem Aouar. The Frenchman has been heavily linked to Arsenal, as well as Paris Saint-Germain.

Lucas Torreira will undergo a medical on Saturday ahead of joining Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan deal from Arsenal, says Onda Cero.

Diogo Dalot will join Milan from United on loan, reports Fabrizio Romano and Gianluca Di Marzio. Out of favour in Manchester, the Portuguese full-back had also been linked to Roma.

- According to the front pages of Saturday's Tuttosport, Corriere dello Sport and La Gazzetta dello Sport, Federico Chiesa is nearing a Fiorentina exit as he eyes Serie A champions Juventus. The Italian has also been linked to the likes of United, Inter and Chelsea.

Napoli have submitted an offer to sign Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko on loan, reports Fabrizio Romano. Hertha Berlin, PSG and Milan are also reportedly eyeing the Frenchman.

Joao Felix has once again started the season positively and Diego Simeone hopes the Atletico Madrid forward can maintain his form this time around.

After his €126million arrival from Benfica, Joao Felix contributed two goals and an assist in his first six LaLiga games for Atletico in 2019-20 but the remainder of his campaign was punctuated by injuries that made it difficult for him to consistently produce.

Atleti started this season by thrashing Granada 6-1, with the Portugal international winning a penalty, assisting a goal for Angel Correa and scoring one of his own in an impressive display.

Although Simeone's side were held to a goalless draw by newly promoted Huesca in midweek, Joao Felix had six attempts on goal and created two chances for his team-mates.

The Atleti boss hopes to see more of the same from Joao Felix when his team entertain Villarreal at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.

"Last season, in the pre-season, he had the same enthusiasm and joy in the game that he's showing now," Simeone said in a news conference on Friday.

"In the first four or five games, until he suffered the injury, he made a very good start to the season.

"Let's hope he can maintain it, keep growing with the team and we can continue to benefit from a player in whom we have a lot of hope."

Atleti only lost four times in LaLiga last season but drew 16 games as they finished third, 17 points adrift of champions Real Madrid.

Simeone expects his team to improve this term but refuses to take his eyes off the task at hand and focus on long-term goals.

"It is an important season because the players have grown compared to the previous season," he said.

"We will not move away from going game by game… what counts is the game against Villarreal.

"We will face a great team with great footballers who will compete to be among the top positions in the league."

Manchester United's problems in the transfer window have reportedly continued as they target Federico Chiesa and Alex Telles.

The Premier League giants have had a tough window so far, with only Donny van de Beek arriving from Ajax.

That is their only inclusion despite links to the likes of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho and Telles, and their progress is still seemingly slow ahead of the window closing on Monday.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD'S CHIESA BID REJECTED, SNUBBED OVER TELLES

Manchester United had a loan enquiry for Fiorentina attacker Chiesa turned down, according to The Telegraph.

As they struggle to land a deal for Sancho, United have been linked with Chiesa and Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele.

Chiesa, a 22-year-old Italy international, has made a fine start to this season, scoring once and providing an assist in two Serie A games.

United seemed closer to bringing in Telles, but O Jogo reports Porto did not even respond to their first bid for the left-back – believed to be around £11.8million (€13m) – as the Portuguese giants see it as unrealistic.

 

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- After Luis Suarez's arrival at Atletico Madrid, Diego Costa is linked with a move away. AS reports Paris Saint-Germain are considering a move for the forward, and it adds Atletico could look to replace him with free agent Edinson Cavani.

- Manchester City's transfer business in this window could be done. The Sun reports any plans for the Premier League side to bring in a left-back – either Bayern Munich's David Alaba or Ajax's Nicolas Tagliafico – are reliant on a late bid being received for Oleksandr Zinchenko.

- Are Bayern Munich looking for a back-up for star Robert Lewandowski? Sport Bild reports the Bundesliga champions want to sign Hoffenheim forward Andrej Kramaric. The Croatia international scored twice against Bayern in the Bundesliga on Saturday and is up to seven goals in three games in 2020-21.

- Tottenham are reportedly looking at Benfica striker Carlos Vinicius. Football.London says Spurs are hoping to loan the striker with an option to buy for £36.3m (€40m). Carlos Vinicius scored 24 goals in 47 games in all competitions last season.

