Just like two weeks ago against Valencia, Atlético again dominated a match but found their opponents to be more prolific. If Atlético, and especially Agüero, had shown more precision in front of goal, we would have beaten Sevilla tonight. With this 2-2 draw we remain without a home win since January 17.
Although the final result was disappointing, the fans will have gone home with a satisfactory feeling after seeing a great show in the Vicente Calderón. From the first minute till the very last the players were pressing forward, supported by the fanatical supporters who made for an impressive atmosphere.
The opening minutes were a good reflection of the entire match, with Reyes testing Javi Varas in the fourth minute and Rakitic doing the same at the other end. David de Gea reacted very well when the Croatian’s shot was deflected.
Atlético outmuscled Sevilla in the first twenty minutes, with Tomas Ujfalusi often overlapping on the right. The Czech right back found himself in a great position to score, but his first touch was too heavy after a great pass by Tiago. The ball then ended up before the feet of Raúl García who blasted it towards goal and forced Varas to a save. The goalkeeper was Atlético’s biggest obstacle tonight, and he turned out to be an unbeatable foe for Sergio Agüero.
During the first half David de Gea was hardly involved, although he was fortunate to see Luis Fabiano shoot inches wide of the post. When Álvaro Negredo surprisingly opened the scoring there was nothing our goalkeeper could do. It seemed Atleti had run out of power after an energetic start to the game, and Sevilla’s wingers were allowed more time and space to take on our defence. It was in the 42nd minute that right back Dabo crossed to Diego Perotti, who chested it down for Negredo. The striker found himself entirely free inside our box and volleyed the ball beautifully into the top corner.
Atlético almost struck back immediately when Diego Forlán picked out Agüero with a low cross. The Argentine only had to put it in from a couple yards out, but he hit it straight at Javi Varas who was able to save with his feet.
After the break Atlético did level the score. Diego Forlán, who was the provider instead of the finisher tonight, crossed it for Koke and the young canterano cleverly headed it back across goal out of the goalkeeper’s reach. It was Koke’s first goal for Atlético and he very much deserved it after yet another fine performance in midfield.
After an hour of play Sergio Agüero was bowled over inside the box but denied a penalty. Almost twenty seconds later the forward could have taken revenge when he dribbled into the box, but he again found the feet of Varas with his effort. The rebound fell for Koke who nearly scored his second, but the Sevilla goalkeeper once again proved to be a match for everything Atlético were throwing at him.
Out of nowhere Sevilla struck again and retook the lead. The goal was almost identical to their first, but this time it was created on the left side. Diego Perotti crossed to Jesús Navas, who brought it down for Ivan Rakitic. The former-Schalke 04 midfielder, who seemed destined to join Atlético in January but instead chose Andalusia, slotted the ball firmly into the far corner.
Atleti seemed lost after the goal, but were given a helping hand back into the match when Sergio Sánchez completely forgot to mark José Antonio Reyes. Antonio López whipped a ball over the top for Reyes and the former-Sevilla winger was clear through on goal with no defender in sight. He showed great composure and brought Atlético level for the second time.
We came incredibly close to taking all three points when Sevilla’s goalkeeper picked up a backpass in the 80th minute. Tiago quickly took the ball from Varas and handed it on a platter to Agüero, but it really wasn’t his night as el Kun again failed to beat the shotstopper.
At the other end David de Gea was almost beaten for the third time in a game in which he really didn’t have a lot to do. Álvaro Negredo hit a superb shot from 30 meters out which bounced back off the crossbar.
While Atleti were the better side tonight, they will be happy to take at least one point from this match, after falling behind twice. Although the performance was spectacular and certainly hopeful, our inability to collect all three points remain a worry.
Line-up: De Gea; Ujfalusi, Godín, Domínguez, López; Reyes, Tiago, Raúl García, Koke (“68 Juanfran); Forlán (“83 Diego Costa) and Agüero.
Goals: 0-1 Negredo (“42); 1-1 Koke (“48); 1-2 Rakitic (“67); 2-2 Reyes (“77)