2-2. Atlético relapses into the ‘Champions’


Sports editorial, Oct 25 (EFE).- Weighed down by his first half, with two goals against, and awakened in the second by a run by Marcos Llorente, a goal by Álvaro Morata and a much more recognizable performance, stopped by the expulsion of Rodrigo de Paul, Atlético de Madrid extracted a single point in their visit to Celtic Park, between two antagonistic versions, inexplicable in the same team, between the hieroglyph that the Champions League represents lately for the red and white block.

In a red shirt, blue pants and red socks (in the eyes of the Spanish club, a tribute to that team that tied 0-0, with three sent off, in the same scenario this Wednesday, in the ‘Battle of Glasgow’ in 1974; an affront for Celtic and their fans), the goals highlight Atlético’s defense. And to the entire structure.

But the defeat at halftime went further. To his attack, to his midfield, to his transition, to his ambition, to his football. It didn’t exist in 45 minutes. Nothing to do with the second half, when the history of the game changed. Too late to win. Enough for 2-2. He finished with one man less, due to Paul’s second yellow in the 83rd minute, just when he most sensed victory, when Griezmann was the owner of everything that happened.

He was so warned about everything, watching Celtic’s two Champions League games, with both defeats, that the way in which he received the 1-0 and 2-1 score is unacceptable. In the final photo of the first, also of the second, Javi Galán appears. His demanding first appearance in Simeone’s eleven, in the twelfth match, lasted 45 minutes. He had a terrible time on his flank in the first half. It was by no means all his responsibility.

The second goal, at the origin of everything, points to Nahuel Molina, very slow to run backwards, without realizing how Daizen Maeda grabbed his back. Both, concentrated in the first half, emerged from rival bursts through each of the lanes, but expressed an unusual vulnerability throughout the rearguard. Outperformed in every aspect.

At 1-0, in an action so simple, so precise, so overwhelming, a wall between O’Riley, from the edge of the area, and Dyogo Furushashi (it was only his seventh goal in 96 duels with the Scottish team), undetectable in its emergence from the left, it hit Atlético, who knew nothing of everything that happened. He lacked tension, aggression, attention…

A look at the stopwatch, with only three and a half minutes of the match played, further revealed all of these factors, influential as much or more than the rival actors. Disturbing for Atlético, reaffirming for Celtic. The current Scottish bloc is light years away from the level of its past history, European champion in 1967, but it is intense, daring, ambitious, it insists on pressure, it has counter-force momentum and, suddenly, it is also effective.

The next local chance was also a goal. The duel was level in the 25th minute, with Antoine Griezmann’s 1-1 with his right foot on the rebound of a penalty that he himself had taken and missed with his left (Hart touched it and hit the post), he fell again moments later, specifically in three minutes and 17 seconds. From 24:30 of the Frenchman’s goal to 27:47 of Luis Palma’s right-footed shot inside the area. Galan did not arrive. His impact was incontestable.

The goal by the Honduran winger, who changed sides punctually for that action, was a clear warning. In the Champions League, nobody wins just because. Celtic were better then, much better, in such basic qualities in today’s football as intensity, positioning, voracity, pressure… Jan Oblak even stopped a shot from O’Riley. And the referee disallowed a goal for offside against Axel Witsel, whose header was in an illegal position.

Simeone corrected the break. Galán left, surpassed and reprimanded, and Riquelme entered. Saúl left, missing, and Llorente burst in. Among the doubts of his start to the season, Marcos is dizzying. Pure strength. His driving opened a horizon that Atlético had not seen until then, when he stood near the area and delivered a great cross. Morata headed it incontestably. A fantastic finish. Minute 50.

Atlético needed it even more, and they tested Hart twice more in the moments after the 2-2, through Morata (later changed at 2-2 by Correa, in the 72nd minute), with a direct corner from Griezmann, with a shot from Llorente and with another aspect very different from the first half. Griezmann, in total player mode. From Paul, in command, until he made a reckless final tackle, when he raised his foot, and received the second yellow already in the 82nd.

