Sevilla 1-0 Atletico Madrid: Diego Simeone’s side served serious dent into their title aspirations as they fall to defeat thanks to Marcos Acuna goal handing Barcelona the chance of closing the gap down to just one point
- Atletico Madrid fell to defeat following a goal from Sevilla’s Marcos Acuna
- Sevilla dominated the game but Jan Oblak made some crucial saves
- The goalkeeper made a great save from a penalty taken by Lucas Ocampos
- He could not stop Acuna though who found the back of the net after 70 minutes
- The result gives Barcelona the chance of closing the gap down to just one point
Atletico Madrid’s title charge was dealt another serious blow as they were beaten 1-0 by Sevilla in the Sanchez Pizjuan.
They are now just three points clear of second placed Real Madrid and if Barcelona beat Valladolid on Monday night their lead will be cut to just one point by the Catalans.
Midfielder Koke was furious post match with refereeing decisions that missed a handball in the build-up to Marcos Acuña’s winning goal and a handball from Diego Carlos who was already on a yellow card.
Marcos Acuna celebrates the winning goal as Sevilla put a dent in Atletico Madrid’s title hopes
Atletico Madrid were left frustrated as they missed out the chance to extend the gap at the top
The defeat means Barcelona could go just one point behind Atletico on Monday evening
But beyond the perceived injustices this was another night when Diego Simeone’s side looked nothing like Champions elect.
They were poor in the first half and could have gone behind early on had keeper Jan Oblak not saved from the penalty spot. And although they improved after the break it was a tired display lacking inspiration and conviction. Next week they play Betis away and must do so without Luis Suarez and Marcos Llorente who were both booked in the defeat and will miss the game through suspension.
They were below-strength for this one without Joao Felix with a bruised ankle and the suspended Yannick Carrasco. They also had Stefan Savic out with stomach problems and Moussa Dembele still not 100 percent after recovering from coronavirus but fainting in training during the international break.
The problems meant Simeone could only name a bench of six players. He needed to change things in the second period but there were only defensive midfielders to call upon.
Sevilla were in better shape and Julen Lopetegui had the luxury of leaving out top scorer Youssef En-Nesyri with Luuk de Jong starting the game in his place. The home coach had never beaten Simeone but this was to be his night.
The first half started badly for Atletico with Saul stepping on Rakitic in the area and conceding a penalty. The visitors were let off the hook when Lucas Ocampos’ poor penalty was saved by Oblak.
Jan Oblak did his best to keep them in the game by saving a penalty from Lucas Ocampos
Goalscorer Acuna gets in the face of Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez in the second-half
Acuna scored from close range after an intelligent pass by Suso found him in clear space
Defender Felipe then risked a second yellow card for a foul on Suso. He had already been booked for clattering Ocampos and could easily have walked. He was saved in part by having done almost as much damage to Saul as to the Sevilla player.
Sevilla peppered Atletico’s goal with crosses from right wing-back Navas who was camped in the opponents half. Oblak kept Lopetegui’s side at bay and Bono, at the other end did have to make saves from Thomas Lemar and Marcos Llorente but it was one way traffic and the league leaders were on the wrong end of it.
In the second period Mario Hermoso blazed over with the goal at his mercy and Correa should have scored after being teed-up by Suarez but failed to beat Bono with a weak shot.
Sevilla’s winner came on 70 minutes with forever young Navas – a constant threat across the 90 minutes – sent to the byline by Suso’s clever pass. He crossed for Acuña to head past Oblak. Atletico complained in vain that Ocampos had handled in the build-up but they were waved away by referee Jesus Gil.
‘We don’t have any doubts’ said a defiant Koke on the final whistle but his brave face won’t hide the fact that Atletico have now lost five of their last 12 games. Real Madrid and Barcelona keep winning and Simeone’s side seem to have forgotten how just at the worst possible time.
Ocampos who missed the penalty had a volley on goal but couldn’t find the back of the net
Diego Simeone was particularly agitated when his side fell behind to Sevilla in the second-half
Julen Lopetegui’s side sit comfortably in fourth place following their victory on Sunday
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