Atletico Madrid 0-0 Villarreal
Misfiring Atletico Madrid turned down the chance to climb the La Liga table today, sharing the spoils with Villarreal in a goalless stalemate at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
While the point takes Los Rojiblancos’ total to five from three games, Unai Emery’s Yellow Submarine has gone top, for now, on eight points. It’s a disappointing outcome for Diego Simeone’s Atleti who, while enjoying long periods of possession, did little to threaten the Villarreal goal.
Highlights of the game
It was all Atleti in the opening exchanges and centre back Stefan Savic had a good chance when he met a Koke corner, but his header flew wide of Sergio Asenjo’s goal.
Luis Suarez struggled to make an impact against Huesca last week, though he had an explosive debut against Granada, scoring twice and hitting the post in a 20 minute cameo, and Villarreal will have wondered which Suarez they’d be facing today.
Well they found out pretty quickly as the Uruguayan threatened them with two efforts in the first ten minutes. First he took a pass from Koke and fired a long range effort narrowly wide and then, after good work from Kieran Trippier, he had a shot charged down.
The Yellow Submarine weathered the early storm and had a first attempt on the Atleti goal when Mario Gaspar let fly from distance to stretch Jan Oblak who tipped the ball round the post for a corner. Los Rojiblancos were struggling to break Villarreal down and when Thomas Partey took a ball from Saul Niguez, he tried his luck from all of 35 yards but his effort flew wide of Asenjo’s right hand post. And as the half time whistle approached Partey had a shot blocked while, at the other end Gaspar sent another effort wide.
The 29 year old right back has spent his entire career at Villarreal, making 350 appearances and scoring ten goals, and Gaspar certainly had his shooting boots on today, forcing Oblak into another save with a shot from the right edge of the penalty area. And as Villarreal began to show more ambition, Gerard Moreno took a pass from Moi Gomez and fired just wide.
Los Rojiblancos finally forced Asenjo into a save, on 62 minutes, when Renan Lodi fired a shot destined for the roof of the net, and Suarez took another long range pot shot which flew wide while, at the other end, Manu Trigueros came very close with a low shot from just outside the penalty area.
With 20 minutes remaining Diego Simeone made a triple substitution, bringing on Marcos Llorente, Yannick Carrasco and Diego Costa to replace Suarez, Koke and the unusually quiet Angel Correa, while Unai Emery responded by bringing on Samuel Chukwueze to replace Paco Alcacer.
Llorente was quickly in the action, having a shot charged down and Felipe fired the follow up wide. The Llorente passed to Costa and he had his shot blocked by the well organised Villarreal defence which then frustrated Partey as he fired an effort in.
Gerard Moreno had one more effort for the Yellow Submarine while Llorente had another shot blocked in the last move of the match.
The early season La Liga 2020 betting odds reckon Atleti could be a threat to Barca and Los Blancos, at odds of around 7.00, but they need to sharpen up in front of goal.
Los Rojiblancos dominated the first half but struggled to break the Villarreal resistance, taking six shots but with none on target, while one of the visitors’ two efforts, both from Gaspar, tested Oblak. By the end of the game Atleti had made 13 attempts to Villarreal’s six, but only had one on target, while their opponents managed two.
The action is sure to get better though and SBOTOP is the place for the very latest La Liga 2020 news, highlights and results, so keep it here for the rest of the weekend action still to come. Tomorrow Real Madrid head to Valencia to take on Paco Lopez’ Levante and there’s a huge match at the Camp Nou where Barcelona host an impressive Sevilla in the last game of this round. Both teams have started with two wins and Los Sevillanos will provide a serious test to Barca’s title aspirations.
And then, after the international break Los Rojiblancos are away to Celta Vigo who have made a steady start with five points from their opening four games. Meanwhile Villarreal are at home to Valencia who began this weekend with a share of the lead as one of four teams, including the Yellow Submarine, on seven points.
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