- Staying at Spurs and Sky Sports reports Celtic have made an approach for Tottenham left-back Ryan Sessegnon. However, it says finances are problematic, while multiple Premier League clubs are also keeping an eye on Sessegnon.

- Andreas Pereira is set to leave Manchester United. Fabrizio Romano reports a deal between United and Lazio has been signed for a loan with option to buy for €27m (£24.5m).

Atletico Madrid failed to build on their rout of Granada as they were held to a goalless draw at Huesca in their second LaLiga match of 2020-21.

Luis Suarez came on from the bench to star in Sunday's 6-1 victory at Wanda Metropolitano, but the former Barcelona man failed to make the same impact after starting on Wednesday.

Indeed, Suarez managed just two attempts at goal in a little over an hour on the pitch, though his replacement Diego Costa fared little better.

Joao Felix's snapshot and Koke's blocked effort came close to breaking Huesca's resolve, but the promoted side held firm to secure a deserved point as Atleti failed to hunt down what would have been a 200th LaLiga triumph for Diego Simeone.

Huesca should have had their rewards for a bright start in the 19th minute, yet Jaime Seoane headed over from close range after meeting Dimitrios Siovas' cross.

Suarez had his first meaningful attempt soon after, though he was swiftly charged down – one of just two Atleti shots in the first half.

Joao Felix crafted space for a shot with some quick footwork in the 66th minute, but his effort arrowed narrowly wide before Koke saw an effort blocked.

Having only previously had to make the save from Suarez, Fernandez came up big in the 89th minute to keep out Joao Felix's volley and seal a well-earned point

What does it mean? Simeone made to wait for landmark win

Simeone needs just one more victory to take him to 200 wins as a coach in LaLiga. He has taken charge of 327 games, with 78 draws and 50 defeats. However, his side put in a lethargic and blunt display at El Alcoraz, in contrast to their dominant performance last time out.

Siovas and Pulido keep Suarez and co. quiet

It was a job well done by Huesca's centre-back pairing, who closed down the space for Suarez and Joao Felix to operate in. Their resilience helped the hosts end their run of two defeats to Atleti, which both occurred in the 2018-19 season.

Suarez struggles on his first start

In his only previous league match against Huesca, in September 2018, Suarez was involved in three Barcelona goals. However, he was not up to scratch on his full Atleti debut, registering just one attempt on target and failing to create any chances.

What's next? 

Villarreal visit Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday in Atleti's next outing, while Huesca travel to face Elche.

Luis Suarez has been handed his full debut for Atletico Madrid as Diego Simeone's side take on Huesca in their second LaLiga fixture of the campaign.

Suarez came off the bench to run riot in the final 20 minutes of Atleti's 6-1 demolition of Granada on Sunday.

The Uruguay striker – signed last week in a €6million move from Barcelona – scored twice and provided an assist to round off a fine start to the season for Atleti.

He became the first Atleti player in the 21st century to both score and assist in his first match for the club, while also becoming their first debutant ever to net a brace.

In total, Suarez managed four attempts in total, created one chance and completed 10 passes from his 16 touches, with a 70 per cent passing accuracy.

His reward for his efforts is a first start for his new club, with the 33-year-old partnering Joao Felix - another Sunday scorer - up front.

Diego Costa opened the scoring against Granada, but the Spain international has made way for Suarez, despite Simeone suggesting he may use both forwards from the off.

Suarez coming in for Costa was one of five changes made by Simeone, with Marcos Llorente, Mario Hermoso, Vitolo and Arsenal-linked Thomas Partey also starting.

Lionel Messi understands those who felt he should have kept quiet about Luis Suarez's Barcelona departure but said his criticism was a way of expressing things that have "hurt me".

Suarez was allowed to join LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid in a €6million deal last week and started life at the Rojiblancos with a brace and an assist off the bench in a 6-1 battering of Granada on Sunday.

The decision of the club and new coach Ronald Koeman to tell Suarez he was free to leave is thought to have been a motivating factor behind Messi sensationally telling Barca he wanted to depart last month.

Messi later signalled he will stay at Camp Nou after accusing president Josep Maria Bartomeu of making a move "impossible".

But when Suarez – who is third in Barca's all-time list of scorers with 198 and won 13 trophies in six seasons with Los Cules – departed, Messi accused the club of "kicking out" the former Liverpool striker and added "at this point nothing surprises me" in an Instagram post.

