Morata takes off ‘in extremis’ against Atlético in third place
A goal from the striker in the 94th minute gave the rojiblancos victory in an even match against Girona
MADRID, March 13 (EUROPA PRESS) –
Atlético de Madrid maintains its rise in the LaLiga Santander 2022-2023 standings and distanced itself in third place by beating Girona 0-1 on Monday with much suspense, thanks to a goal in the 94th minute from Álvaro Morata, in the game that completed the twenty-fifth day of the championship.
Diego Pablo Simeone’s team finally broke the spell of Montilivi when he was on his way to adding his fourth draw in as many visits. A corner kick ended up walking through Gazzaniga’s goal until he found Álvaro Morata’s boot at the far post, who had to wait a couple of minutes to celebrate the vital goal after a long VAR review to determine if he was out of game.
In this way, the Madrid team increased its solid moment in the domestic tournament where it has already accumulated nine games without losing and where it already leads Real Sociedad and Betis by three and six points in their fight for third place. Girona, on the other hand, sees their rise towards a more comfortable area slowed down and they are four points from relegation, with the added benefit of losing Oriol Romeu and Aleix García due to injury.
Atlético began suffering in Montilivi. Girona came out very intense and strong in their pressure up front, which made Simeone’s men uncomfortable, who had a hard time leaving their field and looking into the rival area. However, despite their dominance, the locals did not get much offensive revenue, except for a shot without excessive danger from ‘Taty’ Castellanos.
Little by little, the colchoneros began to put themselves together and change the script of the match, especially thanks to Llorente, Griezmann and Memphis. Only the lack of more skill within the area of the latter would have given more reward to his team, which brought much more danger to Gazzaniga’s area.
The French ‘8’ gave the first warning after a drop from Memphis, but he did not shoot well, while the Dutch striker immediately had another good option after a cross from his teammate after a great pass into Llorente’s space, although his volley went too high.
A shot from Carrasco well repelled by Gazzaniga closed good minutes for Atlético, who grew and took control of the game. It was more difficult for Girona to deploy, but they were able to hold off the attacking visitors, reduced in the final stretch to another good option for Memphis before the break.
THE CHANGES DO NOT WORK IN ATLÉTICO
After this, the scenario of the game changed somewhat as Míchel’s team preferred to take a step back and give more of the initiative to the visitors. They did not manage to take advantage of it too much in a second half, with more spaces than they could not take advantage of.
A very heeled volley from Llorente was the best in this start of the second act of the match, while the local response came from an individual play by Tsygankov that put Oblak’s gloves to the test. Simeone decided to move the game with a triple change and the entry of Morata, Correa and De Paul, but it did not work out too much for him.
The chances did not appear and the few that were clear came almost out of nowhere like that of David López, who forced Oblak into another good intervention to prevent the veteran central defender from surprising him from almost midfield. In the final give and take, Riquelme was close to executing ‘his’ team and Correa had a very clear avoidance due to a decisive cross from Arnau that corrected his mistake by leaving the ball free for the Argentine. However, the subsequent corner kick ended with Morata’s goal after a tense and long wait from the VAR.
–RESULT: GIRONA, 1 – ATLÉTICO DE MADRID, 0 (0-0, at halftime).
GIRONA: Gazzaniga; Arnau, Bueno, David López, Miguel Gutiérrez; Borja García (Valery, min.64), Romeu (Iván Martín, min.75), Aleix García (Bernardo, min.87); Tsygankov (Villa, min.87), Castellanos (Stuani, min.75) and Riquelme.
ATHLETIC MADRID: Oblak; Molina, Savic, Giménez, Hermoso, Carrasco (Saúl, min.77); Koke (Witsel, min.81), Llorente (De Paul, min.62), Lemar (Correa, min.62); Griezmann and Memphis (Morata, min.62).
0-1, minute 94. Morata.
–REFEREE: Melero López (C.Andaluz). He admonished Stuani (min.101), for Girona, and Llorente (min.57), Savic (min.66) and De Paul (min.98), for Atlético de Madrid.