Still not working Atlético de Madridwith the constancy, reliability and authority that it claims Simeone, submitted the first time by the Betis and disfigured at rest, in a duel to which there was no solution until Marcos Llorente invented a goal out of nowhere and it promoted an already incontestable reaction, consolidated in the added time by the final 2-0 of Luis Suárez.
23 seconds after the restart, From the 1-0, another rojiblanco team emerged completely different from the one that had been overwhelmed and off all the way to the intermission for Betis, who lost their chance in the first act, also due to Oblak’s merit, and who suddenly went from winner to points to undoubted loser of the match. He was not thrashed later by the stops of Claudio Bravo.
Are already Atlético’s 21 games in a row undefeated, the best streak in its history in the League in that sense. He is two points behind the lead, but with one game less. And he already sees a key match next Tuesday in the Champions League with the relief of a triumph whose value is formidable, even more so in the first half.
Rest or not, Joao Félix started as a substitute. It is striking. He is no longer the undisputed footballer in the eleven that he was when he arrived. He lost that condition long ago. Today such a fact is evidence. While he waited on the bench (until minute 56 when he entered for Correa), there are others who do not rotate. Neither Luis Suárez nor Koke nor Trippier nor Savic do it, for example. And Griezmann did not do it in the past, perhaps his best reference.
Atlético needs it. Insurance. But at the level that is presupposed, not the one he demonstrated especially in the first half last Wednesday in Munich. Much is still expected of him. From Lemar, already little. On another occasion, revitalized last week in Vigo, his disappointing game brings him back to the usual suspicion, this Saturday extended to many of the pieces that Simeone selected, such as Lucas Torreira. Simeone changed both of them at halftime.
Atlético’s football deficit -reiterative, nothing punctual- The first part of Betis rediscovered it expressively, better in everything. With and without the ball. And without any doubt. Because Simeone’s group ran a lot and combined very little. It is no longer a question of intention, but of qualities. Of precision, of vision, of talent … Even more so when a match moves on the intensity or pressure of Betis. In that he also entered better than Atlético.
He moved it less where superiority is really recognized: on occasions. He had two in the first quarter of an hour. The first, with a head of William Carvalho. The second, with a left foot from Fekir. Both were caught by Oblak, with a solvency that transmits even ease at each stop to then support Atlético, no matter how inferior he was at that time in every aspect.
And, at the same time, to frustrate Betis, no matter how superior and showy it was with the ball, among the rojiblanco general shipwreck: individual, patent in most of its players (Lemar, Trippier, Correa, Torreira, Koke … ), and collective; exceeded in both perspectives because his opponent then consolidated his party in the best mechanism he has Simeone’s set: pressure in the opposite field. It was exercised by Betis as if it were Atlético.
Until the intermission, the local team felt overwhelmed. Oblivious to the ball -a completely visiting element throughout the first half-, but above all without reaction or ability to quickly rebel against the stage of the duel, he was exposed to Betis, because he was overtaken in the center of the field with an unthinkable roundness and, by extension, in the rest of the sectors.
But he has Luis Suárez. And that, even if you are not even able to pose just a braided offensiveEither on the counterattack, in transition or in possession, it offers at times some unimaginable opportunities in such a scenario, always prepared for someone else’s error or to set up the auction. With one of each, the two were lost outside.
Already Marcos Llorente. Relocated this Saturday in his best position today, which is forward -Neither the center midfielder nor the right wing-, he invented Atlético 1-0 out of nowhere: he exploded his stride inside the area, that driving speed that makes him unstoppable in that passage, and, no matter how heeled he was, He devised an unforeseen formula to avoid the exit of Claudio Bravo, subtle to take advantage of the gap opened between the goalkeeper and the near post.
His touch with the left turned into a goal something that did not seem so beforehand, at least directly on his part, also with the effect it has 23 seconds after the resumption of a match that until then was owned by Betis in everything except on the scoreboard. Until then. Because everything changed in that moment.
It is true that still Oblak triumphed in an individual duel with Sanabria, winner by the left leg with which he repelled the shot, but as much as that was already something isolated between the reaction of Atlético, which had four more occasions in an instant, through Hermoso, Carrasco -twice- and Herrera. One was rejected by the post. And the rest Bravo, who avoided the win. Still another stopped Luis Suárez and another one to Carrasco – already with Montoya expelled. He could not again against the Uruguayan, author of 2-0 in added time. Nothing to do with the previous mess that Marcos Llorente had solved.
2 – Atlético de Madrid: Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Felipe, Hermoso (Lodi, d. 77); Correa (Joao Félix, d. 56), Lucas Torreira (Herrera, d. 46), Koke, Lemar (Carrasco, d. 46); Marcos Llorente and Luis Suárez.
0 – Real Betis: Bravo; Montoya, Mandi, Bartra, Álex Moreno; Guido Rodríguez (Borja Iglesias, m. 80), William (Loren, m. 65); Fekir, Canales, Tello (Joaquín, d. 65); and Sanabria (Víctor Ruiz, m. 80).
Goals: 1-0, m. 46: Marcos Llorente. 2-0, m. 91: Luis Suarez
Referee: Mateu Lahoz (C. Valenciano). He sent off Montoya with a direct red (m. 72). He admonished the local Koke (m. 50) and the visitor Bartra (m. 72).
Incidents: match corresponding to the seventh day of LaLiga Santander, played at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium without an audience.