He already played definitively in the opposite field, he came from all sides, he was better than his opponent, whom he limited to some sporadic counterattacks. He closed him in, attacked him -Correa got closer to 2-3 with a good maneuver inside the area-, was left with one less due to the expulsion of De Paul and tied. He didn’t even deserve that in the first half, he did play to win in the second. A point. He loses the lead, misses the opportunity to distance Lazio, keeps Celtic alive… But he still depends on himself. There are three days left.

– Datasheet:

2 – Celtic: Hart; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor; O’Riley, McGregor, Ride (Paul Bernard, m. 7); Maeda, Kyogo Furushashi and Palm (Phillips, m. 62).

2 – Atlético de Madrid: Oblak; Molina, Savic, Witsel, Hermoso, Galán (Riquelme, m. 46); De Paul, Koke, Saúl (Llorente, d. 46); Griezmann and Morata (Correa, d. 72).

Goals: 1-0, m. 4: Furuhashi. 1-1, m. 25: Griezmann. 2-1, m. 28: Palm. 2-2, m. 53: Morata.

Referee: Felix Zwayer (Germany). He sent off De Paul for a double yellow card, for Atlético de Madrid, in the 82nd minute. He admonished the locals Carter-Vickers (m. 30), Luis Palma (m. 48) and Taylor (m. 59) with a yellow card. the visitors Javi Galán (m. 38), Nahuel Molina (m. 49+) and Savic (m. 83).

Incidents: match corresponding to the third day of group E of the Champions League, played at Celtic Park in front of around 60,000 spectators. Both teams, players and coaching staff, wore black armbands “as a show of respect and support for all those affected by the (Israel and Palestine) conflict”, as Celtic announced, after the Israeli bombings on Gaza and the Hamas attacks in Israel.

Iñaki Dufour

London, Oct 25 (EFE).- Brendan Rodgers, Glasgow Celtic coach, praised his team after the draw against Atlético de Madrid, and assured that they were “fantastic.”

Celtic, who took the lead on two occasions against the red and whites, earned their first point in the group stage, although they were unable to win despite playing the final minutes of the game with an extra man.

“We were fantastic,” Rodgers said on TNT Sports. “We scored two magnificent goals. We wanted to start with intensity, imposing our style and mentality. We defended together and showed a lot of courage with the ball.”

With this result, Celtic remain bottom of Group E, with one point, but they are not completely out of the fight for third place, which gives access to the Europa League.

“The team and today’s performance is what interests me. We got our first point and I think we should have more, but what I focus on is how we played today, and it was spectacular.”

Sports editorial, Oct 25 (EFE).- Diego Simeone, coach of Atlético de Madrid, assessed this Wednesday, after the draw against Celtic in the Champions League (2-2), that his team “played a game to win” in the second half, after speaking at half-time, “and this is the way forward” in this competition.

“I stick with the team’s performance, which in the second half played a game to win. In the first half, they started better, they found in their first two shots the goals that settled the game so that we, in the first half, we haven’t been able to play the way we wanted,” he said in statements to ‘Movistar’ from Celtic Park.

“We talked at halftime and in the second half they played the game that had to be played, with courage, with hierarchy, with attacks, with goal situations… We could have won with that one from Correa. They did not create a dangerous situation at all the second half, a team that is very fast, that works very well in space. I leave with a game that I liked from the team,” he continued.

“They teamed up very well on the sides, perhaps more on our left side than on the right. They played that part of the game that we knew was going to happen, those 20 intense minutes. The goal came, we tied, the second goal came. ..”, he added.

In the second half, Marcos Llorente and Ángel Correa came on “very well” in the offensive part in the last stretch of the game. “Riquelme had a very good second half, with a fast player in that sector that in the first half we suffered a little. I’m left with the fact that the team had a good second half and that this is the way to follow in the Champions League,” he added.

Simeone did not appreciate the expulsion of Rodrigo de Paul, in the 83rd minute for two yellow cards: “Not to give an opinion about something that we cannot do anything about. The referee interpreted that it was a yellow play and to respect the referee’s decisions.”

And he spoke about Antoine Griezmann’s scoring streak, with eight goals in the last seven games, and Álvaro Morata, who has scored twelve goals in fourteen duels this season between the national team and his club. “They are fine, we have to accompany them and they come surrounded by the fact that the team generates that game for them so that they can get in front of the goal,” he said.

The post first appeared on www.infobae.com

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