Atlético is not in his juice. It does not bite as it should, nor does it tie up as expected. And in addition it continues being injured permanently, the last one lowers the one of Savic after a seemingly inoffensive race. But it continues adding and climbing to the top of the classification. Maximum result with minimum performance. Against Levante he saved a penalty, the one that turned Griezmann, surely the less prepared footballer for a design like the current one, eclipsed this Sunday by Correa and Vitolo. Only by the bands gave the Levante, who ran into Oblak, again capital for the rojiblancos, not to find the reward he deserved by order and conviction. He did not get it after Atlético, a Tired souls the sea of efficient.
Athletic: Oblak; Arias, Godín, Savic (Giménez, m.8), Juanfran; Vitolo (Kalinic, m.76), Thomas, Rodri, Koke; Correa (Lemar, m.72), Griezmann. Not used: Adam, Montero, Toni Moya, Joaquín.
I raised: Oier; Jason, Cabaco, Rober Pier, Chema (Coke, m.46), Toño García; Campaign, Vukcevic (Rochina, m.68), Bardhi; Morales, Roger (Mayoral, m.68). Not used: Aitor Fernández, Doukoure, Moses, Boateng.
Goal: 1-0 M. 57. Griezmann, penalty.
Referee: Prieto Iglesias. He admonished Jason, Cabaco, Campaña. VAR referee: González González. He canceled a goal to Koke for a previous lack of Rodri.
Metropolitan Wanda. Some 56,000 spectators.
The funny thing is that the match started for Simeone with the flare of Koke's goal, then turned off by the VAR. Circumstance that left no trace in the morale of the Levant and yes in the Athletic. It was as if they had only one spark to create fire, and when it was off, there was no more tinder to hold onto. Seen the panorama then understood the team of Paco Lopez that the best way to prevent a new fire required a greater exercise of packaging, whose only way to execute forced an excess of zeal in the brand. For this he blocked the spaces and closed his legs catching his rival.
Against such a scenario the ankle of Atlético did not turn enough. His short game, reliable but not very decisive, allowed him to advance in sips, without the Levante uncomfortable at all. Approaches seemed accessible to him as long as the direction of all of them did not break any of the contention axes. Something that only Vitolo achieved, determined to get out of the prevailing horizontality, and always pending to find the gap between so much leg.
But until the canary managed to catch the ball, everything else did not leave the established pattern. Koke, freed from the central battle, moved from one side to the other, but it was Thomas and Rodri who gathered most easily with the ball. Vukcevic and Campaña watched them cautiously, but as if they knew all the variables of their repertoire and nothing could surprise them. At times Atlético collided with a fronton, which increased his anxiety and impatience to Simeone. Something paradoxical, because before such little creativity the Argentine technician asked for patience, as assuming that the book of the Levant had many more pages than expected.
In the midst of such puzzles, the figure of Correa emerges, an anti-system element in many aspects. Well seconded by Arias, the right wing of Atlético also began to produce. The Colombian side allowed himself to return the races to Toño García, one of the routes through which the Levante was relieved with ease. Even Griezmann, accustomed to delaying his position when the plays are knotted, seemed lost in the middle of the lacing, without generating too much instability before a defense in which Rober and Chema seemed to observe comfortably the comings and goings of the Frenchman. Atletico then tried from the outside, but all his shots were going flat away from the goal of Oier.
Conceived the image and discovered the shortcomings, the rojiblancos were used in depth in their group task, that of joining individuals around short spaces. Nobody better than Correa for that. Also Vitolo, with that low speed of revolutions until the chain is released. They began to suffer from the Levante side arrivals by Atlético, more so when those who appeared there were not signed. Thomas did it falling to the side, and his broken and later center met the arm anchored to the lawn of Vukcevic. The referee pointed to the penalty and Griezmann transformed it with a strike as powerful as placed.
The Levante did not give ground, which had enough opportunities to turn the match around but Oblak prevented it. Only he stood firm against the landslides that were generated from time to time. Something essential when the edge is lost. And this Athletic full of knives has become dangerously accustomed to pinching.