As expected, Atlético Madrid qualified for the Copa del Rey semi-finals on Wednesday after a 2-2 draw at Eibar, goals from José Giménez and Juanfran ensuring a 5-2 aggregate win.
Simeone decided to rotate after winning the first leg 3-0 a week ago, but despite the passage, he will be disappointed by some of his team’s defending as they let in two cheap goals before equalising late on.
With Antoine Griezmann rested, the likes of Kevin Gameiro, Fernando Torres and Ángel Correa were all given the chance to starting in attack as Cholo chased the away goal.
Despite all of the attacking talent on show, Atleti struggled to create chances in what was a fairly uneventful first half. The cohesion in the forwardline was lacking, perhaps understandable given they have never played together before.
The visitors threatened on a few occasions, but the best chance of the half came through Eibar’s Josué, who’s well struck volley forced Moyá into a smart save.
Gameiro had Atleti’s best chance, but couldn’t find the target at the front post after reaching a low cross. The Frenchman was withdrawn just past the hour mark in what was another disappointing outing.
The breakthrough finally came just after half-time through an unlikely source, as José Giménez rose highest to head home his first goal of the season from a Nico Gaitán corner.
After a spell out of the team, the Uruguayan has impressed during the chances he has been given lately, giving Simeone a difficult decision as towards his starting centre-backs for the rest of the season.
Ángel Correa should’ve made it 2-0 midway through the half, but after doing all the hard work he was thwarted by Eibar ‘keeper Yoel, who saved well from the 1-on-1.
His wastefulness was soon punished by the home side, who equalised and then took the lead on the night through a couple of manager José Mendilibar’s second half substitutes.
Less than a minute after coming on, Pedro León was afforded time and space to run through on goal and hit the post, which allowed Sergi Enrich to tap home the rebound.
León then turned goalscorer seven minutes later, volleying into the bottom corner with a shot that caught Moyá off-guard, putting Eibar 2-1 ahead on the evening.
Thankfully, the away goal meant that Atleti could rest easily despite some worrying defending, and managed to avoid defeat in the closing stages as Juanfran scored a well worked equaliser.
The winger has been in good goalscoring form recently having scored 3 goals in the last month, and ran onto an excellent lofted pass from Gabi to beat Yoel with a lovely dinked effort.
Player ratings: Moyá 5, Juanfran 6, Giménez 7, Savic 6, Lucas 6, Gabi 7 (MOTM), Saúl 6, Gaitán 6, Correa 6, Torres 5, Gameiro 5. Subs: Koke 5, Carrasco 5, Vrsaljko N/A.