This Athletic that lives to the limit of the result and of the result, that survives in LaLiga and in the Champions with half times, woke up in Leverkusen, where it reaped its first European defeat of the course. This time he didn't have those 45 minutes worthy. An infra-football game was dispatched, to call it somehow, that made up in the final minutes with the pride touched, a Morata goal in the discount and another occasion followed by the nine that would have given him an undeserved draw.
The agonizing victory of Juventus in Moscow (1-2) forced Atlético to win to be able to certify its classification and travel to Turin at the end of the month to fight first place hand in hand with its executioner last year. Neither was brought from Leverkusen. For Bayer, the fall of Lokomotiv still gave him the possibility of dignifying himself by entering the battle for third place that grants a place in the Europa League. Those incentives were the ideal breeding ground for a start of exciting game that did not occur. Atletico, as usual, did not want to know anything about the ball and when he tried to do something with it nothing came out. A rude nonsense. And that had been planted in the field with a classic rhombus, with Thomas of five cigars, Saul and Koke of frills and Strap hitch. The drawing caused a bleeding of losses, with Correa at the head, after a series of promising matches. The double point Morata-Costa undid in two sticks to which Bender and Tah cleaned each air balloon. Simeone's effort to give the couple flight does not just bear fruit. To a team that lacks so much football, that alternative has a midfielder, call Herrera, Vitolo or Lemar.
You cannot play football worse than Atlético did in the first half, if it is understood that part of it is to pass the ball well to a teammate. Opposite, the Leverkusen at least intended to play something, even if it was with the placid and blunt ball sovereignty that shaped his leadership of the Bundesliga possession. It was not that dizzying team that was deployed with vertigo and joy in the first weeks of the season, but at least he had some criteria to try to hurt. Between Aranguiz and Demiraby they gave a lesson in handling the game to the entire center of Atlético's field, that if he was not able to set a decent half play, he seemed less aware of what was cooking on his face and behind his back. So much so that before 20 minutes were completed, Simeone ordered the return to the classic mold. Saúl and Thomas double pivot, Koke on the left and Correa on the right.
Hradecky, Bender, Weiser, Jonathan Tah, Wendell (Panagiotis Retsos, min. 80), Kai Havertz (Dragovic, min. 87), Nobody Amiri, Aránguiz (Baumgartlinger, min. 64), Kerem Demirbay, Bellarabi and Volland.
Oblak, Santiago Arias, Renan Augusto (Lemar, min. 51), Felipe Monteiro, Mario Hermoso, Correa (Héctor Herrera, min. 69), Thomas, Koke, Saúl, Diego Costa (Vitolo, min. 60) and Morata.
1-0 min. 40: Thomas (p.p.). 2-0 min. 54: Volland. 2-1 min. 93: Morata.
Weiser (min. 49),
Jonathan Tah (min. 78),
Bellarabi (min. 78),
Oblak (min. 78) and
Morata (min. 78).
It didn't matter. Bayer continued securing the passes and searching for the triangulations between Weiser, Bellaraby and Havertz the holes of Lodi, which were many. From that domain, the Leverkusen took a clear chance from Volland, who alone at the penalty spot topped a low center of Wendell that just portrayed Arias in the race. And also the team of Peter Bosz was growing on a cascade of corner kicks that were counted in the video markers until glimpsing a resounding and significant 7-0 as an indicator of each other's game. In the sixth, Felipe deflected the ball to the crossbar with the crown.
It was the anticipation of what happened in the seventh corner. This time bounced from the right, but looking for the noise again in the first suit. The rebound and the subsequent center was introduced by Thomas in the goal of Oblak with a header in which the turn of the neck broke all the rules of orthodoxy. That blow was on the verge of rest and did justice to the greatest ambition of the Leverkusen.
Atlético wanted to be another. He served with a speed more start and put the Leverkusen in his field. The drawing of the game was for one against the Germans and ended up taking the left flank. By then, there was no longer Lodi, whose simple change of orientation made him lose his back and exhausted Simeone's patience. With the newly recomposed team, with Lemar already in the field and Saul as side, that raid came and a center that failed to clear Beautiful. Volland this time did pull ex officio to be in the right place and shoot Oblak with a hard shot and adjusted to the stick.
He had more than half an hour to lift Atlético's head, which another record portrayed. Until the 60th minute he did not force Hradecky to warm his hands, with a direct free Lemar. Simeone finally broke the inoperative pair of nines taking the blurred Costa out of the field to enter Vitolo and also sat down the bewildered Correa to get Herrera. Those changes gave him five minutes of harassment, a pair of corners and a goal annulled to Morata for offside.
After that gust the game drifted into the macaroni after a corner kick in the Oblak area. The Slovenian goalkeeper and Tah, and then Morata, got involved in several catches that ended up breaking the game. There was hardly any game. Only shoves of Atlético, who gave him Morata's goal in the discount and that agonized occasion thwarted by Hradecky. Too late. I had not played anything before.