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Saúl’s revenge gives Atlético victory against Villarreal | Soccer | Sports

Football offers revenge and Saúl had his with the goal that gave Atlético the victory against Villarreal in a high-voltage match. He did it with three minutes remaining with a soft touch from the edge of the area, sharp and tight that allowed his team to recover the fourth place that gives access to the Champions League.

1

Jorgensen, Yerson Mosquera, Mandi, Jorge Cuenca, Albiol (Alfonso Pedraza, min. 81), Capoue (Comesaña, min. 65), Parejo, Coquelin (Álex Baena, min. 65), Gerard Moreno (Bertrand Traoré, min. 81 ), Sörloth and Gonçalo Guedes (Morales, min. 70)

2

Oblak, Giménez, Marcos Llorente, Reinildo Mandava, Rodrigo Riquelme (Savic, min. 45), Witsel (Azpilicueta, min. 65), Koke, Samuel Lino, Pablo Barrios Rivas (Saúl, min. 84), Depay (Morata, min. . . 65) and Griezmann (Correa, min. 65)

goals 0-1 min. 8: Witsel. 1-1 min. 50: Sorloth. 1-2 min. 87: Saul.

Referee Mario Melero López

Yellow cards Griezmann (min. 26), Capoue (min. 27), Parejo (min. 58), Pablo Barrios Rivas (min. 62), Saúl (min. 92) and Yerson Mosquera (min. 94)

From Inter’s epic night, Saúl came away touched by his failure to take the penalty shootout. On social media he verbalized what his football self was suffering from. “Honestly, it is difficult for me to write right now, but just like writing in good times, you have to do it in bad times. It’s a shitty moment for me on a sporting level, and I’m aware… I accept all the criticism and not just because of today’s penalty, but because of how I am right now. Exactly, I don’t know what it is, but the only thing they have taught me is to continue working through thick and thin, until I manage to change the situation,” Saúl wrote. Last night who knows if he laid the first stone to return to being the player he was.

Both teams being challenged by their aspirations to enter Europe, Atlético was the first to assume control of the match. He did it with quick circulations and transitions that caught Villarreal without entering the game. Griezmann was telescopic to guess a path between a forest of legs 30 meters from the area and meet Lino with Jorgensen. And the Danish goalkeeper was splendid to take out the Brazilian’s cross shot with the toe of his right boot. Atlético gave no respite in that fine and eager start. Riquelme placed a corner kick at the edge of the small area and Witsel deflected it to the far block. Atlético was flying and Marcelino’s footballers continued with one gear less. An advantage that Simeone’s players were unable to achieve with a greater advantage. A devilish counterattack ended with a bitten shot by Marcos Llorente. Jorgensen had to work hard due to the poisonous bounce of the ball.

Villarreal took a while to combust. He did it first by advancing the pressure, which gave him greater presence in the opposite field. Parejo and Gerard Moreno began to appear. There was more practice than real fire in the local attacks in a duel that faltered in the multitude of fouls that produced the pressure of both sides. And the referee allowed contact in many of those sets. The pace was frenetic, also accelerated by losses. In this lack of control, it was Atlético that spilled the most gunpowder. They were two long shots from Riquelme that missed by a couple of palms.

Villarreal did a lot of work in crossing into the area. Atlético did not feel excessively uncomfortable. Oblak was only worried in a lateral foul that his defenders were unable to solve well and in a passed corner kick that ended up falling to Gerard Moreno. The shot went over to the most active striker that Villarreal had in the first act. Neither Guedes nor Sorloth had any weight. All in all, Marcelino’s team went to half-time with the feeling that he had gotten into the game and managed to reduce the authoritarian version with which Atlético had entered the field. The restart confirms Villarreal’s intention to focus on Atlético’s area. Simeone had made a change in search of greater defensive solidity and control in the center of the field. He sat Riquelme down to make way for Savic and advance Witsel to the center of the field. The formula did not work. Villarreal tied with one of those plays that once again reminded us of the defensive weakness that plagues their rival this season. Between Capoue and Gerard Moreno they put together a play on the edge of the area and from there Sorloth shot a cross shot that passed between Savic’s legs before beating Oblak. Neither did anyone cut off the passes, nor did anyone come out in time for the Norwegian striker’s damaging shot.

The tie and the bad appearance of his team caused a triple change by Simeone. Griezmann, Memphis and Witsel, a group of important players, gave way to Correa, Morata and Azpilicueta. Marcelino also made a splash by introducing Comesaña and Baena, whose substitution was strange. He would later bring in Morales in the hope of being able to resolve a counter because Atlético had emerged stronger from the range of changes. Correa, Barrios and Morata were around the goal on two occasions. The final stretch of the match belonged to Atlético and was certified by Saúl. A well-played and slow play at the front of the area was ended by the youth midfielder scoring with a soft touch from the inside, tight to the post. As in his best days as an arrival, when Saúl was Saúl.

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