La Liga: Levante 2 – 2 Atlético
Torres equaliser hands Atlético a point on Sunday afternoon
Diego Simeone’s misfortune at the Ciutat de Valencia continued as Atleti were made to come from behind twice to secure a point against Levante on Sunday afternoon.
The first-half goal from David Barral caused painful memories for Los Rojiblancos, who have failed to win away against Levante since Cholo took over as manager.
The first chance of the afternoon came to Mario Mandzukic, returning to the side after Fernando Torres got the nod against Athletic last weekend.
A teasing Juanfran cross was met by the head of the Croatian, but could only be guided into the hands of the Levante goalkeeper, Mariño.
It was our number nine that came close shortly after, still looking for his first goal since February. Mariño made a great save to stop his header and then got up quickly to block Arda Turan’s rebound. The Turk should have scored.
To make matters worse for Atlético, it was the home side that took the lead. A dangerous cross in to the Atleti area was headed up in the air by Miranda, aiding the ball to reach the full-back Ivan Lopez.
The right-back drilled the ball across goal first-time and it was tapped into an empty net by David Barral for Levante.
The cross would have been harmless had Miranda not put some extra weight on it.
It wasn’t long before Atleti were back on terms though, and it was Guilherme Siqueira who got the equaliser with his first goal for the club.
A terrible piece of defending in the Levante area meant Tiago picked up the ball. The midfielder chipped it in to the centre-forward position, and it was Siqueira on hand to volley the ball in as if he was a striker.
Mario Mandzukic had another couple of attempts to break his goal duck in the second half. The first came from a Gabi free-kick played into the back post, but Mario headed it again straight into the arms of Mariño. It wouldn’t have counted anyway, as Mandzukic was flagged offside. Not for the first time today.
His last attempt, of perhaps the season, came after he won the ball brilliantly from Levante’s Juanfran, but was closed down well by the Levante defence as he raced towards goal. Fernando Torres was his replacement as Cholo made a change on the hour-mark.
Levante were still a threat to Atleti, looking dangerous every time they broke, with great numbers and speed. And it was the home side that took the lead again just after the hour mark.
A cross into the Atleti box was deflected on by Griezmann into the path of Uche. The striker found himself in on goal, but his shot was blocked by an onrushing Oblak.
The Slovenian got unlucky with his save and it bounced again off of Uche and into the back of the Atlético net. 2-1 to the home side.
Atleti weren’t going to go down without a fight. Raúl García was brought on for Los Rojiblancos, and won a corner for Atleti after a Juanfran cross was well defended by Levante.
From the resulting corner, Atleti made it 2-2. A Koke set-piece whipped in, and it was Fernando Torres who raced to meet the ball at the near post and send it into the back of the net.
Mariño was nowhere near getting anything on the ball, and Torres celebrates his sixth goal since returning to Madrid.
Atlético weren’t finished yet, and a Griezmann attempted cross led to another corner for Atleti. A clearance from the goalkeeper could only find Giménez, who turned and struck a sweet shot towards goal, but it was batted away by Mariño.
Griezmann had a chance to make it 3-2 as the game approached the 90th minute. A through ball to the Frenchman whet the youngster’s appetite, but he was off balance when he took a swipe at the ball and scooped it over the crossbar.
It was the last real chance for Atleti, and the referee blew his whistle to signify the end of the match, and perhaps the season for both sides.
Atlético keep the four-point gap between themselves and Valencia in fourth place.
|Barral 32'||Siqueira 35'|
|Uche 63'||F Torres 80'|
|Estadi Ciutat de València|
|10 May 2015|