On the back of the conductions and the passes of Vitolo, of the hierarchy of Herrera and the enrachado Morata, the Athletic one prevailed to the Espanyol in a second time in which finally it staged the battle and the vertigo that its coach demands. The reaction, after a first act in which Simeone footballers again showed their lack of continuity in the game, reached the edge of the break with a goal from Correa validated by the VAR. When everything aimed to collapse, that much unleashed the rojiblancos, who sheltered Espanyol until it was knocked down.
Oblak, Mario Hermoso, Felipe Monteiro, Saul, Trippier, Thomas, Hector Herrera, Koke, Correa (Marcos Llorente, min. 88), Vitolo (Lemar, min. 74) and Morata (Diego Costa, min. 79).
Diego Lopez, Naldo (Didac, min. 17), Bernardo, David Lopez, Javi Lopez, Victor Sanchez (Oscar Melendo, min. 71), Victor Gomez Perea, Marc Roca, Wu Lei (Campuzano, min. 58), Ferreyra and Darder
Jesus Gil Manzano
Saul (min. 59),
Thomas (min. 84),
Naldo (min. 47) and
Campuzano (min. 63).
That Atletico is not fine was certified by the turnaround in the alignment given by Simeone, which operated on all lines. In the rear he condemned Lodi to the bench, vulnerable in recent games. His position was delivered to Saul, which is already beginning to be the measuring stick of his coach's searches. Their changes of position are directly proportional to the indefinition of the team. For the center of the field, the novelty was the Mexican Herrera, recruited to alleviate the lack of hierarchy that Simeone has detected. The flag of that revolution was the substitution of Diego Costra and most novel, Vitolo's position, as Morata's escort. It was the Canarian end who led that attempt to vary the bland and thin staging of the rojiblancos. He must have understood that at the back of Naldo there was a danger nursery and there he planted twice to win the bottom line within the area.
A running Vitolo ball after a steal from Herrera planted Morata before Diego Lopez. The striker chose a mince rather than relying on his power to overcome the blue and white goal in the race. The mistake weighed in Atletico as if it had been a goal against. The bouncy local boot blurred. Suddenly, this team appeared with the ball, fearful of error and without a pulse. Without conviction to press the three centrals of Espanyol the exit of the ball. The Espanyol extended delivered to the discretion of Marc Roca and put the game in a slow pace that deranged the players of Simeone. A fair of losses, bad deliveries and worse clearances that unleashed the runrun of the stands began. The paleness and the plain of the attack was reflected in several plays in which he nailed to the area of Diego Lopez without knowing where to look for a loophole. Locked with the ball, a reckless delivery of Thomas to Koke was taken advantage of by Victor Sanchez to swipe the ball to the captain and connect with Darder, who executed Oblak with a shot set at mid-height. Stranded in those little harmful attacks, with the rest looming, Vitolo imagined a pass over the defense that Morata, stingy, stung delicately over Diego Lopez's head. The ball seemed to enter, but Correa was responsible for riveting it with his head forward to centrals that took two heads. The assistant canceled the goal, but the VAR validated it by reviving a team that was on its way to the distressed dressing room.
The fuze of Correa's goal remained at the start of the second act. Then that electric team was seen, willing to turn each recovery into offensive vertigo. Morata and Correa warned before the VAR reviewed a possible penalty to Felipe. The delay in the final decision of Gil Manzano did not short-circuit the high voltage transmitted by Atletico, again led by Vitolo and Herrera as the players who best applied the vertical attack that their coach intends. A robbery of the Mexican and another telescopic pass from the canary to space was won by Morata to Bernardo and to the race he unraveled a right that struck Diego Lopez for his stick. The goal meant the sixth consecutive of the Spanish international, who has advanced on the right to Diego Costa by legs and goals.
In combustion, Herrera linked a play with Trippier but he passed on his shot. Correa also had the third, but he was stunned. Without closing the match with goals, Simeone began to finish it with the gear wheel. He retired Vitolo, who attended the recognition of the fan as if it were a bullfighter walkway. He left the field on the opposite side of the bench and on his way to the booth the stands sent a message to his coach chanting his name. The lack of forcefulness could cause displeasure to the rojiblancos in the final section. Gil Manzano annulled a goal by David Lopez after a dubious lack to Koke, after which the blue and white central connected a clean header. With the scare on his body, Simeone replaced Morata and Correa with Costa and Llorente. It was the Spanish-Brazilian who after another robbery of Herrera ran a pass that Koke had not practiced with such precision for a long time. The flat center of Costa let Herrera pass it and was crushed by Koke himself, who ended the anguish of a team that needed victory to temper the internal volcano that could have exploded if he had tripped.
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