Explaining why he opted to vent on social media, Messi told SPORT: "I only said what I felt in some moments that were hard for me.

"I understand that there will be those who think that I should have kept quiet or let it pass, as in so many other things that I let pass.

"But many things hurt me in recent weeks and it was my way of expressing it."

A tumultuous period, which started with Barca's 8-2 demolition at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, saw Messi attempt to force a transfer.

Eventually Messi said he will stay put this season, stating he did not want to drag the saga through the courts when Barca and LaLiga disputed the superstar forward's claim he could utilise a clause in his contract to leave on a free transfer.

Messi began Barca's LaLiga campaign by scoring a penalty in a 4-0 rout of Villarreal and he insisted his commitment to winning and the club is as strong as ever.

"Whoever knows me knows that I am not capable of playing anything other than always to win and to give everything on the pitch," he added.

"It was like that throughout my career and that is not going to change. Today my commitment to this shirt and this badge is total, it is still intact."

Ousmane Dembele has been linked with a move to Manchester United before the transfer window closes.

Dembele is seen as an alternative to Jadon Sancho, who remains at Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund.

But Dembele is reportedly against leaving Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – DEMBELE NOT INTERESTED IN UNITED

Ousmane Dembele does not want to leave Barcelona amid interest from Manchester United, claims Sky Deutschland via Inside Futbol.

Dembele has emerged as an option for United, who have failed to prise number one transfer target Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

As Dortmund refuse to lower their demands, United reportedly want Dembele on loan, however the France international is happy at Camp Nou.

 

ROUND-UP

United are also eyeing former Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani and Real Madrid's Luka Jovic, claims Gianluca Di Marzio. Desperate to reinforce their squad, United are set to attempt to sign free agent Cavani or Jovic on loan. Jovic has also been linked to Roma, Milan and Inter.

- Fabrizio Romano says Tottenham remain in talks with Inter for Milan Skriniar. Spurs are determined to sign the centre-back, though Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger – also linked to PSG – is an alternative.

Callum Hudson-Odoi is interested in joining Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, reports Sky Germany. The Chelsea winger has previously been linked with Bayern, and he has struggled to cement his position in London.

Lucas Torreira's agent is set for transfer talks with Atletico Madrid as the Arsenal midfielder looks to leave London, reports Romano. It comes as Gunners full-back Sead Kolasinac nears a switch to Bayer Leverkusen.

Lionel Messi is welcome to join Luis Suarez at Atletico Madrid if he still wants to play alongside the Uruguayan, Los Colchoneros president Enrique Cerezo has cheekily suggested.

Suarez was unceremoniously dumped by Barca last week, selling him to Atletico for just €6million after six years at Camp Nou.

In that time Suarez rose to third on the club's all-time leading scorers list, but the way his exit was handled angered close friend Messi, who wants to leave Barca.

The initial decision in pre-season to get rid of Suarez reportedly contributed to the club's captain and talisman asking to leave and, although he failed to force a transfer, he again showed his disdain for those in charge by publicly lambasting them for the Uruguayan's exit.

Suarez made his Atletico debut in Sunday's 6-1 demolition of Granada, coming off the bench to devastating effect as he scored twice and got an assist.

And Cerezo has audaciously suggested Messi joins Suarez at the Wanda Metropolitano, borrowing a marketing slogan from Spanish nougat company El Almendro.

"In life, if you want something... If Leo Messi wants to play with Luis Suarez, I tell him the same thing that is said with nougat: 'Let him come home for Christmas'. With desire, anything is possible," he said on Cadena Cope.

Despite the turmoil at Barca over the past seven weeks, Cerezo showed support to his under-fire counterpart at Camp Nou, Josep Maria Bartomeu.

"Everything [with the Suarez signing] went perfectly well," he said. "Bartomeu is a good friend and a great president.

"At the moment things are not going well at Barcelona, but he has acted as he had to act and nothing else has happened. The signing was not complicated, the player plays where he wanted to play."

But Suarez's international colleague Edinson Cavani will not be joining him at Atletico, having previously been mooted as a replacement for Diego Costa.

"Diego Costa is a player that Atletico Madrid needs," Cerezo added. "The season is very long. You don't have to complicate things.

"I don't think there will be a change at Atleti. Cavani's circumstances have not been the same as those of Luis Suarez.

