Oblak defends Atlético’s victory against Betis and prevents Simeone’s men from going into a tailspin | Soccer | Sports

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Oblak, who is not having his best season, prevented Atlético de Madrid from going into a tailspin. The whistles reappeared at the Metropolitano after a clean first half that gave the red and whites a two-goal advantage and a second in which Betis woke up and made Atlético suffer a lot until the end. Simeone had to populate the team with midfielders and defenders to save a restorative victory, but that did not hide the slump in the game that the colchoneros are going through. Betis could have tied if Oblak did not manage to emerge from a forest of legs to prevent a shot from Guido Rodríguez from establishing the tie at two. Atlético has not quite found regularity and balance in recent weeks. Cholo moves pieces, but he doesn’t quite find the key. Change the defense, the midfield or the forward line and the whole does not straighten out.

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Oblak, Gabriel Paulista, Mario Hermoso, Witsel, Koke (Saúl, min. 62), Pablo Barrios Rivas, De Paul (Nahuel Molina, min. 62), Marcos Llorente, Samuel Lino (Rodrigo Riquelme, min. 80), Morata ( Savic, min. 86) and Depay (Reinildo Mandava, min. 80)

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Betis

Rui Silva, Chadi Riad, Héctor Bellerín (Juan Miranda, min. 72), Pezzella, Sabaly, Chimy Ávila (Ayoze Pérez, min. 72), Fornals, Marc Roca (Guido Rodríguez, min. 45), Johnny (Abde, min. . 90), Rodri (William Carvalho, min. 45) and Willian José

Goals 1-0 min. 7: Rui Silva (pp). 2-0 min. 43: Morata. 2-1 min. 61: William Carvalho.

Referee César Soto Grado

Yellow cards De Paul (min. 18), Pezzella (min. 67) and Guido Rodríguez (min. 85)

Touched by the elimination of the Cup and the image it gave in San Mamés, Atlético, at least, granted itself a necessary victory. Simeone and his players needed it, now overwhelmed by the need to consolidate at least fourth place. The game was something else, not very fluid and jerky against an opponent who rushed in the second half to nothing that took a step forward.

Atlético is not doing well no matter how many turns Simeone gives to the lineup looking for more forcefulness in both areas. Without Griezmann, still recovering from his ankle injury, this Sunday the Morata-Memphis pairing in attack started. It happened that in the middle a trio of reliable midfielders has not yet been consolidated either. The decline in form that Koke and De Paul are going through turned the red and whites into a discontinuous team, unable to sustain the drinkable start that they had. He cornered Betis with strong pressure that boxed the green and white team. Pellegrini’s team appeared at the Metropolitano without the injured Fekir and Isco. That lack of offensive soul seemed to describe a team destined to accept the submission of its rival. De Paul gave quick warning with an incursion that he resolved with little precision. Encouraged, Atlético found themselves with an early advantage. Koke took advantage of a poor release of the ball by Betis to put a cross into the area that they introduced into their own goal between Bellerín, Pezzella and Rui Silva.

The blow devastated Betis even more, who had to surrender to their goalkeeper. Memphis ran into the Portuguese goalkeeper twice in a row. Then Atlético fell into that jerky football that still gave them a penalty half an hour into the game. Rui Silva blocked Morata, who cut well through the middle of the area to receive a filtered pass from Memphis. The VAR had to check that Morata was not offside due to a nail before the Madrid attacker executed a tame and slightly cornered shot that Rui Silva rejected. Morata’s subsequent attempts were also repelled by the green and white goalkeeper. Rodri threatened Oblak with an equalizer before Morata could make up for it by heading in a Rui Silva clearance. With twenty goals in all competitions, the same as Bellingham, Morata can now boast his best record since he became a professional.

With more goals than games, Atlético went into the break with two goals that suggested a comfortable match due to the advantage and the little resistance that Betis had offered. However, the entry of William Carvalho turned the game around. The Portuguese midfielder had an imperial impact. He began to remove and distribute balls with an authority that left Atlético’s midfielders in a very bad position. Carvalho himself made it clear that he had left. He saw Oblak ahead and unleashed a right-footed shot from outside the area that beat the Slovenian goalkeeper. Simeone sensed that he had to guide his team more to preserve the result than to expand it. He sat Koke down at game time, because his physical data recommends that he should not be out for any longer, and also De Paul. This is because after having established himself as one of the leaders of the team and the locker room, he has entered a worrying slump.

Betis continued with his government and forced Oblak to become the hero of his team. First, covering Ayoze in a one-on-one that the Canarian forward created with a turn in the area that revealed the defensive fragility that plagues Atlético this season. Oblak ended up becoming the player of the match with a prodigious stretch. Guido Rodríguez hit a volley in the area in the middle of a crowd of players. Visibility was poor, but Oblak’s low flight and mitt managed to hit the ball against the base of the post. The Metropolitano stands then exploded against their team’s play. The whistles became louder and were the prelude to an agonizing end, with an armored Atlético to save the result. With three minutes left, Simeone sat Morata down to bring on Savic. The message was clear. The lead that Atlético finished with, Riqulme and Llorente, was as revealing of the fears and the need for victory as the jumps of joy with which Simeone reached the entrance to the locker room.

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