The striking thing, at halftime, was that Team K-League did not walk towards the locker room with their backs bent by the weight of a win against. Atleti left with only one goal scored, the one scored by Lemar at minute 13, after a powerful volley, when in reality it could have been a bag. But the wood three times, the assistant’s flag in the air three other times and Chang Lee’s gloves had prevented it. Because Atleti had jumped into their first game of the summer with authority, to the attack and their best profile but the usual old problems. That lack of aim that, in the end, would end up suffering. The All Star ended the game dancing and with the score 3-2 in their favor.
A difficult ending to guess in that first part in which only definition was lacking. The rest, touche. Cholo’s first eleven of the summer was very official if the League started tomorrow. The absences (Oblak, Giménez, Nahuel, Carrasco, Llorente, Reinildo, Memphis and João who, if he does not play, will hardly be revalued) they were not noticed. Grbic locked the goal, Witsel exercised with skill as a third center-back and Simeone debuted wing-backs with excellence. On the right, Azpilicueta, a man who oozes brains and captaincy, a guy who has just arrived but as if he was born in Atleti also in the game. On the left, Samuel Lino, a footballer who with each stride shouted that he must stay. Because there are loves that arrive in July to stay all year. And Lino is all speed and electricity, without dribbling to spare. ‘Ooohhh’ did not stop sprouting from the stands every time he touched a ball and ran the band.
Opposite, in that combination of stars of the Korean league, chosen by the fans themselves, more filming and legs were noticeable. But that did not intimidate a lush Atleti who grew from his good start with the ball and a De Paul who continues in his December prime. The grass at Grbic’s feet was virgin. Meanwhile, everything was happening around Chang Lee. But nothing, except Lemar’s shot, stayed, to the despair of Morata, persecuted to Korea for offside.
He scored three goals, but none were worth it. The first after clinching a delicious filtered pass from De Paul, the first also to test the Korean goalkeeper with a shot from the edge as soon as the game began. The second was after a cut in the area and a left-footed shot to the long post. Half a knee once, one foot another, that pennant always up like a macabre joke. The day that changes, yes, the offside rule, does Haaland’s numbers. Before the break the third would arrive. This time, he was fine, in the correct position, but not Lino, his assistant. Team K-League whistled lightly on the way to the locker room. The one he had gotten rid of. Everything changed in the second part. For Cholo learning.
Second part, another worse Atleti
Because the break came like September, full of changes. Another Atleti emerged from the Seoul World Cup locker room, where before there were headlines now there were applicants and kids with three signings: Soyüncü, Mouriño and Javi Galán. The first good, the second, regular, the last without much to tell. A false start by Gomis caused Team K-League to draw to leave an immutable truth on Cholo’s roof: that Oblak recover soon because Atleti, without Grbic, plays without a net. The Korean team, also almost completely another, moved with more skill and better. The meritorious Atleti deflated, without control and poor circulation of the ball. Riquelme at the top, out of place, Saúl worryingly lost. Team K only needed two more hits to take him down.
Because if Carlos Martín put Atleti ahead again five minutes from the end, the All Star turned it around again in minutes. First with the help of Mouriño, who opened with a clumsy and absurd penalty. Later, with a whiplash from Soon-Min. The win on the back of Cholo, with many homework still to be done this summer.