Atlético Madrid vs.  Rayo Vallecano - Game Report - January 2, 2022

(EFE) .- Among the covid-19, among the casualties of Joao Félix, Griezmann, Koke or Llorente, among the worst streak of Simeone at the helm of Atlético de Madrid, among the most insistent doubts about an imposing era and between The scoring drought suffered by Luis Suárez, this Sunday Ángel Correa emerged, a decisive double scorer to reactivate the rojiblanco team, relocated in fourth position and an undeniable winner against Rayo Vallecano, who left the Metropolitano practically without kicking the goal.

A decisive game that completes Atlético’s worst sequence of defeats in the League of the decade -four in a row-, which replaces him in the UEFA Champions League places, an unavoidable objective, and which reinforces his conviction, no matter how much the title It is a seemingly impossible question (he is 14 points behind the leadership of Real Madrid with one less game) and that his reality is quite different from the one he enjoyed last season as champion and from the one that was demanded at the beginning of this Bell.

Atlético will not give up, as Correa never does. There are few footballers with as much faith in the field of game as the rojiblanco ’10’. Sometimes he believes in the incredible: every ball is always an opportunity, even if the rival has it, logic suggests that this ball will never be his or even the most unlikely carom will make the career or movement that he almost always makes for options useful. They never seem so beyond their own insistence.

The effort is not negotiated for Correa, who plays with everything where they tell him. Not a bad face or a complaint when he is not a starter. And when he enters the field he gives everything. Whether it works or not. Perhaps that value of always trying has never been fully recognized in the already visible qualities of the forward, such as his overflow or the opportunism that has given Atlético so many points.

A League included just over half a year ago. As much as it costs him today to recognize the rojiblanco team from then to now. Before so decisive, before so firm, before so consolidated … And now in a reiterated doubt that places him on the edge of disappointment or grief, of the slightest mistake that will be punished by his adversary with all the fierceness possible. This Sunday he did not commit them in definitive areas. And won. He needed it quickly. For your own credibility.

First he won because Correa believed in what no one else believed, that the rejection of Mario Hermoso’s shot in two defenses was going to be left to him, who connected with the right, with little angle, without thinking beyond what was essential, just a second, the goal that lightened Atlético from the weight it has endured lately in its matches: it makes merits, but does not score; misses back and receives a goal.

The 1-0 of the Argentine attacker in the 28th minute rewarded the play that his compatriot Rodrigo de Paul had plotted before, whose pass to Carrasco’s uncheck was a delight, as was the maneuver with which the winger threw the center back. Later, it was the aforementioned auction of Mario Hermoso. Then, Correa’s goal, which not only put Atlético ahead on the scoreboard, but also relieved him of the pressure, with almost never an apparent response from Rayo Vallecano.

You just have to look at their numbers to see the difference between Andoni Iraola’s team at home and away. He is the best of the major European leagues at home. There he adds 25 of his 30 points. The other five correspond to his starts: a win all season away from his stadium. So distant that it dates from September 21, when he won 2-1 in Bilbao. His staging was apparent, competitive, daring to force Jan Oblak clear a few times, but little else. Harmless.

It is true that it has been a very complex week for the team, without being able to count on more than eight players until Friday to prepare a visit of the dimension that the Wanda Metropolitano stadium has, even though now is not the best moment for Atlético , of which he also left examples throughout his victory against Rayo, because he still travels in gaps of uncertainty that he solves by the individual talent that he has in his squad, although he searches for his clearest expression.

The 2-0, in the 53rd minute, when Rayo threatened with something more than what they had offered up to then in attack, was also signed by Correa. Lemar opened it to the left, Renan Lodi crossed and the Argentine striker finished off to resolve the victory. It is only the fourth in its last eleven matches of the Atlético championship, which still needs more to achieve everything it wants to be.

He still misses the most definitive version of Carrasco, Lemar … He longs for Joao Félix from the previous game in Granada. They are differential men. As is Luis Suárez. An infinite scorer who, suddenly, did not score in any of the last seven days of LaLiga. A world for a man as ambitious as him. A world for a team that relied so heavily on its tremendous effectiveness in the opponent’s goal.

The Uruguayan ‘9’ was emptied again. Leader, bossy, participative, constant, with hierarchy, with energy, with sacrifice … But without a goal. He did not score when Saveljich offered him an unimaginable gift in the First Division, even with the game 0-0. Before Luca Zidane, it stung her badly. Out of. It is the only thing the striker lacked this Sunday, rewarded by a resounding applause. He is a scorer for the eternity of Atlético. Just like Falcao, today at Rayo. When he entered the field, the applause was thunderous. He is a red and white legend.

– Data sheet:

2 – Atlético de Madrid: Oblak; Trippier, Giménez, Hermoso, Lodi; Carrasco (Felipe, d. 90), De Paul, Kondogbia, Lemar; Correa, Luis Suárez (Cunha, m. 72).

0 – Rayo Vallecano: Luca Zidane; Balliú, Maras, Saveljich, Kevin Rodrigues (Bebe, d. 58); Isi Palazón (Andrés, d. 46), Santi Comesaña (Falcao, d. 75), Óscar Valentín, Fran García; Unai López (Óscar Trejo, d. 58); Sergi Guardiola (Aguirre, m. 81).

Goals: 1-0, m. 28: Strap. 2-0, m. 53: Strap.

Referee: Figueroa Vázquez (C. Andaluz). He admonished the locals Luis Suárez (m. 25), Giménez (m. 62) and De Paul (m. 73). He also showed a yellow card to Diego Simeone, coach of Atlético de Madrid (m. 7).

Incidents: match corresponding to the nineteenth round of LaLiga, played at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium before 43,029 spectators.