Sevilla 1-0 Atletico Madrid: Diego Simeone’s side seriously dented their title ambitions when they fell thanks to Marcos Acuna’s goal, giving Barcelona the opportunity to narrow the gap to just one point
- Atletico Madrid fell after a goal from Marcos Acuna from Seville
- Sevilla dominated the game but Jan Oblak made some crucial saves
- The goalkeeper saved well from a penalty kick from Lucas Ocampos
- However, he could not stop Acuna, who found the back of the net after 70 minutes
- The result gives Barcelona a chance to close the gap to just one point
Atletico Madrid’s title defense took another heavy blow when they were defeated 1-0 by Sevilla in the Sanchez Pizjuan.
They are now just three points away from second-placed Real Madrid and if Barcelona beats Valladolid on Monday evening, their lead will be reduced to just one point by the Catalans.
Midfielder Koke was furious after the game with referee decisions missing a handball leading up to Marcos Acuña’s winning goal and a handball from Diego Carlos already on a yellow card.
Marcos Acuna celebrates the winning goal as Sevilla put a dent in Atletico Madrid’s title expectations
Atlético Madrid were left frustrated when they missed the opportunity to widen the gap at the top
Due to the defeat, Barcelona can only come one point behind Atletico on Monday evening
But perceived injustices aside, this was another night when Diego Simeone’s side looked nothing like Chosen Champions.
They were bad in the first half and could have fallen behind early if goalkeeper Jan Oblak had not been saved from the penalty spot. And while they improved after the break, it was a tired performance without inspiration and conviction. Next week they will play Betis and have to do without Luis Suarez and Marcos Llorente, who both got a yellow card in the defeat and will miss the game due to suspension.
They were below strength for this one without Joao Felix with a bruised ankle and the suspended Yannick Carrasco. They had also knocked out Stefan Savic with stomach problems and Moussa Dembele still not 100 percent after recovering from the coronavirus but passed out during training during the international break.
Due to the problems, Simeone could only name a bank of six players. He had to change things in the second period, but there were only defensive midfielders to call on.
Sevilla was in better shape and Julen Lopetegui had the luxury of leaving out top scorer Youssef En-Nesyri, while Luuk de Jong started the game in his place. The home coach had never beaten Simeone, but this was going to be his night.
The first half started badly for Atletico when Saul stepped into the area on Rakitic and got a penalty. The visitors were let go when Lucas Ocampos’ bad penalty was saved by Oblak.
Jan Oblak did his best to keep them in play by saving a penalty from Lucas Ocampos
Goalscorer Acuna runs into Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez in the second half
Acuna scored from close range after an intelligent pass from Suso found him in free space
Defender Felipe then risked a second yellow card for a foul on Suso. He was already booked in for the clatter of Ocampos and could have walked easily. He was saved in part by dealing almost as much damage to Saul as he did to the Sevilla player.
Sevilla intersected Atletico’s goal with crosses from right-wing defender Navas, who camped on the half of the opponent. Oblak kept Lopetegui’s side at bay and Bono on the other side had to make saves from Thomas Lemar and Marcos Llorente, but it was a one-way street and the front runners were on the wrong side.
In the second half, Mario threw Hermoso over with the goal at his mercy that Correa should have scored after being knocked down by Suarez, but failed to defeat Bono with a weak shot.
The winner of Sevilla came after 70 minutes with the ever-young Navas – a constant threat throughout the 90 minutes – sent to the byline by Suso’s clever pass. He crossed to Acuña to drive past Oblak. Atlético complained unsuccessfully that Ocampos had settled in the build-up, but they were dismissed by referee Jesus Gil.
“We have no doubts,” said a defiant Koke at the final whistle, but his brave face will not hide the fact that Atlético has now lost five of their last 12 games. Real Madrid and Barcelona continue to win and Simeone’s side seem to have forgotten how only at the worst possible time.
Ocampos who missed the penalty had a volley on goal but could not find the back of the net
Diego Simeone was particularly agitated when his team fell behind Sevilla in the second half
Julen Lopetegui’s team is comfortably in fourth place after their victory on Sunday