With the same eleven players, but with another idea, another intention and, above all, with the ambition that he had not had before and that a team like Atletico, who played at the edge of the fiasco for the first 45 minutes, bent by a better and more concrete rival in each sector until 1-1 on the verge of rest, and that it is held to a point of the leader, but still stumbling.
A relief in the current times at Atletico, as was the whistle of the referee to cancel a goal against Espanyol in the 85th minute, for an alleged foul before the header. The final controversy of the game, when the blue and white team still insisted on the equalizer, as much as the rojiblanco team played with fire, cornered back, until Koke Resurrection sentenced to kickback in 92.
Atletico played another depressing first half, like so many this season, as in Vitoria, in Seville or in Leverkusen. The responsability? Sometimes from the approach of Simeone, sometimes from the execution of the players and this Sunday much more than the first than the second, with a vulgar staging.
To the penultimate of the classification, to his three centrals and to his aggressiveness in the midfield, he handed the possession as if such a situation, the power of the ball, was not with him; neither stalked him nor really pressured him and did not even consider playing short in the serves of Jan Oblak, all in the direction of the extension of Saul.
There was no determination in Atletico, which limited its plan to waiting for someone else's fault on a pass to launch the kickback, to search in the speed of Vitolo, Morata or Correa the non-existent transition from the center of the field, where the wreck was especially evident, as well as in a more than hurried defense.
Countered the local route with the immediate pressure to each own loss in the opposite field, the first act was of Espanyol, although Vitolo's first maneuvers invited a very different duel, like the wall that put Morata alone before Diego Lopez, when he He stung the ball, beat him, but without the proper direction.
The blue and white team, which lost Naldo due to an injury exceeding a quarter of an hour, gained more packaging with the passing of minutes, without occasions, but with that intuition that, at any moment, he would be able to take advantage of such a situation. Wu Lei's volley warned him, when the first dicks were already felt, and confirmed by Darder's right in the 39th minute to unleash the public's anger at an Atletico who has not yet learned a repeated lesson.
The definition next to the post, unattainable for Oblak, would have been impossible without the nth loss of Atletico's ball, between Koke and Thomas. Also without that speed, determination and rigor that Espanyol put to recover the ball as soon as possible, in this case Victor Sanchez to assist Darder at the edge of the area.
But among the resounding censorship by the public on the other hand for much more than a reflection, Atletico found an unexpected balm in the last action before the break: Thomas finally hit a pass to the back of the rival defense, Morata focused above Diego Lopez, Correa nodded to the edge of the line and the VAR corrected the alleged offside.
At intermediate with 1-1. Or the couch in the case of Atletico, which was already another. At least, by ambition. The Atletico that waited became a team that went to the opposite field, under pressure, on the prowl of his adversary, with the effect that caused immediately in his offensive presence and in the stressful stress of his opponent.
He appeared again VAR, to go from the viewing of the referee on the same turf of a possible penalty to Felipe to an offensive foul by the Brazilian central, and, above all, the Atletico really did it, chaining occasions until the definitive connection: Vitolo -claimed when He was replaced a quarter of an hour from the end – to Morata space, which he resolved with forcefulness (2-1, m. 58).
His sixth goal in the last six games, one in each, and the victory of the rojiblanco team, still with suspense, when the referee annulled a goal to Espanyol in the 85th minute, and irrefutable when Koke scored the 3-1, to pass from Diego Costa, to dodge the crisis, indisimulable in the first half, and postponed, or settled, time will tell, in the second, when it was most recognizable.
- 3 – Atletico de Madrid: Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Hermoso, Saul; Herrera, Thomas, Koke; Correa (Marcos Llorente, m. 88), Morata (Diego Costa, m.80) and Vitolo (Lemar, m. 74).
- 1 – Espanyol: Diego Lopez; Naldo (Didac, m. 17), Bernardo, David Lopez; Victor Gomez, Marc Roca, Victor Sanchez (Melendo, m. 71), Darder, Javi Lopez; Wu Lei (Campuzano, m. 58) and Ferreyra.
- Goals: 0-1, m. 39: Sergi Darder. 1-1, m. 46+: Strap 2-1, m. 58: Morata. 3-1, m. 92: Koke.
- Referee: Gil Manzano (C. Extremeno). He warned the locals Saul (m. 59) and Thomas (m. 84), in addition to coach Diego Simeone (m. 86), and the visitor Campuzano (m. 65).
- Incidents: match corresponding to the thirteenth day of LaLiga Santander, played at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium before 53,069 spectators.