The side who won the European Cup twice in a row under Brian Clough impressed with a fourth-place Christmas finish in 1994-95, but they have been some distance from the top of the tree ever since. Now the club finds themselves in the middle of the Championship where they have been for much of the last decade.
"The task is going to be difficult because we have an opponent that are the reigning champions," said Atletico director Clemente Villaverde.
An anti-racism campaign by Serie A that used art showing monkeys, drew a bemused response from one of its own clubs on Monday night.
European champions Liverpool travel to Madrid in February for the Champions League first leg match and will have noted the commitment inspired by Atletico's feisty Argentine coach Diego Simeone.
Comeback of the year
But the Scot, 32, returned to the court after hip resurfacing surgery and beat fellow veteran Stan Wawrinka in the final of the European Open in October.
The Australian world No.18 had posted more than 20 top-10 finishes since his last success at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March 2016 and, in front of his home crowd at Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, sank a birdie on the 14th and an eagle at the next to hold off New Zealander Michael Hendry.
City have yet to beat the Spanish side with two draws and two defeats in their previous four meetings.
Leandro Paredes set the ball rolling in the 10th minute with a deflected strike and once Jean Eudes Aholou was sent off in the 25th minute for a dreadful late tackle on the Argentine PSG could stroll their way to three points.
The 11th catch by Thomas was his 144th of the campaign to break the old mark set by Marvin Harrison of Indianapolis in the 2002 season.
Wilfried Zaha's equalizer lifted Crystal Palace up to ninth in the Premier League table as they shared the points in a 1-1 draw at home to Brighton on Monday.
Now, as we stand halfway through the 27th Premier League season, the expectation is that a team who has not yet won the top flight since its rebranding is in pole position to win.
Earlier Lyon fell further behind in the reckoning after losing 1-0 at home to Rennes, but the worst news of the night for Rudi Garcia's side was the cruciate ligament injury that ended star attacker Memphis Depay's season. Lyon said that Depay would be out for "no less than six months," which if correct would also rule him out of Euro 2020, which begins on June 12 in Rome.