What seemed like a game resolved with a three-goal advantage after half an hour of play, turned into a final ordeal for Atlético. Simeone’s team had exhibited a brutal punch that seemed to end the game before the break. However, a debatable penalty awarded to Mario Hermoso for a slap to Gonzalo Plata on the brink of half-time gave Valladolid a chance for the restart. Pezzolano’s team pressed and found a goal from Escudero that turned the last quarter of an hour into hell for Atlético.
Masip, Jawad El Yamiq, Joaquín, Hongla (Óscar Plano, min. 87), Iván Fresneda, Kike (Iván Sánchez, min. 60), Monchu, Luis Pérez, Aguado, Cyle Larin and Gonzalo Plata (Sergio León, min. 73 )
Ivo Grbic, Giménez, Mario Hermoso, Witsel, Nahuel Molina, Carrasco (Depay, min. 79), Lemar (Kondogbia, min. 67), Koke (Saúl, min. 79), De Paul, Griezmann and Morata (Correa, min. 64)
goals 0-1 min. 19: Nahuel Molina. 0-2 min. 24: Gimenez. 0-3 min. 38: Morata. 1-3 min. 42: Cyle Larin. 2-3 min. 73: Squire. 2-4 min. 86: Joaquin (pp). 2-5 min. 92: Depay.
Referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
Yellow cards Monchu (min. 9), Mario Hermoso (min. 40) and Kike (min. 43)
With José Zorrilla inflamed by his team’s reaction, a header from Sergio León against the crossbar could have meant the tie and a handball from Saúl was not considered by the referee or by the VAR to be reviewed. A combination between Memphis and Correa relieved Atlético in the last five minutes. The Dutchman with prodigious driving closed the exhibition of punching with which his team prevailed.
The party was born with a certain run over from both proposals. That of Atlético trying to impose its technical superiority. The one from Valladolid moving at full speed for the accelerations of the picky Gonzalo Plata and Larin to the minimum that broke the pressure of his rival. Both teams offered each other spaces in their attempts to squeeze. Atlético was the first to profit from these meter concessions. Giménez perceived that the overtaking of Valladolid’s lines left a meadow ahead of Nahuel Molina. His 40-meter crossed ball was millimeter and the Argentine’s control in the area was sublime. There he executed the bilge of Masip for the nearest stick of him. A category goal that reconfirms Molina’s growth.
It didn’t take long for Atlético to increase their advantage. This time in a strategic move, luck that has also begun to recover in this impressive second part of the championship that is signing. Griezmann gloved a frontal free kick with poison. Masip went out to hunt flies and Giménez was ahead of him. If the resurrection of Hermoso has been fundamental in the improvement of the rojiblancos, the Uruguayan central defender is another who has been raising the level. Those two concessions from Valladolid did not resist the punch that seemed to keep Atlético away from one of those agonizing duels due to the narrowness of the score. The third blow that Pezzolano’s team received was already more delicate and elaborate. De Paul raised a ball over the Pucelana defense and between Morata and Griezmann they sewed a wall with a touch that the Madrid attacker ended up nailing. Morata has already scored twelve goals, established as the team’s top scorer. And eleven assists and ten goals register the French.
A goal with vertical play, another of strategy and another of combined play in the middle confirmed the makings of a well-trained and effective team that Atlético broke after the World Cup in Qatar. They already have a place in the next Champions League within reach and are maintaining their fight for the second place with Madrid.
The disputed penalty for Hermoso’s slap on Gonzalo Plata was converted by the Canadian Larin. The goal reactivated Valladolid to face the second half. He rushed and cornered Atlético with a charge of lateral crosses. He managed to get Simeone’s footballers to settle in their own field and that with Escudero’s goal they had a hard time.
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