(EFE) – With the VAR in focus, with the discussion and interpretation of whether or not Mikel Merino’s contact with Luis Suárez in the 2-2 penalty was enough, Atlético de Madrid survived a frustrating night with a point that he had lost for more than 70 minutes; the time that Real Sociedad’s advantage lasted, which tied a match that seemed won, but which held the leadership of LaLiga Santander, still above all, still with much to say in this championship.
It will not be easy to go down from there to the San Sebastian team, which reduced the rojiblanco team, to its ‘trident’ Griezmann-Suárez-Joao Félix, and took advantage of their defensive errors to put Atlético on the ropes, which resurfaced with more determination than football , clinging to a fantastic scorer such as Luis Suárez: he scored 1-2 with half an hour to go, was the subject of the controversial maximum penalty in 76 and transformed it moments later to reduce the setback to two points against a notable opponent.
Because Atlético has a defensive problem this season. Simeone knows it, who insists as much as he can on adjusting an area under almost permanent doubt in this exercise. Every game shows it. With five or four behind, like this Sunday. And without Savic or Giménez. Delivered the center of the rear to Felipe, who is not the one he was a year and a half ago at Atlético, and to Mario Hermoso, unpredictable when he faces a duel with the rival striker, the 0-1 portrayed a defensive structure that does not hold any trait than he was in his rockier past, but neither in the physiognomy that made him champion last season, when he played with as many risks as now, but he solved everything much better.
In such a mechanized team, to which Simeone brings so many tactical nuances, that he dedicates so much to each movement, to each space, to each circumstance, he surprises a goal like the one he received in the 7th minute. He has started at a disadvantage seven of his twelve duels. It is true that, probably, Joao Félix had a dribble left over a little beyond the midfield, as well as that the mismatch between Felipe and Hermoso was inappropriate for this category. Today the Brazilian lives in constant precipitation; the Madrilenian is not at all reliable when he must prevail. The first went for Sorloth, the second stayed six meters behind, with all the space in the world for the Norwegian attacker himself to progress towards Isak’s easiest pass in the world. Oblak did not anticipate, slow in his departure; Sorloth did not miss, who played just enough to overcome the Slovenian goalkeeper, already almost beaten beforehand.
In this reality, Atlético coexists today, who fell into the ambush that Real Sociedad prepared for him in the first half. Imanol Alguacil had it all measured. He had planned every detail of the outing to set off with superiority to more adventurous terrain. The action was repetitive, each goal kick: Le Normand played in parallel with goalkeeper Álex Remiro, immobile with the ball, waiting on the edge of his small area at the slightest gesture of pressure or advance from Griezmann, Luis Suárez or Joao Félix, the premiere ‘trident’ in Simeone’s titular scheme, to start playing the most liberated space.
He insisted on this again and again, perhaps with less progression than he expected, but with Atlético’s own confusion, which appeared more than anything else when he attacked. In the talent meeting organized by Simeone in midfield and up front in the starting eleven (De Paul, Koke and Lemar in the center, later modified by the entry of Carrasco by the French international; Griezmann, Luis Suárez and Joao Félix , above) ideas and combinations arose, but few occasions: he threatened more than he hit, because Real Sociedad is a well-armed team that hardly concedes, which countered the threat of a storm over its area to later take advantage of the imbalance of its adversary with Alexander Isak’s 0-2 free-kick at the start of the second half. In Oblak’s regular repertoire, his stick shot seemed achievable, no matter how much he dribbled earlier, no matter how tight he was.
He had hardly needed anything, on the other hand, Alex Remiro to hold his unbeaten goal in the intermission. Only one stop – easy – to a weak shot from Luis Suárez, who does not usually forgive twice. He did not do it when the match was circulating during the hour of the game, when Joao Félix gave him one of those wonderful passes that promote a header as accurate as the one that the Uruguayan scorer connected, already for the six goals this season -seven with which he scored later – to reopen the match, to bring it back to a boil, still with half an hour to play.
There was still time for the VAR, increasingly linked to controversy, to the interpretation of contact. To the vision of a video and the opinion of a person when he sees the play in slow motion. Referee Munuera Montero pointed out the penalty in favor of Atlético for a doubtful action by Mikel Merino on Luis Suárez, which the Uruguayan striker transformed into 2-2 to rescue a point and frustrate Real Sociedad, which holds the first position, but that he lost a game that seemed won.
– Data sheet:
2 – Atlético de Madrid: Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Hermoso (Herrera, d. 72), Lodi (Correa, d. 57); De Paul (Kondogbia, m. 57), Koke, Lemar (Carrasco, m. 46); Griezmann (Cunha, m. 72), Luis Suárez, Joao Félix.
2 – Real Sociedad: Remiro; Aritz, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Gorosabel; Zaldua (Turrientes, m. 62), Guevara, Mikel Merino, Silva (Pacheco, m. 62), Sorloth (Lobete, m. 84); Isak (Portu, m. 62).
Goals: 0-1, m. 7: Sorloth. 0-2, m. 47: Isak. 1-2, m. 60: Luis Suarez. 2-2, m. 77: Luis Suárez, penalty.
Referee: Munuera Montero (C. Andaluz). He admonished the local Felipe (m. 30) and the visitors Zaldua (m. 40), Aritz (m. 68) and Merino (m. 75).
Incidents: match corresponding to the tenth day of LaLiga Santander, played at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium before 50,032 spectators.