Copa del Rey: Atlético 2 – 3 Celta
Atlético out of Spanish Cup after conceding three at home against Celta
Atlético Madrid crashed out of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday evening, after a 3-2 defeat at the Vicente Calderón sent Celta through to the semi-finals.
Extremely impressive in defence all season, Atlético knew they needed to score and keep Celta from getting that vital away goal if they were to advance to the last four.
However two goals from Pablo Hernández, and a screamer from Guidetti, was enough to inflict a painful defeat on Atlético.
Gabi had the first chance of the match, as a Carrasco corner rebounded to him on the edge of the area. The Atleti captain could only fire the ball wide of Ruben Blanco’s goal.
Celta got themselves on the scoresheet in the 22nd minute, bagging a vital away goal in the process.
Atlético were asleep in defence, which let Orellana collect a short corner before crossing for Pablo Hernández.
The Chilean got enough power behind the ball with his head to guide it past Miguel Ángel Moyá into the back of the net.
Los rojiblancos weren’t behind for long.
A fierce shot from Carrasco from outside of the area was saved by Ruben Blanco, but it was only parried into the path of Antoine Griezmann, who grabbed his 19th goal of the season on the rebound.
It was a fantastic reflex finish from the Frenchman, who saw his strike settle in the corner of the net after the Celta goalkeeper could only get fingertips to it.
It was a physical match, with Giménez and Orellana particularly getting involved in a scuffle.
The first half ended 1-1, with Atleti still not safe from elimination after Celta’s away goal.
Luciano Vietto had the chance to put Atleti back in the lead five minutes into the second half, but the youngster was flagged offside by the time he got his foot onto the Koke cross.
It was Celta who next had the ball in the back of the net, after a fantastic through ball to Guidetti. Moyá rushed out to save and made himself big to block the shot.
Guidetti got to the goal-line and cut the ball back for Pablo to tap into an empty net, only for the assistant referee to rule that the ball had crossed the line for a goal-kick before the cross.
Guidetti’s anguish didn’t last long though. Some slack passing play from Filipe Luís and Saúl saw the ball fall to the Swede, who smashed the ball from at least 30 yards into the back of the net. Fantastic goal, and one that would have caught any goalkeeper standing.
The goal put the visitors back into the lead, and meant that Atlético needed two goals again in order to stay in the Copa del Rey.
Diego Simeone’s first change to make it happen was to replace Yannick Carrasco with Ángel Correa, who smashed the ball off the underside of the crossbar less than five minutes after coming on.
A pass through to the Argentinean saw him rushing through on goal, but the youngster went for power over precision and couldn’t keep his shot down.
Óliver Torres was Simeone’s next roll of the dice, who was brought on to replace Saúl.
The enthusiasm within the Vicente Calderón didn’t last long. Just three minutes after Correa hit the bar, Celta had the ball in the back of the net again. Pablo Hernández with a free header in the box past Moyá. 3-1 to the visitors. Atlético needed to win 4-3.
Luciano Vietto had the perfect opportunity to pull a goal back, but the Argentinean lacked the power on his shot to beat Ruben Blanco after being put through by Correa.
Correa was the only Atlético player with any sort of urgency, and it was the player signed from San Lorenzo that got Atleti’s second goal of the night with a superb individual effort.
Some lovely footwork saw him beat a defender before stabbing the ball home into the corner of the net, but it still left Atleti needing two goals in the remaining seven minutes.
It wasn’t to be, and Celta progress to their first cup semi-final in 15 years, inflicting a rare home defeat on Atlético.
Now out of the Copa del Rey, Atleti can focus on La Liga and the impending return of the Champions League.
|Griezmann 29'||Pablo Hernández 22'|
|Correa 82'||Guidetti 56'|
|Pablo Hernández 64'|
|Copa del Rey Qtr|
|27 January 2016|