"He is a fantastic player, but everything is different. It wasn't because of me or his brother [Walter Guglielmone, also his agent] that he didn't come."

Diego Simeone was more impressed by Luis Suarez's assist and movement off the ball than his two goals in Atletico Madrid's 6-1 LaLiga rout of Granada.

Suarez was brought on in the 70th minute and marked his Atleti debut in style by netting an impressive double and setting up fellow substitute Marcos Llorente on Sunday.

The Uruguay international, who only joined in a €6million deal from Barcelona on Friday, also won a penalty that was overturned by VAR in a one-sided LaLiga contest.

Suarez scored with two types of finishes – one a brilliant header and the other a cute first-time finish on the rebound – but head coach Simeone was most pleased by the way his new forward teed up Llorente with only his second touch of the ball.

"His two goals didn't stand out for me, but his assists, his runs and his movement did," Simeone said after the match.

"The changes gave us a bit extra with the strength of Marcos, the quality of Vitolo, the clarity of Thomas [Partey] and Suarez knows what he has to do: play for the team."

Diego Costa, Angel Correa and Joao Felix were also on target for Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano as they recorded their biggest win in an opening league game under Simeone.

Atleti have been tipped to rival Real Madrid and Barca for the title this term and Simeone is hopeful that increased competition for a starting spot can get the most out of his players.

"It will depend on our work, our squad depth and the players' security. The team was liberated," he said. 

"The arrival of an important player improves the team, but the team was already working very well. Now we'll continue taking it game by game, like always.

"Suarez's arrival generates a very good internal competition and if the 23 players accept the minutes they're going to get, I'm sure we'll compete well

"From my perspective, when it comes to building a squad, I look for guys who know how to perform and who accept when they play and when they don't.

"That's how great teams are formed. That's what gives you the possibility of having more options. That's what we're looking for season by season."

Luis Suarez revealed he felt the need for "fresh air" before leaving Barcelona as he scored twice in a remarkable debut for Atletico Madrid.

Suarez came on in the 70th minute at Wanda Metropolitano with Atleti 3-0 up against Granada thanks to goals from Diego Costa, Angel Correa and Joao Felix, while Saul Niguez had missed a penalty.

A stunning cameo followed, with Suarez netting a brilliant double after providing an assist for his fellow substitute Marcos Llorente.

The 33-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona as the Catalan club look to rebuild under Ronald Koeman, but Suarez believes the time was right for him to move on.

"Very good, very happy for the debut, for the three points," he told Movistar. "When you make your debut and help the team with goals, you are always happy.

"It is a moment in which I needed fresh air, it is important to change and accept it.

"I come to a club that has given me a spectacular welcome, the atmosphere is very good from the beginning and that is reflected on the field."

Before Suarez stole the show, Joao Felix had put in an impressive display partnering Costa up front, having teed up Correa's goal prior to getting on the scoresheet himself.

"We're feeling good about ourselves. We've completed a great game, scoring many goals and creating lots of chances," he told Atleti's club media.

"We have to continue like this. I'm feeling good. I'm happy and enjoying myself. Things are going well.

"This was just the first game, but we want to complete a very, very good season. We're working towards that. We started today and have to continue against Huesca."

 

Luis Suarez was deemed surplus to requirements as Barcelona have looked to rejuvenate their squad, but the 33-year-old stole the show in a 6-1 victory on his Atletico Madrid debut.

Atleti were already 3-0 up against Granada in LaLiga by the time Suarez was introduced in the 70th minute at Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday, setting the stage for him to take the headlines.

In a remarkable cameo, Suarez scored twice, provided an assist and won a penalty, which was subsequently overturned by VAR.

Suarez, who scored with a brilliant header and then a cute first-time finish on the rebound after he had hit the post, managed four attempts in total, created one chance and completed 10 passes from his 16 touches, with a 70 per cent passing accuracy.

His tally of shots was the most of any player on either side, while his two efforts on target both resulted in goals. The assist, for fellow substitute Marcos Llorente, came with just his second touch.

The Uruguay striker's double makes him the first Atleti debutant to net a brace, while he is also the first player to both score and assist on his debut for the club in the 21st century.

With Suarez's star quality to call on, Diego Simeone's side could be well placed to mount a serious title challenge this term.

A penny for Lionel Messi's thoughts.

Luis Suarez scored twice and assisted another in a dream debut off the bench in Atletico Madrid's 6-1 demolition of Granada in their opening LaLiga fixture.

