Sunday, January 16, 2022

Atletico Madrid 1-2 Real Mallorca: Russo stops Simeone´s men reclaiming second

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 4 Dec 2021

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Takefusa Kubo struck a stoppage-time winner as Real Mallorca came from behind to stun Atletico Madrid and clinch a 2-1 at the Wanda Metropolitano. 

Diego Simeone’s side created some decent openings in either half but it was not until Matheus Cunha prodded the ball home in the 68th minute that they finally broke through. 

However, Franco Russo rose above substitute Mario Hermoso to head home an equaliser with 10 minutes remaining, setting up a tense finale. 

Kubo, a second-half substitute who is on loan from Atleti’s rivals Real Madrid, then raced away on the break in the 91st minute and slid a cool finish under Jan Oblak to seal a surprise victory for Mallorca. 

Hermoso replaced Stefan Savic due to an apparent hamstring injury in the 11th minute and Atleti were denied an opener shortly after when Angel Correa’s volley from six yards was blocked by the chest of Jaume Costa. 

Renan Lodi was unable to beat Manolo Reina in a one-on-one situation and Mallorca started to become more adventurous – Lee Kang-in seeing a powerful drive pushed away from the top-right corner by Oblak after the half-hour mark. 

The deadlock was finally broken when Cunha scuffed Correa’s cross into the air but volleyed it in while prone on the floor, with Russo’s header coming after the ball had crossed the line. 

However, Russo did end up making a telling impact with his head, steering Lee’s free-kick into the bottom-left corner. 

Kubo then struck the decisive blow in added time, with Joao Felix blazing a glorious chance to equalise over from inside the six-yard box before the final whistle. 

What does it mean? The tables turn 

Heading into this round of fixtures, no side had gained more points (10) following goals in the final 15 minutes of LaLiga games this season than Atleti. 

The boot was on the other foot on this occasion, as goals from Russo and Kubo meant they surrendered three instead. 

With Sevilla and Real Betis having won earlier in the day, Atleti were left fourth in the table and will find themselves 10 points adrift of LaLiga leaders Real Madrid if Carlo Ancelotti’s side win at Real Sociedad later on Saturday. 

Oblak landmark one to forget 

He may have made history with his 244th LaLiga appearance for Atleti being the most made by any goalkeeper for the club, but he will be keen to forget the closing stages after seeing Russo and Kubo get the better of him. 

Joao must he feel? 

Simeone sent Joao Felix on to enhance his side’s chances of sneaking a win, but the Portugal attacker had just 12 touches and only completed five passes in his 30 minutes on the pitch. He also missed a great chance to salvage a point. 

What’s next? 

Atleti will be looking to keep their Champions League campaign alive at Porto on Tuesday, while Mallorca are back in action on Friday at home to Celta Vigo in LaLiga. 

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