Atlético and Griezmann do not forgive a crumb. This Saturday Iván Villar gave it to him with a bad block and a penalty that cost him expulsion when Celta showed itself as that team with more games than points. Bait for Simeone’s team that had Griezmann as his main executor. Author of the three goals for his team, the Frenchman represented the efficiency with which the team has climbed to the top of the table. With one game less, they are three points behind the lead after Madrid’s draw in Seville. Atlético has taken the flight of the candidates. He is capable of getting the score in his favor even if the game is not going his way. In this dynamic, the rojiblancos become a serious threat for their neighbor and for Barça.
Ivan Villar, Manu Sanchez, Carl Starfelt, Kevin Vazquez, Unai Nunez, Fran Beltran (61 mins), Oscar Mingueza, Luca De La Torre (Carlos Dotor, 80 mins), Jorgen Strand Larsen (Miguel Rodriguez, mins). . 80), Jonathan Bamba and Aspas (Anastasios Douvikas, min. 61)
Oblak, Witsel, Azpilicueta, Mario Hermoso, Samuel Lino (Nahuel Molina, min. 45), Pablo Barrios Rivas (Rodrigo Riquelme, min. 45), Koke, Saúl (De Paul, min. 56), Marcos Llorente (Correa, min. . 57), Griezmann (Soyuncu, min. 76) and Morata
Goals 0-1 min. 28: Griezmann. 0-2 min. 64: Griezmann. 0-3 min. 70: Griezmann.
Referee Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez
Yellow cards Óscar Mingueza (min. 30), Carl Starfelt (min. 50), Saúl (min. 54) and Rodrigo Riquelme (min. 87)
red cards Iván Villar (min. 25)
The duel had the appeal of the Benítez-Simeone confrontation. What could they plot against each other, being two obsessed with the defense of spaces as they are. While the Atlético coach only operated in the eleven – he brought on Llorente and Barrios so as not to burden Nahuel Molina and De Paul after the international window – the Madrid coach forgot about the defense of five and returned to his most classic mold with four back. Benítez did not limit himself to just touching the board. The surprise that was saved for Simeone was placing Mingueza ahead of Kevin. What at first seemed to be a shield to cover the threatening Lino became an unexpected offensive asset. Mingueza was involved in most of the sharp plays that Celta had at the start. He even tried a shot, which went high. Larsen and Aspas also tried their luck to corroborate that Celta was the first to assume control of the game. Atlético granted it to him, immersed in the first minutes in that version of a losing ball machine. With Celta pressed into 25 meters when they had to defend, they couldn’t find fluidity or precision. It was Barrios who broke those massive losses that ended up sinking Simeone’s footballers in the vicinity of their area. The boy signed a couple of individual actions in the race that uncorked his team. Lino, with a low cross shot that was invented without an angle and little space, demanded a good intervention from Iván Villar. The confidence shown by the local goalkeeper was first blurred in a poor block on a tame ball. Then he showed oily gloves again in a Mario Hermoso cross. From the ground, he blocked Morata so that he did not score at will. The action cost him the penalty and the red card. Griezmann tricked the debutant Guaita, back in Spain after his time at Crystal Palace.
With ten and the score against, Celta was proud to try to stand up to Atlético with numerical inferiority. And he did it during the last fifteen minutes of the first half and after the restart. And Simeone left Lino and Barrios in the booth to make way for Nahuel Molina and Riquelme. The rotation also showed a resource that will not be strange to see throughout the season. Azpilicueta stopped being the right-handed center back to move to the left back and also move to a defense of four. Until the change of pieces and drawing was established, Atlético had some scares. Bamba hit the crossbar with a ball. It was the last blow of the proud Celta’s tail. Benítez’s team penalized him for his effort and was at the mercy of Riquelme’s swaying runs and Morata’s unmarking runs into space. Fortune was with Griezmann twice in the goal that began to close the match. First he got a rebound on the run and then, when he stepped into the area and was preparing to assist Morata, he slipped and his shot went through the post that Guaita had left uncovered.
Celta no longer had the strength to resist Atlético, who put together a good combination to kill the duel. Molina filtered a pass that Correa let pass and Morata broke speed to stand in the area, cut back, give the ball to Molina and he gave it to Griezmann so that he could score without opposition. The match was already a shootout for Atlético, who couldn’t find another goal to certify a bigger win.
You can follow EL PAÍS Deportes in Facebook y Xclick here to receive our weekly newsletter.