Atletico Madrid resumed their La Liga season with a 1-1 draw with Sevilla at the Estadio Roman Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts dominated the first-half and deservedly led thanks to Wissam Ben Yedder’s close range finish. However, Atleti went into the break on level terms as Antoine Griezmann curled home a brilliant free-kick practically on the whistle.
Quiet opening period
Chances were few and far between in the first-half as both sides struggled to readjust following the winter break. Roque Mesa wasted an opportunity on the volley as he lashed the ball high and wide. Angel Correa also somehow put wide after being played through by Thomas Lemar but his blushes were spared due to the offside flag being raised.
Griezmann went the closest during the opening stages following good play from Correa and Lemar. The French international found space on the edge and forced the best out of Tomáš Vaclík with a wonderful, curling effort.
Silva blasts Sevilla ahead
The first-half stalemate did not last for much longer however as Ben Yedder scored to give the hosts a deserved advantage, but not before Andre Silva hit the post from outside of the penalty area. Diego Simeone’s men struggled to clear the ball, with Daniel Carrico playing through the French striker. He made no mistake as he finished coolly past Jan Oblak to claim the lead.
Sevilla were playing excellently and should have doubled their advantage just before the break as Ben Yedder was once again released beyond the Atleti defence. However, Oblak was out well to deny the striker a second goal of the afternoon.
Atleti equalise against the run of play
Despite being second best throughout the majority of the first-half, Atletico went into half-time level. Griezmann was at first denied by the Sevilla goalkeeper but he could not do anything about the Frenchman’s sumptuous, curling free-kick that was awarded after Thomas Partey was fouled on the edge of the area.
They could have completed the turnaround after the restart as Saul Niguez went on a marauding run and drew a low save out of Vaclik. The makeshift left-back then went close again as he nodded Thomas’ cross low into the floor.
Winning chances go begging
Both sides had opportunities to win the game late on. Ben Yedder again combined well with Roque Mesa. He turned well but put his shot wide of Oblak’s goal.
Griezmann also sent a thunderous effort towards goal that the Sevilla goalkeeper was just equal to. Joris Gnagnon was then the next to try his luck but was also thwarted by Vaclik in the Sevilla goal.
The final chance of the game came the way of Thomas who tried his luck with a great shot from distance. It looked to be going over the crossbar but the ball dipped just at the last second and Vaclik had to tip it over the bar. As a result, both teams went away with a hard-earnt point.
Sevilla will have felt slightly hard done by to have gone into half-time level despite a wonderful first period. The hosts were by far the better side but faded throughout the second period. They now look to their double header against Athletic Bilbao. Meanwhile, Atleti will turn their attentions to their upcoming Copa Del Rey clash against Girona.
Sevilla: Vaclik (7); Gnagnon (8) (Amadou (N/A), 90′), Carrico (6), Gomez (6); Navas (7), Sarabia (7) (Promes (N/A), 79′), Banega (7), Mesa (7), Escudero (6); Ben Yedder (8) (Salvatierra (N/A), 90+3′), Silva (7).
Atletico Madrid: Oblak (7); Niguez (7), Godin (6), Savic (6), Juanfran (6); Lemar (6) (Vitolo (6), 60′), Koke (7), Rodri (6), Partey (7); Griezmann (7), Correa (6) (Montero (N/A), 79′).
Goals: Ben Yedder (37′), Griezmann (45′),
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
Yellow Cards: Correa (14′), Navas (45+1′), Sarabia (47′), Niguez (49′), Griezmann (54′), Banega (72′), Rodri (77′), Godin (78′), Partey (90+1′), Savic (90+2′), Silva (90+2′), Carrico (90+4′)
Red Cards: N/A
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