Copa del Rey: Celta 0 – 0 Atlético
It's all square at Balaidos as attention turns to the Calderón next week
An intense evening of football between two good sides ended goalless on Wednesday evening, as Atlético failed to break down Celta Vigo in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final clash.
Simeone went with a strong line-up at Balaidos, after a tough 2-0 victory 10 days ago, despite talk that there would be a lot of rotation.
Starting in midfield to support Jackson and Griezmann was Yannick Carrasco, who enjoyed a decent start to the game.
A neat pass from the Belgian led to a Filipe Luís cross, but the out-of-form Jackson Martínez couldn’t finish the opportunity on the stretch.
A Carrasco cut-back just a few minutes later almost heralded the first goal of the game, but it was slightly behind the on-rushing Koke.
Atleti were playing some nice football, but struggled to get the final ball right. Celta looked dangerous on the attack.
Moyá, the cup goalkeeper for Atlético this season, was forced to make a big save after Iago Aspas had a chance to give the home side the lead.
The Spaniard got down well to block the shot, before Savic cleared the second opportunity from Guidetti.
The home side continued to press, and a perfect cross-field pass from Orellana splits the Atleti defence to Jonny, but Pablo in the middle of the field couldn’t get his foot to the cross, and Moyá got down to collect.
You could tell Simeone was less pleased with his side’s performance as the first half ticked on. Cholo was seen giving Ángel Correa his instructions on the bench as the first period drew to a close, as if to dare the trio of Griezmann, Jackson and Correa to step their game up.
The second half began with the same 22 players, but there was a different fire under Atleti.
A fantastic shot from Jackson almost sneaked in to the bottom left hand corner, but the goalkeeper Rubén managed to get a hand to it to push it behind for a corner.
It was the Colombian that was eventually substituted, and the threat of being replaced by Ángel Correa turned into a reality. Jackson came off after a better performance, but nothing that will set the world on fire.
Celta looked to have snatched the only goal of the game as the game ticked into the final ten minutes, but a spectacular goal-line clearance from Gabi spared the blushes of both Augusto and Moyá.
A lobbed cross forward from Guidetti was lofted into the danger zone, only for Augusto to stick out a leg and take the ball away from a waiting Moyá.
There was pace on the ball, but Gabi managed to catch up with the ball before it rolled into the empty net to become Atlético’s saviour.
Celta should perhaps have had a penalty in the closing minutes, after the ball struck Thomas Partey’s hand inside the Atleti box. The referee Estrada Fernández waved away the protests, much to the relief of the Atleti substitute.
The referee blew for full-time, and both teams will have to go through the exact same thing next week at the Vicente Calderón.
|Celta||0 0||Atlético Madrid|
|Copa del Rey (8)|
|20 January 2016|