Atlético 1×1: Lemar, Lodi and Kondogbia change the game

Oblak: After three minutes he already had to leave a save to avoid Embarba’s goal after an indecision with Savic. And again he acted to clear a distant shot from Madrid. From that corner was born the goal of Raúl de Tomás. Espanyol had not scored a goal in the previous three days, but in the first half they had already generated three very clear chances. The rojiblanca defense started the season making many more mistakes than usual. In the second half, the defense calmed down and barely had to act to get lateral centers and corners.

Savic: He started out more asleep than usual, making very improper mistakes in Montenegrin. He did not attack the ball hoping that it would reach Oblak and Embarba went ahead forcing the Slovenian to act. In a bad pass he generated a very dangerous chance on his goal. He tried to generate danger with long deliveries from behind, but this way it is very difficult to hurt such a tight defense. In the second half, Atlético went to a line of four, forming a pair with Felipe and leaving a fundamental cut to a Darder center. Much more whole despite the difficulties of playing with so much field behind him.

Felipe: He made his debut this season after recovering from the knee injury he suffered during the Copa América. Giménez, who had completed the first three days, arrived after a beating of minutes with his team, so it was the opportunity for the Brazilian. He has to pick up his rhythm, as is normal, but he did not clash, neither on the line of three nor especially in the back with fourth behind, where he feels more comfortable. He suffered a very hard fall, but was able to continue.

Handsome: He returned to what was his home wanting to demonstrate the evolution in his game, sometimes with excessive impetus to raise the ball. Espanyol closed a lot and the centrals were forced to be in charge of building the plays. He saw a decisive yellow to be substituted at half-time.

Trippier: The active game began, looking with his interior passes to Llorente into space, but he was losing participation and began to suffer a lot with the increases of Pedrosa on his side. With the team blurred, he could not be seen comfortable at any moment of the game. Simeone decided to replace him at half-time to turn his scheme around and Llorente went on to play as a right-back.

Carrasco: Somewhat nervous in the first half, the tactical variation of the second half gave him wings until he was fundamental in the victory. Playing closer to the rival area he was much more comfortable, being able to face with an advantage. Thus came his goal, fighting a pass behind Lodi, winning the counter ball and crossing his left foot. He brushed his double in injury time with a shot that licked the stick and combined with Lemar on the heel for the final goal.

Koke: The captain began the game with too much field to cover and little company in the preparation, practically with Llorente as the only partner. The entry of Kondogbia and Lemar freed him both in defensive work and in the production of the game from the center of the field. With that company he was able to appear more times near the rival area.

Llorente: He had the difficult mission of holding the midfield with Koke outnumbered against Espanyol. He had to be very vigilant to help Trippier on the right side. De Tomás left him in the corner that was the goal of the forward, surpassing him on the mark and scoring with a header. After the break he was placed as a right back, after Trippier left replaced. He put a precious center for Lemar’s goal, but with the VAR it was annulled by a previous offside by Suárez. Play where you play puts intensity and another rhythm to all your plays.

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Strap: Simeone wanted to reward his enormous level at the start of the season by placing him in eleven despite having competed with his team with less than 60 hours difference between the two games and with a transoceanic trip in between. He outlined to the right, forming an attacking front with Griezmann and Suárez, but he did not feel comfortable or come into play with the constancy of the previous games. He left replaced at rest.

Griezmann: Back to Atlético and directly to eleven. He tried to move around the attack front, looking for his space and the option to combine with Carrasco and Suárez, but he barely came into play. It has to adapt to this new Atlético, with very different characteristics from those of yesteryear. He was replaced by João Félix after a gray debut.

Suarez: He could be in the eleven despite ending up with discomfort in the game against Villarreal. He sought to pivot up front, act as an anchor, but had a lot of difficulties playing on his back. The VAR ruled that he was millimetrically offside and intervened despite not touching the ball in a play where Lemar had scored the tie. He left replaced at 70 minutes.

The changes turned the game around

I gave it: He entered as a left back, changing the defense to a line of four. He opened a lot and looked for constant unchecking for speed behind the back of the rival side. He participated in Carrasco’s goal with a good tense pass back that the Belgian ended up taking advantage of. He had the option of finishing off a great pass from João Félix, but he looked for a tense center that Cunha was about to finish off. He understands very well with Portuguese.

Kondogbia: His departure gave a lot of packaging to the center of the field and improved a strip of the field where he was suffering a lot. He put muscle to work on recovery and quality at the start, constantly showing himself to be in charge of raising the ball with very good long deliveries. He also sought the goal with long shots.

Lemar: High quality, a fundamental entry to improve Atlético with the final prize in the 99th minute that it so deserved. He scored the winning goal in a play with Carrasco closed with a right hand that Diego López could not get. He had already seen the door, but the VAR canceled it due to a previous offside by Suárez despite not touching the ball. He sought to direct the attacks, dribble and always find the best placed partner. He was able to score with a left foot that brushed the stick.

João Félix: Back to the team already recovered from the ankle operation to which he underwent after the European Championship. He positioned himself outlined to the right wing in search of the comeback. It was difficult for him to participate, but when he did, he sought to break lines and combine on the inside with subtlety, leaving several large shipments.

Cunha: He left in the 70th minute for Suárez to position himself as a reference above, as he usually does with Brazil. He tried to put mobility by falling to the wings and was about to finish off a great Lodi center that he did not reach by thousandths.

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