Thursday, January 20, 2022

Sevilla 2-1 Atletico Madrid: Rakitic and Ocampos inflict third straight LaLiga defeat on Simeone´s m

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Dec 2021

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Sevilla kept up their LaLiga title bid as Lucas Ocampos’ 88th-minute strike sealed a dramatic 2-1 home win over Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

The visitors looked like they would go back to the Spanish capital with a point after Felipe had cancelled out Ivan Rakitic’s stunning early strike.

Ocampos had other ideas, though, slamming home with just two minutes remaining to inflict a third straight top-flight defeat on Diego Simeone’s men.

The result moved second-placed Sevilla five points behind leaders Real Madrid, who play Cadiz on Sunday, while champions Atleti are a whopping 13 points adrift of their city rivals.

Sevilla started in sensational fashion, Rakitic firing into Jan Oblak’s top-right corner from 30 yards after just seven minutes.

That was the former Barcelona midfielder’s 56th goal in LaLiga, overtaking Alen Peternac to become the second highest-scoring Croatian in the competition behind Davor Suker (113).

Atleti restored parity in the 33rd minute, though, when an unmarked Felipe headed home Thomas Lemar’s corner from six yards.

Rakitic slammed into the side netting from a promising position early in the second half, while Atleti went close through Mario Hermoso’s header and Joao Felix’s deflected strike.

The hosts sealed a memorable win late on when Ocampos powered a half-volley past Oblak, Jules Kounde having kept the ball alive after Thomas Delaney’s header crashed back off the crossbar.

There was still time for Joao Felix to hit the crossbar with a looping effort deep into stoppage time as Atleti’s faint hopes of defending their title were all but extinguished.

What does it mean? Efficient Sevilla punish Simeone’s side

This was only Sevilla’s second win over Atleti in their last 10 meetings in LaLiga and, remarkably, they achieved it by scoring with their only two shots on target.

Another late goal proved to be the undoing of Atleti, with only Cadiz (seven) having dropped more points with goals conceded in the last five minutes of their games in LaLiga this season than the champions (six – the same as Granada and Mallorca).

Kounde sets the tone

Kounde was a colossus at the back for Sevilla, making a game-high four clearances, two interceptions – the joint-highest of any Sevilla player – while no player on the pitch gained possession more times than him (13). The defender also had a hand in the dramatic late winning goal. 

Suarez draws another blank

Luis Suarez could not hide his disgust at being replaced by Matheus Cunha before the hour mark, but this was another tepid display from the Uruguay international. He has now gone seven games in all competitions without finding the back of the net – his worst such streak since arriving in Spain in 2014.

Key Opta Stats: Bad omens for Atletico

– In the previous 17 campaigns when Atletico have earned 30 points or less at this stage of a season, they achieved a top-four finish just twice.
– Atletico have kept a clean sheet in the 29.4 per cent of their LaLiga games this season (5/17), which is on track to be their worst rate since the 2010-11 campaign (28.9 per cent – 11/38).
– Sevilla are the team to score the most goals from outside the box in LaLiga this season (six, as many as Granada). 
– With three straight LaLiga defeats, Atletico have suffered as many losses as they had in their previous 29 matches in the competition (W17 D9) – losing three in a row for the first time under Simeone.
– The three fastest goals conceded by Oblak in his career in LaLiga have all been in this season: vs Alaves (Laguardia, 3:52), vs Real Sociedad (Sorloth, 6:16) and vs Sevilla (Rakitic, 6:40).

What’s next?

Sevilla’s last game of 2021 is at home to Barcelona on Tuesday, while the pressure will be on at Atleti when they finish off before the mid-season break with a visit to Granada a day later.

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