Espanyol played to win and enthusiastically embraced a rending draw when their game against Atlético was forfeited: from 0–3 it became 3–3. A result that kept the Blue and Whites’ hopes of avoiding relegation alive with two days remaining to wrap up the league. It no longer only depends on their results against Mestalla and Almería, but also requires the side to favor some outside markers, with Barça’s defeat in Valladolid and Getafe’s win in Villamarin starting to play against them.
Pacheco, Cabrera, Calero (Vinicius, min 45), César Montes, Oscar Gil (Alex Vidal, min 55), Bryan (Adria Pedrosa, min 78), Darder, Denis Suárez (Edu Exposito, min 55), Javi Puado (Braithwaite , minimum 78), Melamed and Joselu
Ivo Grbic, Witsel, Carrasco (Reguilon, min 88), Jimenez, Mario Hermoso, Nahuel Molina, Koke (Kondogbia, min 88), Saul, De Paul (Pablo Barrios Rivas, min 77), Griezmann and Coria (Carlos) Martin, min 77)
Target 0-1 min 21: Saul. 0-2 min 44: Griezmann. 0-3 min 45: Carrasco. 1-3 min. 64: Cesar Montes. 2-3 min. 76: Joselu. 3-3 min. 79: Vinicius.
punch Mario Melero Lopez
yellow card Alex Vidal (min 65), Ivo Grbic (min 74), Vinicius (min 79), Carlos Martin (min 89) and Jimenez (min 93).
The fans seemed weary at halftime as they chanted against the board – “Chino go now!” – and finally surrendered himself to his team, who did not stop running with blind faith in a permanent, in a tie, victory. League. The blue and whites were not successful enough to increase the volume of their offensive play and were punished for their defensive fragility against a selective and effective Atlético team that still aspires to lock up the championship ahead of Madrid. However, the Rosiblancos fell asleep before their time when they saw that the game was won on the field and on the scoreboard, and had to wake up to save the tie against a final attack from Espanyol.
The journey was so smooth and comfortable for Atlético that they never felt the threat of Espanyol. From Griezmann’s movements, Simeone’s team generated constant positions of superiority in midfield and with shots from Saul forced an unfortunate Pacheco’s goal, Griezmann—the goal was validated by VAR—and Carrasco. The blue and white, penetrable without the ball, fought well with the ball and even completed enough plays to beat Grbic. A series of corner kicks repeatedly demanded the Rosiblanco goalkeeper until he yielded to César Montes. From the central defender’s goal, Espanyol’s response was triggered, with changes from Luis García improving.
Based on Griezmann’s antics, Simeone’s team generated a position of great superiority, enough to close the match at 1–3. Simeone’s boys found themselves out at the wrong time and led an Espanyol resurgence that led to a desperate final charge that brought them to the brink of victory that had been deemed impossible due to Atlético’s punch. Espanyol, however, never give up, and even less so when their defeat is declared, as was seen when they scored three goals in a quarter of an hour against Atlético.
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