Atlético Madrid dominated in Sevilla for 45 minutes, but had to settle for a point after Los Nervionenses fought back in the second half in a match that ended level at 1-1.
Both coaches were missing key players, but there were no surprises in Simeone’s line-up. Domínguez replaced the suspended Godín, while Koke and Salvio played a supporting role for Adrián in the absence of Arda Turan and Falcao.
Atlético scored from the very first chance they were given in the match. Eduardo Salvio beat his man and headed home from Gabi’s cross.
Two minutes later the Argentine nearly doubled his and Atleti’s tally, but Andrés Palop saved Toto’s volley.
Atlético controlled the game and outnumbered Sevilla in midfield, where the quartet of Mario, Tiago, Gabi and Koke did an excellent job. When possible, we looked to break forward quickly with Salvio usually at the end of our attacks, but Palop did well to save another two chances for the goalscorer.
Sevilla struggled and looked to José Antonio Reyes to serve as their creative outlet. The man who was an idol at the Vicente Calderón just a few months ago played his usual game. He constantly tried to draw fouls and it must be said the Rojiblancos didn’t hold back on their former team-mate.
The home side only came close to our box from set pieces and at half time they were yet to record a dangerous shot on Courtois’ goal.
At the start of the second half Sevilla had a good chance after a fast counterattack, but Navas and Rakitic couldn’t hit their shots on target.
In the 54th minute Atlético seemed to break forward, but Sevilla recovered and hit us hard on the counter-counterattack.
Jesús Navas put in a perfect cross for Babá Diawara, who scored his first goal for Sevilla to tie the score at 1-1.
After the break Sevilla improved and took control over the match, with Navas being a constant threat down the right side. The speedy winger provided Reyes with a good chance, but Courtois pulled off a great save to keep the score level.
In the final quarter of the match both teams looked exhausted. Many passes were misplaced and there didn’t seem to be a plan behind the attacks of either team.
Sevilla almost nicked the 3 points in the 89th minute, but a goal by Manu del Moral was correctly ruled offside.
The matched ended in a draw, which means Atlético have now gone five league matches without winning. Next week we’ll host Granada. We’ll be without Filipe for that clash, who picked up his fifth booking of the season tonight.
Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran (“91 Perea), Miranda, Domínguez, Filipe; Tiago (“81 Pizzi), Mario; Salvio, Gabi, Koke; and Adrián.
Goals: 0-1 Salvio (“9); 1-1 Diawara (“54)