Atlético de Madrid turned a great match against Valencia in stoppage time. They won 3-2 thanks to goals from Matheus Cunha (63), Ángel Correa (minute 90) and Mario Hermoso (minute 93). Thus, both the fans and Diego Simeone, the coach, They had a huge relief after a poor run both in the League and in domestic competitions, with separate eliminations in the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa del Rey. In passing, he returned to qualifying positions for the Champions League.
As soon as Hermoso pushed the ball into the net, the Wanda Metropolitana exploded. There were several celebrations. Among the fans, of course. Among footballers, above all. And also on the substitute bench, where the Cholo waved his arms. He jumped. He hugged himself with his assistants, Nelson Vivas, intermingled between them. It was a great comeback, which will fully impact the weak point of the mattress team: the head. The same one that during the first half turned it into a passive formation, devoid of energy, and who was overtaken all over the field by his rival, who went to the locker room winning 2-0.
It is a victory that can mark the future of the team. A defeat could have condemned him to suffer, one more hardship. Victory, this victory, can restore your confidence. Especially since when the poster was raised with the additional seven minutes, everything was sadness. He fell 2-1 and the comeback in the second half was not even enough for him to take a point. But beltOne of the shockers that Simeone found on the substitute bench, scored the equalizer. And three minutes later came the winning goal, scored by Hermoso in a play on the edge of the advanced position. It was lawful.
It will go down in history as the game that went from 0-2 to 3-2. The people had a lot to do with it: the 45,000 fans who attended the Wanda Metropolitano and sang the “Athletes, athletes” when they saw that the footballers (again) fell. Above all, at the beginning of the second stage, and given the urgent need to find a goal to continue with chances in the game. As the clock progressed, that 2-0 in favor of Valencia (goals from Musah and Duro) became more forceful. One more loss would have depressed Atlético, who needed a balm of three points to believe again.
The match summary
That’s why the crazy celebrations in the stands. That’s why the faces of the players after the final whistle. That is why the relief of the mattress family. It’s true: Simeone changed the team in the second half and went looking for the result. Beyond the income from the bench, he aimed to play 20 meters further and squeeze Valencia. To play with the DNA of a champion team, who does not wait to see what the rival does to react. He had already received two blows that could well have been a knockout. Valencia let him breathe. And that was the downfall of him.
Because in the second half Atlético took oil from a cornerin which Cunha entered only through the heart of the area and, from that moment, he was convinced that he could. He had chances, unclear, it is true, but he could have achieved the draw a while earlier. The colchoneros carry suffering in their veins and are used to fighting, Simeone’s gene: they are the team that scores the most goals in the last quarter of an hour in the entire Spanish league. He passed again. And Atlético was Atlético again. The champion of Spain is back. And now point to Barcelonafirst, yeah manchester unitedlater, for that great goal called the Champions League.
Simeone: “We are the ones in the second half”
Diego Simeone snorted every minute during his contact with the press. The coach experienced the match against Valencia almost like any other player. He lasted her electricity that he had broadcast to his players during the match. “It is wonderful where I am. Every time I see that it’s going away…, faaa, I want to hold it tighter. My heart ached in the first half, ”she confessed. He looked as excited as he was happy, because the bet to risk more in the second half paid off. And Atlético won an incredible match.
“Two totally opposite facets of what is happening to us were seen. We were able to get out of that situation (in the first half) with a lot of effort”, said Simeone. And he added: “We hope that this gives us strength to work and identify what we are,” he postulated. He then reaffirmed his words: “We are the ones from the second half, for sure.”
El Cholo analyzed a match that will remain both in his retinas and in the memory of the mattress fans. “You can lose, of course, but we are going to lose with pride, I told them at halftime. Carrasco and Correa had a wonderful second half”, he valued. And he added: “In the second half it was us. Watching it, I still feel like that’s our thing.”
Simeone’s press conference after the victory
What did the second part have in relation to the first, in which the team seemed absent, limited, lacking in ideas? The DT himself answered: “We understood that we needed people behind who were fast”he said, to justify the entry of Felipe by Joao Félix, a change that some might not understand because Atlético lost and Felipe is a defender. “De Paul turned us on and we had the creativity right with Correa. We began to play more and more in a rival field. Both Correa and Carrasco were brave”He acknowledged, before the same journalists who a few days ago spoke of “completed cycle” and reminded him of mistakes in some changes during the games. Simeone’s Atlético is alive. Think of the Champions. And in the future.