Atleti stumbles with Levante and Madrid wins


La Jornada newspaper
Sunday, February 21, 2021, p. a11

Madrid. Real Madrid did not miss the opportunity given by their city rival Atlético, who stumbled against Levante. The merengue team beat Valladolid 1-0 with difficulties, but is placed in aggressive competition for the title of the Spanish league.

The Brazilian midfielder Casemiro sent a chopped header to the nets after a center from the German Toni Kroos, to put the meringues ahead and add 52 points, three from the leader, the colchoneros, who lost to Levante 2-0, although they still have a pending duel.

Madrid suffered again with more casualties among its figures. To the absences of regular starters such as captain Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Belgian Eden Hazard, the French striker Karim Benzema was added for this duel due to an injury.

Spanish-Dominican striker Mariano Díaz covered the Frenchman’s absence and had to drown out the goal cry in a couple of plays before 30 minutes. Two goals were invalidated for offside.

Valladolid, pressed in position 19 with 21 points, had the best opportunities to open the scoring, but was the victim of a couple of providential interventions by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

We have to continue with what we are doing, it is an important victory for us, the fourth in a row and we have to continue with what we are doing, without looking at others, said Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.

The one who had a really bad time was the leader of the tournament, Atlético de Madrid – without Héctor Herrera by Covid-19 – in their 2-0 defeat against Levante, which ended a 10-game streak without defeat in the League.

José Luis Morales and Jorge de Frutos billed the targets with which the Valencian team dealt a hard setback to the mattresses, who fell for only the second time in the tournament. Atleti accumulated more than a year without losing in their fiefdom of the Wanda Metropolitano.

I have no doubt that the championships are always the same: good moments, difficulties, obstacles. Those who are strong in difficulty are the ones who have the best chance of achieving the goal, said Atleti’s Argentine coach, Diego Simeone;

For his part, the Mexican Néstor Araujo played the entire game in the defeat of his team, Celta de Vigo, 2-0 against Valencia.