One of the Spanish football classics, Athletic and Atlético faced each other off on a direct duel for European spots. The lions want to engage to the battle for Europe on LaLiga return, and Atlético, without Joao Félix today, really need to change their negative dynamic on away games throughout this season if they want to have any chances to end among the first four spots. “The Cathedral” would witness a crucial test.
The match passed by within these two teams characteristics: bit football and much dispute. Both of them started very intense, with a high pressure that forced long balls constantly. Today´s newness on Atlético´s system was that Marcos Llorente played forward along with Diego Costa. Cholo´s team had the first clear chance thanks to a great pass by Llorente towards winger Carrasco between central defenders that the Belgian could not finish properly as he crossed his shot too much.
Athletic grow as minutes passed by and Oblak made an unbelievable save to an excellent header by defender Yeray from a cross by Muniain. Another save for the collection, but he could not avoid Athletic´s first goal. Left back Yury Berchciche sent a perfect pass to Muniain and his shot got reflected towards the net. However, Atlético managed to tie it up just a couple minutes later and when they were suffering the most. Midfielder Koke received between lines and he assisted to Diego Costa between the two central defenders. The Spanish-Brazilian forward did not miss and crossed it with his toecap to make the 1-1, which was the score at halftime.
Atlético improved after the break, boosted by a great performance by Marcos Llorente, but Athletic recovered the control, just as they did in the first half. Cholo did not see it clear and decided to make offensive substitutions putting it Morata, Lemar and Correa in order to go for the three points. Right back Arias also went in and had his chance to score after a cross from Lodi, but keeper Unai Simón saved it.
Cholo´s team finished the match on the opponents box trying to find the win desperately, but they did not pull it off. No matter how much time goes by, Atlético keep drawing on the road. Life goes on the same.