Saturday, June 23, 2018

Eibar 2 Atletico Madrid 2 (2-5 agg): Simeone´s men book Copa semi amid thrilling finale

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 Jan 2017


Atletico Madrid progressed to the last four of the Copa del Rey despite having to fight back for a 2-2 draw at Eibar in Wednesday’s quarter-final second-leg contest.

The tie was all but over after the first leg as goals from Antoine Griezmann, Angel Correa and Kevin Gameiro handed Diego Simeone’s men a 3-0 aggregate lead.

And Eibar’s task was made even more difficult when Jose Gimenez headed home Nicolas Gaitan’s corner shortly after half-time.

However, a match that had produced little in terms of quality had a thrilling ending as Eibar – much to their credit – refused to cave in and two goals in seven minutes from Sergi Enrich and Pedro Leon saw the Basque club – who had reached the quarter-finals for the first time – take a 2-1 lead.

Atleti extinguished any slim hopes of what would have been a remarkable comeback, though, as Juanfran brilliantly lobbed Yoel in the Eibar goal with five minutes remaining to earn a draw and a 5-2 aggregate victory.

Simeone’s men consequently reach the last four for the first time since 2014, but he will perhaps be disappointed with his side’s failure to win having only drawn 2-2 at Athletic Bilbao in LaLiga on Sunday.

There was little to excite a half-empty stadium in a tepid opening, although the unmarked Fernando Torres perhaps should have done better when he headed wide from Gabi’s sixth-minute corner.

Correa also hit a well-struck left-footed volley that cleared the crossbar, while at the other end Bebe saw a tame 20-yard effort go wide of the left post for Eibar.

Josue Dorrio provided a rare bright note in the 26th minute with a stunning dipping volley that forced Atleti goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya to fling himself to the left and make a brilliant one-handed save.

Eibar enjoyed a spell of possession towards the end of the half, but Atleti were comfortable in defence and Moya was troubled.

Any hope Eibar had of a rousing comeback was all but ended in the 49th minute when Gaitan’s superb outswinging corner from the left was emphatically headed home by Gimenez past a despairing Yoel.

Correa should have finished the job after springing the offside trap to latch onto substitute Yannick Ferreira Carrasco’s throughball, but he shot straight at Yoel’s legs when one-on-one.

Eibar pounced on that let-off in the 73rd minute. Leon saw a fierce strike cannon off the right post and Enrich was on hand to lash home the rebound.

It was 2-1 seven minutes later as Bebe’s whipped cross from the left was brilliantly guided into the bottom left-hand corner by Leon on the volley.

But, with five minutes remaining, Yoel was caught too far off his line and Juanfran lofted a superb volley over the stranded goalkeeper to salvage a draw for Atleti.


Key Opta stats: 

– Torres has scored once in his nine games as a starter this season in all competitions. Two of his three goals this season were as substitute. 
– Atletico had a 63% passing accuracy in this match, their worst of the current season in all competitions. The second worst also was against Eibar in LaLiga (67%).
– Three of the four goals Gimenez has scored for Atletico have been headed goals.
– Gaitan has scored two goals and provided two assists in his last five matches as starter in all competition.



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