La Liga: Atlético 1 – 1 Sevilla
First penalty in 63 games costs Atleti 1st place
Atlético Madrid had the opportunity to go top of the league after Barcelona tied with Getafe on Sunday night.
But two hours after the Catalans finished, the score board of the Vicente Calderón stadium showed the exact same figures as the one in Valencia, as the two league leaders both played to a 1-1 draw.
Atlético had won their first 9 games at home, but have now failed to win in consecutive games.
Everything seemed to be going as planned for Los Rojiblancos after a David Villa goal had given them a deserved first half lead, but a more aggressive Sevilla salvaged a point in the second half.
From the 10th to the 20th minute Atlético created a series of opportunities through Filipe, Diego Costa, Raúl García, Gabi and then Costa again. The striker’s efforts lead to a corner in the 18th minute, which was spilled by goalkeeper Beto after a Godín header. The loose ball fell before the feet of David Villa, who didn’t hesitate to smash the ball into the back of the net. It was El Guaje’s 15th career goal against the Andalucians and a goal which seemed sufficient for Atleti to take 1st place in la Liga.
15 – David Villa has scored 15 goals vs Sevilla, his biggest haul against any Spanish League side. Hangman
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 19, 2014
Sevilla did create some opportunities in the first half, but the wrong shooters were pulling the trigger as only their defenders found themselves in a position to score. First right back Coke shot just wide, while centre back Fazio slid the ball wide after Atleti failed to clear a corner.
After the break Sevilla coach Emery brought on forward Gameiro to put more pressure on the Colchonero defence, which led to an early opportunity for Bacca. Despite their intentions, Sevilla hardly caused Atleti any trouble, but Diego Simeone’s men didn’t get near Beto’s goal either.
Diego Costa, who is yet to score in 2014, again didn’t get on the scoresheet. There was one moment where our topscorer brought a cross by Gabi down on his chest, but his spectacular half volley was blocked before it reached the target.
With twenty minutes left to play Raúl García was pulled down inside the box by Navarro, but the referee waved to play on. Then, a few moments later, Hernández Hernández did award a penalty to Sevilla for a naive foul by Juanfran who grabbed Bacca’s shirt. Sevilla’s best man, Ivan Rakitic, stepped up to convert the spot kick and to tie the score at 1-1.
It was only the first time in 63 games that Atleti conceded a penalty, and despite coming close there was nothing Thibaut Courtois could do to stop the Croatian’s strike.
Atleti, who up till that point had seemed tired and not entirely focussed, were left with only a few minutes remaining to reclaim their lead. But Sevilla did well to slow down the game by nagging and annoying Cholo’s men, who hardly threatened Beto’s goal in the final quarter. The mutual frustration reached its boiling point when Alberto Moreno took down Raúl García with a wild challenge from behind, which led to the left back’s expulsion in the first minute of the added time.
Despite being a man down Sevilla held on, winning a point and keeping Atleti from the top spot in la Liga.
|David Villa 18'||Rakitic (p.k.) 73'|
|19 January 2014|
|C. Rodríguez (81')|