(EFE) – Sevilla, with a goal from Argentine side Marcos Acuña in the second half, took the victory (1-0) and took out the deficiencies of Atlético de Madrid, which is still leading but already very tight in the standings with Real Madrid and Barcelona in this final leg of the tournament in which Diego Simeone’s men seem to be going down.
Julen Lopetegui’s team, for its part, clings with solvency to fourth place after adding three points in a game in which it was clear dominator in the first half and in the second, already more even, knew how to take advantage of its opportunity and save the reward until the end.
The game was planned as a litmus test for the Argentine Diego Simeone’s team in defense of the first position in the table with which he reached the last ten days of the championship, in which Real Madrid, who had won on Saturday Eibar (2-0) and Barcelona, who play on Monday at the Camp Nou against Valladolid, are stalking the colchoneros.
But Sevilla, fourth in the standings, also want to consolidate in that position in their clear objective of repeating participation in the Champions League next season and the three points against Atlético would make them take a big step.
The Madrid team has shown some doubts in its game in recent weeks and the appointment in Nervión could have a double effect if it achieved victory, although it was depleted of players with the loss of Joao Félix, due to the ankle trauma suffered with the Portuguese team, the absence due to suspension of the Belgian Yannick Carrasco or the last minute of the Montenegrin Stefan Savic due to gastrointestinal problems.
The Andalusian team, to which the break for international matches has been good for recovering players saturated with minutes and others with physical losses, came out with a very predictable line-up with all its most starting men, only with the precision that Julen Lopetegui bet from the start on the Dutch forward Luuk de Jong for the team’s top scorer, the Moroccan Youssef En-Nesyri.
The intense match started, as expected, but with Sevilla with one more point of speed, to the point that the Croatian Iván Rakitic was subject to a penalty at six minutes for a stomp by Saúl Ñíguez.
It was Lucas Ocampos who launched the penalty and the Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak guessed the action and covered the shot, the same thing that happened the previous day when he covered another against Alavés that led to the athletic victory (1-0).
The Argentine winger of Sevilla also repeated a circumstance, although sadly for his interests, since the previous penalty he launched also failed him, at the Camp Nou against Barcelona in the second leg of the Cup semifinals.
Despite Sevilla’s disappointment at this requested opportunity, it was the locals who continued with the initiative, with forays from both ends and with shots from afar, although Atlético did not break down in defensive tasks and remained attentive to surprise the team. against.
Simeone made a change after half an hour, when the Brazilian Renan Lodi, apparently injured, left the field for the Argentine Ángel Correa, which coincided with the fact that the team shook off the pressure of the rival somewhat until the break.
The ‘Cholo’ had to specify several concepts in the locker room to change the dynamics in the second half and it seemed that it gave some result because the visitors pressed more forward and made it difficult for the rival to depart.
Atlético had more time on the ball and also closer to the vicinity of the Moroccan goal Yassine Bono, practically unprecedented in the first half, but always also aware of a Sevilla that did not want to lose prominence.
Frenchman Thomas Lemar, at Atlético, and Joan Jordán, at Sevilla, struggled to make the center of the field fall on their side in a match that advanced to its final stretch much more evenly waiting for a team to break it.
It was achieved by Lopetegui’s team at seventy minutes in a good pass from the baseline by Jesús Navas that Argentine side Marcos Acuña did not miss to head the 1-0, although the colchoneros protested that the play was preceded by a previous hand de Ocampos and the VAR did not review the play. Shortly after, the Atléticos also claimed the second yellow card for Diego Carlos, who touched a ball with his hand, intercepting a dangerous attack from the visitors.
The Madrilenians now had no choice but to rush towards Bono’s goal and Mario Hermoso had a clear draw minutes later but, only in the area, he sent the shot very high. It was difficult for the Colchonero to create danger against a well-planted opponent who knew how to keep the scoreboard thanks to a save by the Moroccan after a shot from Correa, in what was the clearest for the visitor.