GRIEZMANN VS EX
Real Madrid did a great job helping their main rival, losing to Villarreal (1-2), but the Catalans needed to score points in the match against Civitas Metropolitano to take advantage of the gift. Diego Simeone’s team, of course, has a status, but in the previous four rounds they only had one victory and by the initial whistle they were only on the sixth line.
In the previous round, the blue garnets themselves lost points (1:1 with Espanyol), and compared to that match, Xavi made as many as five substitutions, of which two were forced: Jordi Alba and Robert Lewandowski missed this match due to disqualification. . The Pole was supposed to miss that game as well, but the Catalans managed to “freeze” the disqualification by going to court. But he still hasn’t come to Madrid. Above all, the defensive line was affected by the shakeup, in which only Andreas Christensen retained his place.
The hosts were without an injured world champion, Rodrigo de Paul, and of course 2022 World Cup finalist and former Barca striker Antoine Griezmann garnered the most attention. The games in Qatar have shown that the Frenchman has finally gained a really great form. And then there were no questions about his motivation.
The culés started the game well, immediately encircling Jan Oblak’s penalty area. In years past, “mattress covers” could stay in this position for hours, but now they are in a deplorable state. As soon as Pedri broke out in an episode, he opened the account. The midfielder showed a great willingness to share the ball with the body, rushing down the middle and yielding to Gavi, who went further for Ousmane Dembélé, who had no difficulty getting into the far corner.
Madrid tried to put pressure on referee José Munuero Monteru. They say that Gavi pushed Reinilda Mandava in the scoring episode, but the episode was clearly playful, and the “mattresses” themselves do not hesitate to act much tougher. Carried away by the disputes, the locals almost brought the second goal, but Pedri clearly confirmed that it was not Lewandowski.
To the credit of Simeone’s charges, they still managed to recover and push the game away from their gates. The important thing is that Madrid was willing to maintain the high pace offered by the rival, and in a game like this they did not look worse. Griezmann’s disgusting pink-dyed hair flashed here and there: he himself struck hard from outside the box under the crossbar and dangerously flicked the moving ball to Marcos Llorente, whose shot on the defender’s arm was judged by the referees. just like a corner Madrid was also good from set pieces, so the guests can be satisfied with the fact that before the break they took their feet.
BARCAS PLAYS ON THE MARKER
If in the first half Barcelona’s hybrid scheme (four defenders defending and three central defenders playing with the ball) was obvious, then in the second half Atlético started with such force that the guests didn’t even have time to compose themselves, because they couldn’t settle. Control the ball. Xavi watched the action for nearly 15 minutes, after which he replaced the more pass-prone defensive midfielder Frenkie de Jong with pure bulldog Frank Kessier.
The move worked, although Barcelona could not gain a foothold in the other half of the field, they blocked everything on their own and suppressed the opponent’s activity in the middle. Of the players of the Blaugrana base, the second half can only be brought to the active by Ousmane Dembele, from whom all the danger came. He lacked finishing punch accuracy, but otherwise soundly outclassed Reinildo Mandava on the rim, who, in this context, did everything off the mark, including interception attempts. With 10 minutes to go, Simeone replaced the defender with Sergio Reguilón.
In the end, Barca defended frankly, Ferran Torres even entered the stands with Stefan Savic, for which both were sent off, and Ronald Araujo cleared the ball from the goal line in injury time after Griezmann’s point-blank shot. That is, Atlético honestly played enough for at least a draw, but they were left with nothing.
And Barca showed the qualities that characterized the “mattress” in the best years: passion, the ability to fight for the ball and hold on to the result. And he brought three points from the toughest trip, having done it even without his main scorer Lewandowski. And again he separated from Real Madrid by three points. The extraction of results in such difficult matches is called championship football.
The league. 16th round
“Atletico” – “Barcelona” – 0:1 (0:1)
Aim: Dembele, 22.
“Athletic”: Oblak, Molina, Savic, Jiménez, Reinildo (Reguilón, 81), Llorente, Koke (Lemar, 73), P. Barrios (Kondogbia, 65), Carrasco (Morata, 65), Griezmann, Félix (A. Correa, 73) .
Barcelona: ter Stegen, Kunde, Araujo, Christensen, Balde (Marcos Alonso 81), Busquets (Roberto 81), F. de Jong (Kessier 58), Gavi (Rafinha 73), Pedri, Dembele, Fati (Ferran Torres, 58).
Warnings: Araujo, 56. A. Correa, 79. Christensen, 82. Molina, 85. Rafinha, 87.
Elimination: Savich, 90+2. Ferran Torres, 90+2.