Last match of the day where Atlético de Madrid returned to their home after three months, but this time without their most important weapon, their fans. Sevilla and Getafe had already played their games and neither of them had got the win, so Cholo´s team had a huge chance to clinch themselves into the Champions League spots. On the other side, Real Valladolid have a considerable margin to relegation, but they want to secure their stay at LaLiga for one more season as soon as possible.
Game started with several clear chances to score on both teams: first, keeper Oblak made his usual insane save to a shot by Valladolid´s left back Waldo Rubio right from outside the box that was heading to the top left of the goal. Atlético responded right away with a header by Morata from a cross by Herrera that went out very close to the post. The match had a higher rhythm than what we are used to from Cholo´s team. The Rojiblancos set themselves up on the opponent´s half, with Joao Félix giving the quality and Marcos Llorente the strength. In this scenario, Valladolid fell back and gave away the ball possession to the home team.
Simeone surprised on his starting lineup as he left Koke, Saúl and Lodi on the bench, who are three usual starters. However, Atlético showed a fast ball movement from the first moment. One of the most threatening weapons for Atlético was midfielder Marcos Llorente, who always made runs and asked for the ball. Atlético dominated, but Valladolid were dangerous on the counterattack: Waldo recovered on his own box, ran the whole pitch and assisted Matheus, who sent a crossed shot that almost touched the post. Visiting team were defending very efficiently and so Atlético did not have any option but attacking on the wings. The score was 0-0 at halftime.
Intensity went down after the break and Atlético couldn´t find the way to break down Valladolid´s defensive wall. Simeone was aware of the fact that it was going to be very hard to penetrate their lines, so he put all his starters back in the game, but the substitutions did not make an instant effect.
Atlético looked tired, nothing compare to their last victory against Osasuna. Game smelled to end on a draw while Valladolid found themselves very comfortable waiting backwards for a counterattack opportunity. Atlético really missed Lodi on the left, as today´s left back Manu Sánchez did well on defense but barely made any offensive run.
Cholo´s team finally managed to score the winning goal thanks to a header by Vitolo from a corner kick ten minutes before the final whistle that central defender Kiko Olivas couldn´t save from the goal line. Atlético got a crucial win on the race for Champions League spots as now they are tight up with Sevilla on the third position.