Monday, October 18, 2021

Osasuna 1-3 Atletico Madrid: Joao Felix hits another brace for Simeone´s men

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 31 Oct 2020

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Joao Felix followed up his Champions League heroics with another brace as Atletico Madrid maintained their unbeaten start to LaLiga with a 3-1 win over Osasuna. 

The Portugal international scored twice in the 3-2 midweek win over Salzburg – including a late winner – and got Diego Simeone’s side up and running with a well-struck penalty shortly before the interval in Pamplona.

He missed a second penalty after 48 minutes, but doubled Atleti’s advantage in the 69th minute with a sublime strike from the edge of the area.

Although substitute Ante Budimir pulled one back for the hosts 10 minutes from time, Atleti added a third late on through Lucas Torreira to move up to third in LaLiga – two points behind leaders Real Madrid.

Atleti, without the rested Luis Suarez in attack, struggled to get a foothold in the game early on and had to wait until the 25th minute for their first sight of goal, Joao Felix completely missing the ball six yards out with the goal at his mercy. 

Joao Felix made up for his earlier miss two minutes before the interval, drilling into the bottom-left corner from 12 yards after Facundo Roncaglia had brought down Vitolo inside the penalty area.

The forward squandered a golden opportunity to extend Atleti’s advantage three minutes after the restart when his spot-kick crashed back off the upright after Osasuna captain Oier Sanjurjo had been penalised for handball, with Angel Correa inexplicably blazing the rebound over an unguarded net. 

Atleti’s bad luck continued when Correa whipped a 20-yard effort against Sergio Herrera’s left-hand post from 20 yards just a minute later.

Joao Felix did eventually double Atleti’s advantage with a thunderous strike from 18 yards after being teed up by Correa, but Osasuna gave themselves a lifeline when Budimir headed home Ruben Garcia’s cross. 

Atleti sealed a third consecutive LaLiga win two minutes from time, though, when substitute Torreira lashed home a superb half-volley for his first goal for the club following his loan move from Arsenal, with Kieran Trippier getting the assist.

What does it mean? Joao Felix inspires dominant win

Simeone described Joao Felix’s performance against Salzburg as “complete” and this one was not far off. 

A missed penalty aside, the 20-year-old was imperious in a display that saw four shots and one key pass amongst a pass completion rate of 90.3 per cent – marginally below Koke, whose 90.8 rate was the highest of any Atleti starter. 

Simeone, meanwhile, can celebrate making it 22 games unbeaten in LaLiga – a run that equals the fourth-best unbeaten streak in the competition’s history. 

Herrera impresses in the engine room 

Joao Felix will rightly steal the limelight, but Hector Herrera’s impressive display in midfield should not be overlooked. The Mexican was a metronomic presence, making a joint game-high 69 successful passes and gaining possession 12 times – the most of any player for the side from the capital. 

Roncaglia given the runaround 

Roncaglia endured a game to forget, giving away Atleti’s first penalty with a clumsy challenge and winning just three of his 10 duels before he was substituted late on. 

What’s next?

Atleti travel to Lokomotiv Moscow in Champions League Group A on Tuesday before hosting high-flying Cadiz in LaLiga on Saturday – the same day Osasuna visit Sevilla.

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