Joao Félix and Morata are plenty and enough for Atlético
Those of ‘Cholo’ Simeone returned to the path of victory in the return of the League
MADRID, Dec. 29 (.) –
Atlético de Madrid beat Elche (2-0) in the return of LaLiga Santander after the break for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, thanks to goals from Joao Félix and Álvaro Morata in the second half of the Metropolitan, after an intense match which included the expulsions of Gonzalo Verdú, Mario Hermoso and Domingos Quina, and which returned the colchoneros to the path of victory after three games without doing so in the league.
Simeone opted for Félix and Morata in attack, with Griezmann delaying his position, and also brought on youth squad player Pablo Barrios. A determined bet that ended up paying off to virtually return the rojiblancos to Champions League positions. For his part, Pablo Machín was unable to score in his debut in LaLiga with the French-greens, who will continue for another day in the last position of the table, with only four points.
After the Metropolitano’s tribute to all the World Cup players, with special attention paid to the Argentine champions Correa, De Paul and Nahuel Molina, the local team began the match somewhat hesitantly against Elche with clear ideas. Thus, the ‘Cholo’ came face to face with an iron defense from Elche that did not make things easy for him.
Maximum equality in the early stages of a first half that did not leave any clear chance of scoring. However, as rest time approached, VAR took center stage. The referee reviewed a foul by Verdú on Morata on the edge of the area that he could not see live.
Finally he corrected his initial decision and sent off the central defender from Elche, leaving Pablo Machín’s men with 10 throughout the second half. Thus, after the restart, the visitors opted for a more conservative type of match, but Hermoso again leveled the tables on 53′, after seeing two yellow cards in just three minutes.
The rojiblanco team recovered from this blow with a goal that gave air to the ‘Cholo’ team. After a good connection between Antoine Griezzmann and Joao Félix, the Portuguese attacker headed between the three sticks to put his team ahead on the scoreboard. From there, good minutes for the locals who knew how to take advantage of their income. Elche had their chance at Pere Milla’s head after 70 minutes, but his header went wide.
More successful was Morata who did take advantage of his opportunity to sentence the clash. The striker finished an individual move with a shot on goal that, after hitting the Elche defense, ended up slipping, with great luck, between the three sticks. Quina’s sending off at 86′ ended up deciding a match that Atlético controlled at will until the final whistle.
–RESULT: ATLÉTICO DE MADRID, 2 – ELCHE, 0. (0-0, at halftime).
ATHLETIC: Oblak; Llorente, Savic, Giménez, Mario Hermoso, Carrasco (Reguilón, min.56); Pablo Barrios (Koke, min.80), Kondogbia, Griezmann (Saúl, min.80); João Félix (Lemar, min.66) and Morata.
ELCHE: Edgar Badía; Verdú, Diego González, Bigas; Palacios (Tete Morente, min.83), Guti (Quina, min.83), Omar Mascarell, Clerc; Pere Milla (Fidel, min.83), Boyé (Collado, min.69) and Roger (Ponce, min.69).
1-0, minute 56, Joao Felix.
2-0, minute 74, Morata.
–REFEREE: Cuadra Fernández (C. Balearic Islands). He admonished Martí (min.49), Collado (min.80) and Quina (min.86) for Elche, and Mario Hermoso (min.50), Pablo Barrios (min.76) for Atlético de Madrid . He sent off Gonzalo Verdú (min.46), Hermoso (min.53) and Quina (min.89).
–STADIUM: Cívitas Metropolitano.