La Liga: Atlético 3 – 2 Celta

Griezmann scores a late winner to seal dramatic comeback win

Calderón erupted as Atleti completed late comeback

Calderón erupted as Atleti completed late comeback

Atlético had kept a clean sheet in their last four games at the Vicente Calderón, and had won 4-0 in the reverse fixture against Celta back in September, so the stats were in their favour.

With both teams being knocked out in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey, the match was poised for goals, and that is exactly what happened.

From the off both sides were lively, but it was the visitors who took the lead in Madrid. A Jozabed shot deflected out for a corner, and as Sisto delivered a cross close to Moya, the backup goalkeeper palmed the ball straight into Cabral’s head who had an empty net. Oblak’s absence was sorely missed.

Atleti were level four minutes later, with a sublime shot from veteran Fernando Torres with his back to goal the Spaniard took a touch and dinked it over a stranded 5’11 Sergio, the perfect response to going behind. A definite contender for goal of the season.

The goal seemed to burst the team into life, and soon after a penalty shout was turned down, although replays showed there was certainly contact. A great ball from Koke to Torres who was in the thick of the action once again.

Celta were dangerous on the counter, and Fulham loanee Jozabed hit the post with a rocket of a shot. Moya was well beaten, a sign of things to come later in the game.

A minute later, however, the game was back in Atleti’s hands as Carrasco was blatantly tripped in the box by Hernandez. It was the Belgian international who was keen to take the penalty until Torres took the ball off him to end the penalty curse, he stepped up confidently and hit the bar.

It summed up Atleti’s run of penalties. Disappointment instantly hit Torres’s face as he failed to take the lead for the first time in the game.

Antoine Griezmann played a wonderful ball to play through Carrasco who was denied. Another good chance not taken by the forward who has been off the pace in the New Year.

After the break it was the visitors who had dominated, to the stage the home side were struggling to get out of their own half. Due to a lack of energy and pace up top, Griezmann victim to a lack of effort.

Substitute Wass played a great pass into the Guidetti who took a touch but blasted over the bar. Unfortunately for Atlético, a couple minutes later, the next chance he got – he took.

Aspas played the ball into the Swedish striker, who slotted excellently, but Savic was at fault for poor defending.

Celta were on their way to pulling off a shock defeat, that was until Celta’s clearance from an Atleti corner fell to Carrasco who out of nowhere pulled out a stunning volley to equalise.

With two minutes left of normal time, Vrsaljko crossed the ball into Gamiero who nodded down to fellow French strike partner Griezmann who powered it home from four yards to win the game for Cholo’s men.

Full-time went at the Vicente Calderón, and Atlético now move back up to fourth. You would feel Champions League football is a must in the new stadium.

Player ratings: Moyá 5, Juanfran 5, Lucas 7, Savic 5, Filipe 6, Gabi 7, Koke 7, Saúl 5, Carrasco 8, Torres 8 (MOTM), Griezmann 7. Subs: Vrsaljko 6, Correa 6, Gameiro 6.

  • Antonio Conte

    Thomas and Moreira should leave after this season. They are like elephants in a living room under Simeone.

    Griezmann should move to PSG or Monaco next season. He would score more goals in either of those teams.

  • starvs

    Great comeback, glad Correa came in for Saul not Carrasco. I would really like to see this starting lineup with Gaitan instead of Saul. I’ve said it before, but I think our passing is much more incisive and quick with Nico on the field.

    Gameiro really needs to finish his chances, if he could get into form maybe we’d really have a chance (at CL and 3rd in the league). It’s possible we are about to turn things around after some almost great play against Barca and this comeback here.

    Savic is okay, but really should probably be 4th choice at this point. Gimenez and Lucas pairing is very inexperienced though, hopefully Godin is back soon.

  • Vagabond Messi

    What’s up with this attack on me even when i stopped criticising their beloved Saul? You’re a real fan Annon ,but hey keep it to yourself ,i’m not intrested if you go to Cl final or visit VC regularly or whatever. It’s so cowardice of you to attack me when i stopped criticising Saul. Go sleep with your Saul panty on and don’t tell what others should think and speak.

