Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid handed big injury blow ahead of Chelsea Champions League tie

Atletico Madrid’s preparation for Tuesday night’s Champions League round of 16 first-leg tie against Chelsea finished poorly, with Diego Simeone’s side suffering their first home loss of the season in La Liga against Levante.

And Simeone may have suffered an even bigger blow than the defeat, with central defender Jose Maria Gimenez limping out of action.

The defender was expected to miss the tie against Chelsea, but made a surprise return to the starting line up for Atleti’s home clash against Levante.

However, he was forced off shortly after half-time with what looked like a knock to his ankle.

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Atletico were already 1-0 down at this stage, with Luis Morales opening the scoring via a deflected strike after 30 minutes.

Simeone’s side laid siege to the Levante goal, notching 28 shots but were unable to break down some stubborn defending and goalkeeping from Dani Cardenas.

Luis Suarez also hit the woodwork with a free-kick from 30 yards as Atletico made a desperate attempt to rescue a point.

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