La Liga: Atlético 2 – 2 Celta
Two points dropped as the wait for Simeone's 100th win goes on
Atlético Madrid dropped their first points of the season at home on Saturday night after a disappointing 2-2 draw with Celta.
Still unbeaten in the league, Atleti will have been hoping for a much better performance in what was a game riddled with mistakes, underperformers and crazy moments.
Mandzukic, who was injured in Athens, was absent and Raul Jimenez started alone up front, supported by both Arda Turan and Antoine Griezmann.
Moya made his return to the Atlético goal, after being left out for the midweek tie against Olympiacos. However it wasn’t the assured, confident Moya we’ve seen in recent weeks. The Spaniard was a little sloppy.
However it’s debatable how much responsibility he can take for the opening goal. A long cross in to Pablo Hernandez looked to have been overhit, and Godin was backpedalling to block off Hernandez and shepherd the ball out.
That was until Pablo Hernandez stuck out a leg behind him and caught the ball with the back of his heel.
It wrong-footed Moya and ended up rolling tamely into the back of the Atlético net. Celta take the lead.
It shocked the noisy Vicente Calderón, and a watching Diego Simeone was visibly unhappy up in the stands, serving the third match of his ban for his antics in the Spanish Super Cup.
Hernandez’ goal may have been unexpected, but there was no surprise how both of Atleti’s goals came about.
Two goals, two set pieces. One apiece from our central defenders.
Half an hour in, Godin got his name on the scoresheet and drew Atleti level after breaking away from his marker at a Koke free kick. A cute little volley past the Celta goalkeeper Sergio and the comeback was on at the Calderon.
Ten minutes later his partner Miranda completed the turnaround, rising to meet a Gabi corner. The Brazilian jumped above everyone and guided a powerful header into the back of the Celta net. A goal reminiscent of the one that won us the league championship back in May.
Atleti have scored six goals so far in the league this season, with five of them coming directly from set-pieces.
Atleti ended the half on top, piling some pressure on the Celta defence. Griezmann was a particular highlight, although the same couldn’t be said of his fellow frontman Raul Jimenez, who squandered what chances did come his way and showed little appetite to chase down passes, much to the annoyance of the crowd at the Calderon.
The second half started in a different vain, and it was Mallo who tested Moya’s reflexes almost immediately after the restart. The Spanish goalkeeper managed to get down to block it and Atleti’s lead was intact.
Just five minutes later, a big mistake from Miranda handed Celta a lifeline. The defender tried to move out of the way of a charging Planas but could only put his hands up and act like a tree. Planas crashed into him and it was a definite penalty. Nolito had no problems dispatching it to make it 2-2.
Another dodgy moment in defence followed soon after, with Moya kicking the ball at Juanfran while attempting to clear it. It rebounded upwards but was recovered well by Juanfran.
Koke came close to regaining the lead for Atlético, with a cross-come-shot almost catching the backtracking Sergio out from 30 yards. The Celta goalkeeper got a hand to it and tipped it over the bar.
Raul Jimenez almost got the Atleti fans off his back on the hour mark, with a powerful header into the back of the net but it was rightfully ruled out for offside by the assistant.
And through no fault of his own, the jeering intensified as German Burgos, standing in for Simeone, took off Antoine Griezmann, Atleti’s best player of the night, in order to bring on Raul Garcia.
There was not a person in the stadium expecting Griezmann to make way instead of Jimenez.
The Mexican did eventually make way though – for Alessio Cerci – who continued his efforts to notch up as many offside calls as he can in his two substitute appearances.
The pressure continued from Atleti, and they looked to have snatched it in the final minute of stoppage time, after Raul Garcia, with some fantastic footwork, slotted the ball past Sergio – but it was again rightly ruled offside by the linesman.
Atleti have dropped their first home points of the season. In last season’s title win, Atleti only dropped 8 points at home all year in their 15 wins and 4 draws.
For us to be celebrating at Neptuno again this year, Atleti need to iron out silly mistakes, settle in their new signings and welcome Simeone back to the sideline.
How was this performance for you? What have you made of our signings? Has Jimenez done it for you? Are you worried about Cerci? Do you prefer Siqueira or Ansaldi? Let us know!
|Atlético Madrid||22||Celta Vigo|
|Godin 31'||Hernandez 19'|
|Miranda 41'||Nolito (p) 53'|
|20 September 2014|
|Raul Garcia (68')|
|Sergio Gomez (71')|