Atlético Madrid fell to their first defeat of the season on Sunday afternoon, Steven N’Zonzi’s second half goal enough for three points that puts Sevilla top of La Liga for the time being.
It was a game very much influenced by the torrential rain in Andalusia, with the home side taking advantage of some slack Atleti defending to win the match in the final 20 minutes.
Koke saw red shortly after the goal for a second yellow card, which more or less ended the visitor’s hopes of finding an equaliser given how little they had offered up until that point.
However, they did manage to fashion the best chance of the first half, and really should’ve gone in with a lead when Ángel Correa somehow managed to shoot wide when one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
The Argentine ran on to Gameiro’s flick on from a free-kick, but like in Rostov he snatched at the opportunity and failed to find the target with the outside of his right foot.
Gameiro had also come close himself against his former club but was denied by Sergio Rico, who enjoyed a quiet second half as the hosts took control and claimed a deserved three points.
Atleti were given a warning sign when the excellent Samir Nasri hit the post from outside the box, toying with Savic and Godín before seeing his effort rebound back off the upright.
Jan Oblak was then called into action to save from Vitolo, who found space at the backpost but couldn’t find a way past the big Slovenian.
With time ticking down, Sevilla broke the deadlock through an unlikely source, Steven N’Zonzi picking up a pass from Atleti loanee before charging through and calmly side footing home for 1-0.
It was a sloppy goal to concede from the visitors especially given the conditions, and things went from bad to worse shortly after when Koke saw red for a second bookable offence.
Atleti tried to find an improbably equaliser, but the closest they came was through a Godín header that was comfortable for Rico in the Sevilla goal.
The defeat means we fall to third in the La Liga table, and will finish the weekend in fourth unless Athletic Bilbao pick up a surprise win at the Bernabéu later on.
After an intense recent run including a midweek trip to Russia and back, it’s not a critical loss but is a frustrating one given the manner of the goal conceded. Sevilla hadn’t beaten Atleti since October 2010.
The red and whites now have six days to prepare for their next match at home to Málaga in La Liga, where they will hope to bounce back and put the disappointment of this afternoon behind them.
Jan Oblak – 6
Made one excellent save from Vitolo in the second half, and couldn’t really have done much for the goal. Has six days now to rest shoulder that has been giving him grief in recent weeks.
Juanfran – 5
Struggled at times to deal with Nasri when he came over to the left side, and was almost absent in attack which is unlike him.
Diego Godín – 5
Came rushing out of defence for a ball he didn’t get, leaving space in behind for N’Zonzi to run into and score. Did try and inspire a comeback as an unorthadox centre-forward but to no avail.
Stefan Savic – 5
One of his poorer performances in red and white (of which we can count on one hand). Lucky not to give away a penalty in the first half and was caught out at times by Sevilla’s quick footwork and movement.
Filipe Luís – 6
Played well and as always used the ball well, but didn’t have many crossing opportunities or much in terms of movement in front of him. Not a great deal of Sevilla’s attacking play went down his side.
Gabi – 7 (Man of the match)
Spent most of the match clearing up in front of the defence with a number of tackles and blocks, but his good work was undone by a sloppy goal. A little outnumbered at times in midfield.
Koke – 5
Not as influential as he has been in recent weeks, struggling to find his range with his passing or chances to transition from midfield to attack. Under-par match was compounded bya late, slightly unfortunate red card.
Yannick Carrasco – 5
Has been on fire in recent weeks, but was less influential today which saw him taken off fairly early on. Atleti offered next to nothing in attack after his withdrawal.
Ángel Correa – 5
Like in Rostov in midweek, he was guilty of missing an absolute sitter in the first half which if he had converted would’ve changed the course of the match. Also picked up a lazy yellow card which resulted in him coming off at half time.
Antoine Griezmann – 6
As good as he is in a slightly deeper role, he’s playing further away from goal now which is where he really shines. Our best attacking player, but we’d like to see him closer to the final third. Wasn’t given a sniff at goal.
Kevin Gameiro – 6
Ran hard and had a couple of decent efforts at goal, the first he perhaps could’ve done better with. Still feel that Atleti aren’t really using his pace in behind as well as they could.
Nico Gaitán – 6
Didn’t shy away from the action and looked to get involved, but didn’t have much luck as most of what he tried failed to come off. Was one of those days for the whole team, in fact.
Tiago – 5
His introduction didn’t really have the desired effect, with an extra man in midfield taking away the attacking threat that Atleti had with Carrasco.
Fernando Torres – 5
Didn’t have a great deal of the ball, winning one free-kick with some good hold up play but not doing a great deal else. Wasn’t really the game for him, would’ve liked to have seen Gameiro stay on.
Do you agree with our ratings? What did you make of the performance?