Joao Félix was not the starter nor was Luis Suárez scored, but Ángel Correa, the most decisive of all of the pending duel between him Atlético de Madrid and the Sevilla, which gave the rojiblanco team the honor of being winter ‘champion’ 25 years later and the confirmation that now there is no more favorite than him to the League, initialed by the 2-0 by Saúl Ñíguez in the final section.
By his leadership and for their advantage: four points to Real Madrid, second; seven to Barcelona, third; or nine to Villarreal, fourth, with two games less played by Atlético than all of them. Al Sevilla, his adversary this Tuesday, moves him away to eleven, with the Madrid team with a duel less than him on the edge of the equator.
There Atlético appears as the best of all, because shows a punch that I did not have in nearby courses, which perhaps differentiated the triumph from the draw this Tuesday against Sevilla, but also because of his ambition, because of his consistency, because of his balance and because they have 12 wins in the last 13 days of the tournament.
He Sevilla is sixth. His usual competitiveness lacked chances. And, when he had some, few, two in the first half especially, it was not conclusive. He had not lost for six games. Until this Tuesday, until the Wanda Metropolitano and for Correa, while Moussa Dembélé appears, already in Spain and imminent signing.
Joao Félix did not start from the eleven, due to the tremendous blow to Cornellá’s foot. Correa did it. The Argentine is no longer among the usual headlines, but in his quota of space this Tuesday, narrower this course among all the competition and the renewed 5-3-2 (today it was more a 5-4-1 with him on the right ), describes how to claim a leading role that each campaign always ends up having.
In the unpredictable football of the ’10’, stumbled at times, desperate at times, but unstoppable at others and definitive already on a few occasions, Simeone sees boldness, agitation, overflow and occasionapart from a defensive sacrifice whatever your position. At any moment the encounter changes; in anyone like this Tuesday when everything moved in the uncertainty.
The game was not going to one side or the other. Nobody imposed their pressure on the rival, with the importance it has on both teams. Nor had anyone frightened the goalkeepers except in a hubbub more than anything else, in Rakitic’s near-unsuccessful volley right after the start of the clash that Jan Oblak caught with some haste.
And Correa appeared. Trippier’s pass invited almost nothing, back to action while the FIFA Appeal Committee decides whether the sanction imposed by the English Federation is proportionate or not. Except for Correa: He controlled with his right, turned and pulled with his left. Goal. It surprised everyone. To Bono, to Sevilla, to his teammates … Not to him, who invented the goal out of nowhere, who naturally defies logic and who also decides points.
It is a goal that has merit and great difficulty. It does not fall within the most aesthetic canons, it always feels that it is within the circumstantial, because there were several legs within Bono’s vision, because he passed under one of them, because he was very surprised and because the ball entered flat , without much power, but unattainable, tight, perfect. It is not by chance. It requires dexterity.
And, in the 17th minute, in a game of this type, it is a treasure for one, Atlético, and a blow for another, Sevilla, who did not have as much skill in Acuña’s shot shortly after, but Bono in his intervention after the auction by Luis Suárez. His stop saved the 2-0. It was the 25th minute. It was the last chance of the first half.
He did not allow Sevilla anything else Atlético in that period. The Andalusian block pushed him towards his area at times, but it gave him so much. He did not test Oblak more in the entire transit to rest. Untill there. Yes a minute after the restart, when En Nesyri warmed the goalkeeper’s hands and warned what his team was up to.
The most important thing was missing: opportunities. It is true that he played much more in the opposite field than vice versa, that he directed his opponent towards the surroundings of his own area, that he managed possession, that he tried insistently until the end and that he crashed a shot on the post, already with everything resolved .
As true as that his chances were counted. Or like the punch that Atlético has –Saúl scored 2-0 in the 76th minute, through Marcos Llorente’s pass-. Or like that today nobody is more favorite than him to success in the League.
2 – Atlético de Madrid Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Giménez, Hermoso, Carrasco (Felipe, d. 88); Correa (Joao Félix, d. 65), Llorente, Koke, Lemar (Saúl, d. 65); Luis Suárez (Torreira, m. 82).
0 – Sevilla: Bond; Jesús Navas (Óliver Torres, m. 78), Koundé, Diego Carlos, Acuña; Jordán (Óscar Rodríguez, d. 59), Fernando, Rakitic; Ocampos, Suso (De Jong, m. 78), En-Nesyri (Munir, m. 84).
Goals: 1-0, m. 17: Correa. 2-0, m. 76: Saúl.
Referee: Estrada Fernández (C. Catalán). He admonished the locals Koke (m. 48) and Savic (m. 57).
Incidents: match corresponding to the seventeenth day of LaLiga Santander played at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium without an audience.