Lucas Torreira came off at half-time in Atletico Madrid’s match against Real Betis on Saturday, reportedly in a tactical decision by Diego Simeone.

Atletico Madrid's Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira (L) vies with Real Betis' Spanish midfielder Sergio Canales during the Spanish League football match between Atletico Madrid and Real Betis at the Wanda Metropolitan stadium in Madrid on October 24, 2020. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)
Atletico Madrid midfielder Lucas Torreira (L) vies with Real Betis midfielder Sergio Canales on October 24, 2020. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

Torreira made his third appearance and his second start of the loan spell at Atletico Madrid on Saturday, making the lineup to face Real Betis.

He made an encouraging debut on his first start last week, a 2-0 win away to Celta Vigo. However, he only lasted the first 45 minutes this time, coming off at half-time with the scores at 0-0.

Reuters write that the substitution was a ‘tactical switch’ by Simeone, and it seemed to pay off. Atletico scored one minute after the restart and went on to win the match 2-0.

Atletico fansite Into The Calderon add that Torreira “struggled in the first half…[and] was unconvincing in his passing”. The Uruguayan completed 80% of his passes and won two of his four duels during his spell on the pitch.

It’s unfair to pin the change in Atletico’s performance entirely on Torreira. Thomas Lemar also came off at half-time as part of a double change, so it was a major switch-up by Simeone.

Torreira also didn’t play any part in the first 79 minutes against Bayern Munich in midweek, as Atletico went 4-0 down. He came on for the final 11 as a substitute and the team didn’t concede any further goals. So Simeone has plenty of problems to solve.

It’s hopefully just a case of Torreira settling in. He hasn’t played much football in the last few months, and this is a new league for him. There’s plenty of time to adapt and rediscover his best form.