  • Koke

    Incredible game from Koke and Gabi, glad they haven’t been entirely overshadowed by our forwards’ great goals today. Three incredible goals, and I think our permanent starting trident (for now at least) should be those 3: Carrasco-Torres-Griezmann. Correa is also knocking at the door and deserves way more minutes. Gameiro is still a question mark.

    I’ve been one of Saul’s defenders for a while but I must concede now that he really contributes very, very little for our team when he’s not scoring goals. I’m not saying he’s not talented – I think he could do very well if he’s given time to grow into the Gabi role, next to Koke (he was pretty good against Barcelona as the lone DM). However, he will never be good enough this season to bench Gabi, or Koke, so he should play only as a sub to them. Gaitan is clearly much better for possession, creating chances, and counter attacking, and he should clinch that last starting spot.

    In the defense, I think Savic should officially be relegated to 4th choice. He was a beast once upon a time but lately has been of poor form and needs to earn his way back. Lucas has a lot to offer. I’m really disappointed and disgusted with the domestic abuse allegations but I don’t know the whole story so I can’t really judge. Anyway, I don’t think Simeone will bench Savic yet (he’s the most experienced), but that’s my 2 cents. Juanfran has gained back his good form but he’s also injured I think so I Vrsaljko should have a golden chance to prove himself.


  • Hannu

    Thinking the same expect for Vrsaljko as I think he has already proven himself playing better than Juanfran. Allright, could be even better but I think he will come better and prove that what a signing he is!

    Lucas is always playing so good that I dont know how long Simeone can keep him 4th choice? Both Gimenez and Lucas has been so much better than Savic and in some games even better than Godin.

  • KO Corbin

    SAUL = dead weight !!!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I said it once and I’ll say it again. Simeone should leave now with his dignity. It doesn’t matter that we win what matter is the 2 goals we conceded.

    There’s a huge problems in our defence and penalty taking. They should learn from Hector Cuper and Egypt they are the best in the world. I think they can beat Real Madrid.

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Of course we’re terribly shaky at the back, but the defence itself can’t be blamed for the first goal, while the second one was a perfectly executed counter-attack.

    Not sure what do you mean by Egypt being the best in the world though, they were beaten by Cameroon in the AFCON final, if I’m not mistaken.

  • Mrtn

    I’m sorry but this article is ridiculous in every aspect, starting with lots of misspelling, the lack of grammar and style… US education I guess… But still, someone should have read this before publishing. The most amazing is that it has probably been written by a native English speaker. Just amazing…
    About the game: apart from the final score Celta was the better side, the team is totally lost tactically and mentally. Cholo has no control of the squad anymore. Both sides (I mean the Club and Cholo) would benefit from a change.
    Vamos Atleti!

  • Hannu

    This is troll you know. 😉

  • Andrew C.

    The site always seems to be looking for volunteer contributors if you feel so inclined ;). I just wrote my first match preview.

  • Vagabond Messi

    Thanks for your contribution if this article was written by you.

  • Andrew C.

    I wrote the preview for the match. Thanks!

  • Andrew C.

    Wouldn’t go that far. He just doesn’t fit into the starting side. He still provides good depth at CM and can even put one in when the team is in need of a goal.

  • Antonio Conte

    I would say that this is the perfect starting lineup for the second leg against Bayer 04 Leverkusen.


  • Antonio Conte

    Carrasco for Correa, Gabi for Koke, and Cerci for Griezmann as substitutions.

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Oh, Antonio – you and your three at the back… Btw. once Cholo leaves, come to Atleti, please!

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Maybe that’s the case with other points, but you can’t rule out one is talking seriously about that.

  • Antonio Conte
  • Ahmad Hossainy

    What kind of bullshit is that ?!!
    Talking seriously or not, you know very well who I am, you know very well how this sick person is trying very hard to destroy my image by his pathetic attempts to impersonate me, and you know very well the horrible, nasty & racist stuff he said to many people here.

    By responding to him while knowing all that you are helping him and insulting me and all of us.
    Just block him.

  • Antonio Conte

    I guess we should go with this lineup against Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the first leg then.


  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I’m sorry for my outburst. Sometimes I just rant when I can’t find my butt plug.