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Griezmann flying the Atletico flag solo

  /  autty

Sevilla and Girona have been Atletico Madrid's first two stumbling blocks of 2019, with Diego Simeone's side showing signs of over-dependence on star man Antoine Griezmann.

At the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, they dropped two points against Sevilla, which they could end up rueing in their title challenge.

If it had not been for a string of spectacular Jan Oblak saves, they could have left empty-handed.

Griezmann, upon whom Los Colchoneros can normally rely, had a bad day at the office, firstly narrowly missing from a dead ball situation before spurning a one-on-one.

Barcelona, on the other hand, have extended their lead at the top of LaLiga Santander to five points after overcoming Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium.

This five-point advantage along with Messi and co.'s scintillating current form means that it is looking all the more unlikely that Atletico will be able to mount a serious title challenge this year.

Atletico's reliance on Griezmann is becoming increasingly more apparent as goals from the rest of the team have seemingly dried up and when the Frenchman has an off day, so do his teammates.

It was a similar story at the Municipal de Montilivi stadium, the home of Girona. Atletico were left feeling frustrated after they only managed to muster a 1-1 draw against the mid-table club from Catalonia.

Having said that, it was a Copa del Rey match and a draw away from home can be considered a decent result as long as they can do the business at home next Wednesday in the return leg.

Their goal, which was scored by none other Griezmann who has become somewhat of a saviour of late.

If he does not find the back of the net, it seems like nobody else can.

The worry for Atletico is that five of their last seven goals have come from the World Cup winner.

The Frenchman's fine run of form in front of goal only serves to highlight the lack of goals from elsewhere in the team.

Nikola Kalinic bagged a goal against Valladolid thanks to a Griezmann assist.

Rodrigo, who is not technically a striker, chipped in with the other goal against Alaves.

In order to highlight Atletico's sheer dependence on Griezmann, we only have to look at how few goals are being scored away from home, which is where they are having the most difficulty finding the back of the net.

They have only managed to come away with the three points a meagre four times over the course of this season and the Frenchman is seemingly the only attacking solution, in a side which still remains very miserly at the back.

On top of his goals against Sevilla and Girona, he is the only Atletico player to have scored more than once away from home, with 5 goals to his name.

Another stat to back up their reliance upon Griezmann when they play away from home is that since October 20, when Filipe Luis scored a header in their draw against Villarreal, the former Real Sociedad man has had a hand in every one of their goals.

He scored a sumptuous free-kick against Leganes, a brace against Valladolid where he also assisted Kalinic for his goal and his two goals against Sevilla and Girona.

Simeone's side are looking more and more vulnerable as the season goes on, it is only thanks to their magnificent number 7 that they have managed to conjure up four draws and one victory, a far from ideal situation for a club of their stature, however, one which without their star man would have been undoubtedly worse.

Griezmann's importance to Simeone and Atletico is clear to see as the Frenchman was in the starting line-up for their Copa del Rey tie against Girona despite the fact that it was believed he would be rested.

He was, however, rested for the last half an hour of the game but only because he has started the last 24 LaLiga Santander and Champions League matches, only being subbed three times in the process.

The fact that Simeone realises the Frenchman is his only weapon in attack means that he is still considered the most important player on the pitch even when he is not 100 per cent fit.

With this in mind, it is no wonder that the 27-year-old leads his team's goal and assist charts.

His 13 goals and seven assists make him stand out as the most decisive player in the team and in Europe as well.

He is ostensibly the only current player with the guile and ability to turn chances into goals and create assists for Los Colchoneros.