Atlético de Madrid catches air against Levante and goes to the quarterfinals of the Cup
The goals from Morata and Llorente in the second half culminate the mattress reaction after the break
MADRID, 18 Jan. (.) –
Atlético de Madrid suffered this Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey after beating Levante, from the Second Division (0-2), after an even match at the Ciudad de Valencia that culminated in the second half with goals from Álvaro Morata and Marcos Llorente.
The group led by ‘Cholo’ Simeone took a breath after a few turbulent weeks and returned to the path of victory after two games without doing so. With the Cup as their best hope of winning a title, after their elimination from European competitions and their poor position in LaLiga, fourth thirteen points behind Barcelona, the rojiblancos saved the ballot against a combative Levante.
The ‘granota’ team put a stop to their unbeaten streak after 17 games without knowing defeat between LaLiga SmartBank and the Cup. Javi Calleja’s men left a very good image above all a First Division that was equaled in intensity and control of the ball, but that ended up imposing his trade and quality in the second half.
With four novelties compared to the last league game against Almería (1-1), Simeone opted for the return of Savic in the defense for Witsel, Barrios and De Paul, in his first game after winning the World Cup, for Koke and Lemar, and up Morata by Correa. A determined bet that did not finish paying off for the mattress team, at least during the entire first half of the clash.
Levante put up more of a battle than expected with a direct and determined game that surprised the rojiblanco team. With the encouragement of the public playing in their favor, Javi Calleja’s men came to scare the body with a goal that finally did not end up on the scoreboard due to Bouldini’s foul on Oblak.
Llorente or Molina’s attacks on the wing, centering into the area without practically scaring Femenías, were a reflection of the little attacking play of the rojiblancos so far. Thus, Atlético had to pull ex officio to stop the airs of greatness of Levante and begin to dominate a match already in the second half.
After the restart, the ‘Cholo’ team took a step forward to definitively put an end to doubts and begin to display a more recognizable game. As a result of his insistence, the colchoneros ended up finding the goal prize in Morata’s boots. The Madrid forward finished off a Llorente cross from the right wing with pleasure when barely 50 minutes had elapsed. From there, the match slowed down its intensity, with Atlético somewhat more withdrawn and waiting for Levante in their field.
Without giving up on their efforts, the ‘granota’ team did not lose face in the game and continued to offer an effective offensive game at times. However, the defensive solidity that characterized Simeone’s team so much came to the fore again to close ranks and prevent Levante from approaching Oblak’s goal.
With the entire local team turned upside down, Llorente ended up sealing the match after minute 90. The Spanish international took advantage of a pass through Correa’s hole to define perfectly against Femenías and sign the final 0-2 on the scoreboard.
–RESULT: LEVANTE, 0 – ATLÉTICO DE MADRID, 2. (0-0, at halftime).
LEVANTE: Femenías; Saracchi, Munoz, Rober, Son; Pepelu, Pablo Martínez (Andrés García, min.86), Montiel (Wesley, min.71), Musonda (Cantero, min.59); De Frutos (Campaign, min.59) and Bouldini (Soldier, min.71).
ATHLETIC MADRID: Oblak; Nahuel, Savic, Hermoso, Reinildo; Kondogbia, De Paul (Koke, min.79), Barrios (Correa, min.46), Llorente, Griezmann and Morata (Saúl, min.64).
0-1. Min. 54, Morata.
0-2. Min.91, Llorente.
–REFEREE: Jorge Figueroa Vázquez (C. Andaluz). He admonished Muñoz (min.70) for Levante, and Nahuel Molina (min.85) for Atlético de Madrid.
–STADIUM: City of Valencia.