LOST FAVORITE TOURNAMENT
In January, Spanish football pleases us with top signings. First, Real Madrid and Barcelona met in the Super Cup, and now the Madrid derby awaited the “creamy” in the quarterfinals of the country’s Cup. Interestingly, this tournament has not been given to teams in recent years. Florentino Pérez’s club last won the trophy in 2014, while Diego Simeone’s last year. But for them this is the last chance to win some kind of trophy this season.
The composition of the teams was not surprising. Carlo Ancelotti rarely changes his mind about the top 11 and often makes changes out of necessity or to rest. But clearly that was not the case. Only for the right did he choose between Nacho and Álvaro Odriozola -in favor of the former-. Federico Valverde as a right back does not surprise anyone.
The same can be said of Simeon. In his composition, the irruption of Álvaro Morata, a pupil of Real Madrid, who seems to have played everywhere except his native club, is noticeable. Well, how can I not mention the impressive form of Antoine Griezmann? He nominally positioned himself on the left flank of the attack, although everyone knows that he is not tied to any zone.
In seven of the last eight meetings between these teams, fewer than two and a half goals have been scored. Which is not surprising: “mattress covers” are drying specialists and often knit classy “creamy” hands and feet, but in principle they are not inferior in class. Hence the poor performance. And the first 15 minutes reminded me how these games usually add up. The locals had more possession of the ball and were more proactive, but the first hit only came in the 25th minute. At that time, they were already inferior on the scoreboard.
This goal will definitely be discussed tomorrow. The fact is that even before Atlético’s attack became sharp, the ball hit referee César Soto Grado, but he did not stop the game. The ball bounced off the guests, and five seconds later they organized a goal: Nahuel Molina picked up speed on the right side, opened behind Ferland Mendy, waited for a shot from Koke and shot to the far post, where Morata transported freely. the ball in the net.
At the end of half an hour of play, the guests made an attack that was absolutely similar in structure, only from the left edge, so this goal is clearly not accidental, especially since it was scored from the side of Vinicius, who sinned that he could miss your opponent.
The remaining time in the first half confirmed that Real Madrid is not in order now. Only Vinicius tried to set off the attack, whom Atletico fans are trying to poison (but not at the stadium, in the Santiago Bernabeu they were allowed in the number of about 300 people), but this is clearly not enough. The guests controlled the game with confidence.
AND RODRIGO IS BACK!
Ancelotti’s Real Madrid is famous for scoring in the second half. This ability has already gone down in history with another Champions League trophy. The whites have already changed the subject strongly and began to besiege Jan Oblak’s penalty. In one episode, Vinicius had a stunning moment when, in the goalkeeper line area, he jumped for the ball, deflected by the goalkeeper, but he couldn’t process it successfully and missed the moment.
Still, for all the coolness of the “creamy” midfield, all the attacking power in the final stage resides in the legs of Vinicius and Karim Benzema, and for some reason they felt extremely uncomfortable that night at the someone else’s area. The Frenchman in general, although, as always, he opened correctly, but he could not adapt to the ball in any way. Therefore, Atlético could have decided everything long before the final whistle, but Griezmann’s free-kick sent Thibaut Courtois out, and Axel Witsel’s own goal lacked precision.
What I still can’t understand is why Ancelotti puts Valverde on the right edge from time to time. The Uruguayan has a very good shot and other advantages, but he is lost as a winger. Rodrigo, who replaced him, did several miracles in the Champions League a year ago and this time he turned the game around: 10 minutes after the kick, he took the ball, hit three in turns with the same movement and put the ball close. corner with the outside of the foot.
The end of the main time turned out to be very hot. The inspired locals went ahead and created several chances, but at the same time missed Griezmann in his penalty area, who completed the one-on-one with a shot over the crossbar. The goal, however, would have been annulled due to an offside position by the Frenchman, but that does not mean that he ruined the episode.
SAVICH HAS DECEIVED HIMSELF
The overtime turned into an assault on Cloud Gate. Atlético already had a bad time, and then Stefan Savic screwed up. He started psychological games with Vinicius, not giving him the ball and thus causing a conflict that ended in mutual warnings. Only after a couple of minutes did the Brazilian easily get past the defender, forcing him to foul on the second yellow card. During the last 20 minutes, the rojiblancos were a minority.
True, even before the exchange of sides, the hosts squeezed the opponent. Nacho and Marco Asensio played the ball down the right wing, and the midfielder finished off well in the middle. The ball passed to everyone, but Benzema caught it at the far post. It’s a pity, but Asensio is unlikely to record an assist, because on the way to the Frenchman the ball touched Vinicius (he also scored, but already a minute before the end).
So, it must be said that Simeone surpassed Ancelotti in the preparation for the match, but in the course of the match the last great Italian coach surpassed his opponent. Rodrigo, who came on as a substitute, equalized the score, and Asensio, who appeared a little later, scored the second goal. The substitution of the injured Ferland Mendy for Dani Ceballos also worked well, after which Eduardo Camavinga went to the flank of the defense. For comparison, almost every guest who showed up during the game fell over, and in a Memphis jersey, Depay seemed to have stepped out to stand on the field.
Spain Cup. Quarter finals
“Real” – “Athletic” – 3:1 (0:1)
Goals: Morata, 19 – 0:1. Rodrigo, 79 – 1:1. Benzema, 104 – 2:1. Vinicius, 120+1 – 3:1.
“TRUE”: Courtois, Nacho (Odriozola, 115), Militao, Rudiger, F. Mendy (Ceballos, 44), Camavinga, Modric, Kroos (Asensio, 74), Valverde (Rodrigo, 69; Martín, 115), Vinicius, Benzema.
“Athletic”: Oblak, Molina, Savic, Hermoso, Reinildo, Koke (Saúl, 83), de Paul (Kondogbia, 83), A. Correa (Depay, 74), Lemar (Carrasco, 74), Griezmann, Morata (Witsel, 63).
Warnings: de Paul, 44. Reynildo, 54. Hermoso, 62. Ceballos, 69. Savic, 97.
Elimination: Savich, 99 (2 LCDs).