Espanyol has again proved how the League is still a tough, sometimes cruel, competition where no rival gives anything and where mistakes are paid very expensive. The Wanda Metropolitano (3-1) saw Atlético asking him a totally contrary match against Thursday's game against Ludogorets. There are few facilities and a lot of resistance for an Espanyol who still does not find the way in Europe to smile in Europe. Third consecutive defeat – the fourth in five games with Machín – for a set that still has many problems to endanger the rivals and, even more, to finish the few occasions available. And that, in case it was not enough, had the bad luck to see how the referee overturned 2-2 in the absence of five minutes for the final. The next stop for selections should be a turning point, because if the white-and-blue revival is delayed much more in this competition, it may be too late.
Machín has once again regained eleven of the league, but he did it with a significant nuance, giving Javi López a left coach. A tactical movement designed to defend Trippier's boarding schools that he left on the bench at Pedrosa, who had already been substituted on Thursday, and Dídac. The latter entered the first half to replace a Naldo with problems in the left thigh. Understanding that at Wanda Metropolitano, at least during the initial stage, they would suffer more than they would generate, the coach has opted for this more conservative proposal. Espanyol has experienced the first half hour closed in midfield due to the good pressure of Atlético, which has caused many losses from whites.
Those of Diego Simeone have generated very badly in vertiginous transitions to an Espanyol who has been forced to retreat, because with the ball at his feet he has not been able to transfer the game to the opposite field. Morata, alone in front of Diego López, pardoned the first quarter of an hour with a petroleum gas that rubbed the stick, and shortly thereafter it was Vitolo who warned. Espanyol was very tired of removing side-centered up and down. Atlético has tried with the sides, who have constantly accompanied Correa and Vitolo, two incisive attackers who have not given a truce either in the pressure. Despite the suffering, those of Machín have made Pay Atlético with their own currency. First, it was Wu Lei who finished off to the pole after picking up a bad rejection at the front. Five minutes from the break, Víctor Sánchez took advantage of a defensive mistake between Koke and Thomas to snatch the ball and transfer it to a Darder who, without thinking twice, got a cross cocoa that has overcome Oblak First goal of the Balearic in this League in what has been the first shot of Espanyol between poles.
The white-and-blue players have punished Atletico with their own currency, defending them all and being very effective, in the Simeone style. But joy lasted only five minutes. At the added time, Morata picked up a long pass in a doubtful position and centered it in the small area, where Correa finished off with a header on the goal line. The line was canceled at first, but after a few seconds of uncertainty, the VAR ended up giving it for a valid one. A setback for Machín's team, who after the break replaced the two lads. Javi López to the right and Víctor Gómez, who had been the most participative in the first half, to the left. Espanyol, however, has not stopped suffering. Atlético has come out even more electric and has returned to the charge, and at the beginning of the attack has been about to have a penalty. The VAR has delegated the decision in Gil Manzano, that this time has decided that there was a previous lack of Felipe to David López, who later gave a blow to the Brazilian.
The Metropolitan Wanda has been rising decibels as Simeone's men were pushing an unanswered Spaniard. The comeback of the Madrid team has not been slow to arrive: after some announcements by Correa, a real knock-out for the white-and-blue defender, Morata has increased his run to six consecutive games by scoring. With the score against, Espanyol has been able to move the card. Machín gave way to Campuzano by an absentee Wu Lei, but Spaniards continued without finding continuity in the game. A valid script with 0-1, but that has become obsolete with 2-1. Without practically associating inside or outside depth, Espanyol proved inoffensive and predictable against an Athletic player that almost never felt required.
Forward without danger
Ferreyra has barely been able to finish, deflected, a side foul. The Argentine has gone unnoticed again in a game where Espanyol has once again confirmed that he has a serious problem in the front. It's missing someone who knows how to get away from nothing. He had it with Tamudo, Osvaldo, Sergio García, Gerard Moreno and Borja Iglesias, but for the moment he is not finding it in Ferreyra, which practically does not contribute anything out of the area; in Calleri, now injured, nor in a Campuzano who, despite being a profile more similar to the aforementioned strikers, is not at the moment the main reference in the League. Atlético has not relaxed and has completed a second time without defensive concessions to an Espanyol who, despite everything, has been on the point of tying in a failed ball action. Darder chipped with great precision a foul to the second post that David López finished off to the bottom of the net. The referee, however, canceled the goal for a possible previous foul by Bernardo on Correa. A controversial decision that was accompanied by another slap to white-and-blue: Koke's sentence added after a loss by Víctor Gómez. Espanyol does not raise any in a League where he will have to row, and much, if he wants to change the distance that separates him from the positions of salvation.
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