Two good interventions by Oblak, an initial approach designed to keep a clean sheet and a corner goal in the final stretch for Atlético to win a game of yesteryear. Felipe, scorer in the 87th minute, redeemed himself from his last performances, pointed out as he was for being one of the defensive holes of a team that was beginning to be unrecognizable due to its weakness in the defense of the cave. The old Atlético, the most genuine Simeone way to revive and rebuild an unrecognizable team because it was hurt more than usual. So the kickoff showed a team over-calculated to go on the attack. Between Simeone’s habit of putting on the handbrake when the team suffers a defensive bleeding like the one that tormented him before the break, the breaks of De Paul and Luis Suárez and the injury of João Félix, the champion transmitted the feeling of falling short to hurt the daring Osasuna.
Oblak, Savic, Mario Hermoso, Felipe Monteiro, Vrsaljko (Carlos Martín, min. 84), Koke, Lemar (De Paul, min. 64), Carrasco, Correa (Luis Suárez, min. 64), Marcos Llorente (Kondogbia, min 74) and Griezmann (Matheus Cunha, min. 74)
Herrera, David García, Juan Cruz, Manu Sánchez (Roberto Torres, min. 88), Unai García, Nacho Vidal, Lucas Torró (Oier, min. 65), Jon Moncayola (Kike Barja, min. 88), Brasanac (Íñigo Pérez , min. 74), Kike García and Chimy Ávila (Ante Budimir, min. 65)
Goals 1-0 min. 86: Felipe Monteiro.
Referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez
Yellow cards Griezmann (min. 44), Lucas Torró (min. 55), David García (min. 81) and Carlos Martín (min. 88)
Neither the return of Marcos Llorente and Lemar seemed threatening before the low retreat of the rojiblancos. Too many meters to stretch, too many players behind the ball to disturb Jagoba Arrasate’s team, who came out haughty, with his defense of three centrals to ensure the ball out and determined to bother Atlético by squeezing him in the vicinity of the Oblak area . From the mere tactical disposition, Osasuna took over the game due to the superiorities it generated in all areas of the field. He did not produce much in attack, but the government was his, with too much comfort from Torró, Brasanac and Moncayola to prevail in the middle. Neither Koke nor Marcos Llorente coughed at them, too careful not to lose their position and refugees in their own camp.
From his domain, Osasuna scratched a distant shoe from Torró to which Oblak responded with a good stretch. Atlético was reduced to some skirmishes by Hermoso, Carrasco and Lemar on the left side that generated a couple of centers, both hunted by Griezmann with little frame for the auction. The Frenchman was a reference and was little accompanied because Lemar and Correa were more aware of the pick and the shovel than of attacking. The rojiblanco right flank was fallow for most of the first half. Only when Marcos Llorente broke ties did he approach the goal. A combination with Correa on the edge of the break gave him a pass back to which Griezmann was forced.
Atlético was another in the second half. More ambitious, pushed because tie for tie the head of the championship escaped him. He was more aggressive for the remove and chose the centers from the sides to reach the Herrera area. The bombardment was led by Vrsaljko and Marcos Llorente, who was already in a multipurpose plan, midfielder to defend and inside or extreme to attack. It happened that Griezmann and Correa were at the auction, two shortcuts between Unai, David García and Juan Cruz.
Simeone understood that in this way he needed more weight and centimeters in the area. He also wanted more precision in the centers. So he sat down Correa and Lemar to put Luis Suárez and De Paul in. El Cholo wanted fire, but also balance. And that was the tone of his changes when he later gave entry to Kondogbia and Cunha for Griezmann and Llorente. Jagoba, who had detected that Atlético was entrenching his team, sat Torró and gave Budimir flight to try to stretch his team. It did not change the landscape of the game. Simeone’s men continued with their charge of lateral centers and Osasuna failed to engage an intimidating counter that would make Atlético doubt.
Carrasco, in a dance in the area with roulette included, was able to make one of the goals of the season, but the shot escaped them by half a span. With the game distilling the smell of a draw, Simeone dared with the youth squad Carlos Martín, a youthful winger who in the few balls he touched showed guts to face. The final rojiblanco harassment produced a corner kick with just five minutes to go. Carrasco gloved the serve to the near post, Herrera stayed halfway out and Felipe prevailed in the jump to turn his neck and cross it to the far post. It had been a long time since Simeone’s team won with a strategy play, a weapon from other times. Of the old Atlético that he wore last night and that was able to finish off the task with a counter in which Herrera left the goal unguarded to go up to finish off a corner kick forced by another good save from Oblak with a low left-foot from Torres.
Carrasco, after a good slalom, launched a parable from the center of the field that crashed into the post. The last flash of a game that reinforced that Atlético who needed to reconnect with the version with which he usually comes out of his defensive crises. Clean sheet and a goal from a corner.
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