The night that Simeone became the Atlético coach with the most games directed, 613, surpassing the myth Luis Aragonés, his footballers feasted against a Sevilla that attacked little and defended worse. Six goals to honor the historic mark of his coach. Especially Memphis, in what was his first start since he was drafted in the winter market.
Oblak, Marcos Llorente (Matt Doherty, min. 77), Mario Hermoso, Savic, Carrasco (Carlos Martín, min. 85), Giménez, Lemar (Pablo Barrios Rivas, min. 64), Witsel, Koke (Saúl, min. 78 ), Griezmann and Depay (Morata, min. 64)
Bono, Marcos Acuña, Montiel (Jesús Navas, min. 85), Nianzou Tanguy Kouassi, Gudelj, Joan Jordán, Pape Alassane Gueye, Rakitic (Alex Telles, min. 78), Suso (Óliver Torres, min. 67), Lucas Ocampos (Rafa Mir, min. 85) and En-Nesyri (Bryan Gil Salvatierra, min. 78)
goals 1-0 min. 22: Payment. 2-0 min. 26: Disbursement. 2-1 min. 39: En-Nesyri. 3-1 min. 52: Griezman. 4-1 min. 69: Carrasco. 5-1 min. 76: Morata. 6-1 min. 92: Morata.
Referee Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez
yellow cards Pape Alassane Gueye (min. 25), Giménez (min. 40), Marcos Acuña (min. 54) and Montiel (min. 80)
In less than half an hour, Atlético began to finish off this dying Sevilla, soulless in the cave, with only one natural center-back available, Nianzou. Butter for an Atlético who came out bossy and ambitious. It didn’t take long for Simeone’s footballers to exploit their rival’s weakness by looking for the back of his patched defensive backbone. It was Lemar with a long ball that first put Memphis to meet Bono. Control failed the Dutchman, when the simple thing was to have executed the Moroccan goalkeeper on the run. The Frenchman began as an agitator, like Carrasco. The two are among the players with the greatest capacity for imbalance that Simeone has. The two wander in the shadows of irregularity and not being as definitive as expected of them. Last night, at least, they had weight in the game. One of those footsteps and overhangs on the side of the area ended up falling to Llorente, once again a winger due to the absence of the suspended Nahuel Molina and because Simeone does not trust the Irishman Doherty, a ghost signing until the beating allowed him to debut this Saturday at the final leg of the match. Llorente’s right hand crashed into the base of the post. Second notice of the bag that the Sampaoli team was about to receive.
Hardly a powerful run by En-Nesyri left evidence that Sevilla aspired to link some play in attack with the barefoot dogs defensive he showed. It was no coincidence that the two Memphis bumps that opened the game came through the middle and after sending Atlético ball steals. In the first, Griezmann watched as Memphis burst through the center of Nianzou and Gudelj. The pass, the eighth assist from the Frenchman, planted his desired partner against Bono. The ball went through the Moroccan’s legs with the same ease with which Memphis had slipped down the central corridor between the two Sevilla central defenders. Griezmann was decisive in the signing of his former teammate at Barcelona. He wanted to set up a partnership with him at Atlético and Simeone gave the go-ahead for the operation. It was only a matter of time before he got them together from the start. If the first goal was a hymn to Sevilla’s defensive fragility, the second was no less. A removal from Griezmann, a drive from Llorente and his transfer to Memphis on the edge of the area. Up to two touches he could hit the crescent to prepare the kick from which Bono could only hear the buzz.
There was the duel for a rojiblanco festival due to the visible forcefulness and because the Sevilla footballers seemed to accompany the bewilderment that Sampaoli showed in his walks along the band. Only a bad measurement by Giménez against Gueye in a ball that was lost by the end line made the game revive. The Uruguayan central defender’s mistake was taken advantage of by the Senegalese to, with a slight touch, encourage En-Nesyri to only have to push the ball before Oblak’s beards. The game was more for Atlético’s third goal than for the intermission path to narrow.
It did not take long to expand after the renovation. It was Griezmann in another sequence of removal and blow. Another sample of Sevilla’s defensive laxity. With no one to shadow him, the Frenchman was able to prepare a left-footed shot from 25 meters that flew to Bono’s right corner. To the band that went to celebrate the goal with Simeone, the coach who has molded him into his great work.
Savic, like Giménez, was able to get Sevilla back into the game by handing the ball to Ocampos on the edge of the area. Suso sent the ball to limbo with Oblak defeated. Then the rojiblanca bacchanalia continued. Carrasco at the far post, clinched a fine touch from Pablo Barrios free of mark after Llorente’s ride. Rakitic wasted a forced penalty in another leap of faith from Gueye on a ball that, like En-Nesyri’s goal, went over the end line. Morata closed the account with two goals in Sevilla’s last two defensive concessions. And by the way, he presented his credentials to the Griezmann-Memphis couple.
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