04/04/2021 at 11:13 PM CEST
Sebastian Vargas Rozo
Although the mantra of “game by game” has always been very useful to Diego Pablo Simeone, his players seem not to withdraw from the context of pressure and constantly fall into it. Test was the match against Sevilla, where Atlético de Madrid had a chance to hit the table in his intention to win LaLiga, but he found his fears and ghosts to finish falling on Andalusian soil 1-0 thanks to Marcos Acuña’s score.
Bond; Jesús Navas, Koundé, Diego Carlos, Acuña; Jordán (Gudelj, 85 ‘), Fernando, Rakitic; Suso (Papu Gómez, 77 ‘), De Jong (En-Nesyri, 63’), Ocampos (Vázquez, 85 ‘).
Oblak; Giménez, Felipe, Hermoso (Herrera, 74 ‘); Trippier, Koke, Saúl, Lodi (Correa, 34 ‘); Llorente, Suárez, Lemar (Kondogbia, 74 ‘).
Gil Manzano (Extremadura). TA: Diego Carlos (10 ‘), Acuña (56’) / Felipe (5 ‘), Suárez (56’), Llorente (79 ‘), Kondogbia (86’).
Sánchez Pizjuan. Day 29. Door closed.
Aware that the leadership went through collecting three points in the Sánchez Pizjuán, Simeone maneuvered to alleviate the absences of Joao Félix and Carrasco. Instead of the Belgian, the left wing went to Renán Lodi, while above Luis Suárez received the company of Thomas Lemar and Marcos Llorente. The premise of finding goals was clear: overcome the pothole of only four victories in the last nine days.
What Atlético perhaps did not foresee was that in front they would have a contender with such hunger. Those of Lopetegui want to fasten the Champions League as soon as possible, and last day’s slip with Valladolid left them touched. Hence, they jumped onto the grass to eat the rojiblancos from the opening whistle. And at 5 ‘they already made Jan Oblak work with a shot from Suso that the Slovenian knew how to contain.
But if it was about work, Oblak would find a lot to do a couple of minutes later, when Saúl stepped on Rakitic in the area and the Croatian was struck down. Confusion, you doubt already Gil Manzano to check his inevitable decision: penalty. Ocampos went to the appointment, in charge of Sevillian collections with a perfect score until he found Ter Stegen in Copa del Rey. He was 10/10 when the German snatched the 11 from him. And Oblak, motivated, also denied him 12 with a heroic stop.
Just seconds later, on the next play, Jordán found a space to unleash a left foot that sent the ball skimming the left post. And De Jong then nodded to put fear in the ‘athletic’ body, which understood that something was wrong. Simeone had the three in the background left over and this posed a risk that the Argentine was not willing to take. So that within half an hour there was already change: Ángel Correa to the field instead of Lodi to further populate the offensive zone and accompany an abandoned Suárez.
And it was no coincidence that this would be the best minutes for Atlético, especially after leaving the break. Precisely at the feet of Correa, the admitted, who served a center for Suárez as soon as he left the locker room, but the Uruguayan did not hit her with his right boot. And neither did those of the capital Marcos Llorente’s strong shot at 65 ‘ who left just above Bono’s crossbar.
But football is so paradoxical that, when they had to get more water out of the boat, Sevilla found the prize they sought so hard in the first half. And thanks have to go to Jesús Navas, who scored a game on the right wing at 70 ‘to serve the area and wait for the onslaught of Acuña. The ‘Egg’ nodded against Oblak’s hand and broke the zero of the luminous, causing shouts of celebration by meringues and blaugranas fields. The claims of a possible hand of Ocampos nor were they heard by Gil Manzano.
Hit, the colchoneros tried with more desire than football from there until the end of the game. Luis Suárez invented a fantasy that helped Correa to start a shortcut from Bono, but not to find equality on the scoreboard. The curtain fell with a defeat by the minimum that can be very expensive and that leaves the championship in the hands of Barça: Koeman’s men depend on themselves when they face Atlético directly in the remainder of the league.