The Uruguay forward, who joined from Barcelona in a €6million deal on Friday, had already provided an assist for Marcos Llorente and won a penalty that was overturned by the time he powered in a header for his first Atleti goal.

Jorge Molina's consolation brought only brief joy for Granada as Suarez, who only entered the fray in the 70th minute, rounded off a sensational cameo in second-half injury time.

The result was already beyond doubt before Suarez's introduction with Diego Costa heading Atleti in front and, after Saul Niguez missed a first-half penalty, Angel Correa and Joao Felix were also on target prior to the late glut of goals.

Luis Suarez will have to wait for his full Atletico Madrid debut after the former Barcelona striker was named on the bench for Sunday's clash with Granada.

Uruguay star Suarez completed a €6million move to Atleti on Friday, after being deemed surplus to requirements by Barca.

New Barca boss Ronald Koeman revealed in his news conference on Saturday that, while he planned to discard Suarez anyway, the decision to sell the former Liverpool star had already been made before he arrived at Camp Nou, much to Lionel Messi's chagrin.

Diego Simeone was full of praise for his latest addition in the build-up to Atleti's home game against Granada, confirming the 33-year-old would be involved, though he did not reveal if Suarez would start.

Ultimately, the striker had to settle for a place on the bench at the Wanda Metropolitano, with Joao Felix partnering Diego Costa up front.

Alongside Suarez among the Atleti substitutes is midfielder Thomas Partey, who is reportedly the subject of interest from Arsenal.

Simeone elected to go with Koke and Saul Niguez in central midfield, with Yannick Carrasco and Angel Correa out wide, and a back four of Kieran Trippier, Stefan Savic, Felipe and Renan Lodi – who enjoyed a fine maiden LaLiga season in 2019-20.

Defender Jose Gimenez – a mooted Manchester City target – is in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus.

Diego Simeone wants Luis Suarez to improve on the goalscoring output of Alvaro Morata and be the catalyst that makes Atletico Madrid LaLiga title challengers again following his move from Barcelona.

Suarez completed a €6million switch from Barca on Friday, signing a two-year contract with Atleti following a largely acrimonious Camp Nou departure.

The Uruguayan striker, 33, reached third in Barca's all-time goalscoring charts in his six years at the club and netted 16 in the league last term, a respectable figure given he made just 22 starts and missed a significant portion of the season through injury.

Ronald Koeman revealed in his news conference on Saturday that, while he planned to discard Suarez anyway, the decision to move the former Liverpool star on had already been made before the Dutchman arrived.

But one man's trash is another man's treasure, and Simeone is adamant Suarez's impact at the Wanda Metropolitano could be massive, challenging him to improve on the 12 LaLiga goals scored last season by Morata, who was allowed to leave for Juventus.

"The arrival of Suarez encourages us to continue growing," Simeone told reporters, having also confirmed the striker is in the squad for Atletico's season opener at home to Granada on Sunday.

"He will give us internal competition. He is a forward who has impressive offensive power and hopefully he can continue to produce the numbers that he has been doing in the past.

"These six years [at Barca] have been wonderful [for Suarez]. His colleagues have received him with enthusiasm we hope he adapts as soon as possible.

"We all know him – he's a great reference for the team. Given the option that Alvaro had of being able to leave, the best way to continue improving was to look for someone who could improve on Alvaro's scoring contribution, and when the option of Suarez appeared, what was I going to say? His numbers speak for themselves.

"We were lucky that when we had a very good [Radamel] Falcao, a very good [Diego] Costa or a very good [Antoine] Griezmann, we came close to fighting for everything. Let's hope that with Luis Suarez it will be like that and we can overcome what we did last season."

Atletico finished third in LaLiga last term, 17 points adrift of a Real Madrid side that, while certainly solid, was hardly spectacular as they clinched the title.

Six teams – including Sunday's visitors Granada – scored more than Atletico in 2019-20, but Simeone feels things will be different with Suarez having a point to prove.

"I'm going to be sincere with you, he was convinced that this was the place where he could show that he was a top-notch forward," Simeone added. "I found what I was looking for for this club – ambition and a desire to be here.

"Hopefully he will give us back the options we had when we had the best Falcao, the best Costa or the best Griezmann. That would mean getting closer to the successes that all fans want."

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