The Atlético de Madrid remains uneasy in the absence of two days for the closing of the group stage of the Champions League, with no option to be first and still with everything pending to be second, after going from more to less and equalizing without goals with him Lokomotiv of Moscow in the Wanda Metropolitano.
As it already happened in Moscow, there with an even better game than the one he played tonight at the Metropolitano, Atlético was not able to find the key to open the Russian lock, despite the initial 25 minutes of harassment in which Joao Félix had a clear chance as soon as he started, Llorente two, and one for Carrasco and Correa. They were all covered by the Russian-Brazilian goalkeeper from Lokomotiv Guilherme.
Later, less fluid and a desperate point, he lost to a team that has already left him without four points, which could have left him with the pass to eighth made and now they force Bayern to draw -which he did comply, winning the Austrian Salzburg- and beat Red Bull to access the next phase. Even more difficult and an unexpected panorama at the beginning of the course.
Without his star forwards, the Uruguayan Luis Suarez, isolated by coronavirus, and the Spanish-Brazilian Diego CostaDue to a “spontaneous deep vein thrombosis in the right leg” known on the morning of the match, Atlético could not take advantage of those first 25 minutes, and then was rushed.
Winning was an obligation tonight for the rojiblanco team -which also did not have the Uruguayan Lucas Torreira for coronavirus, nor the Mexican Hector Herrera, the Croatian Sime Vrsaljko Y Manu Sanchez due to injury, nor with the French Geoffrey kondogbia for not being registered-, and did not comply with a rival who profited from the wait sheltered in his goalkeeper.
And that those of the Argentine Diego Simeone they were applied voraciously. From the beginning they were in a rush, with Joao Félix as conductor, but wrong in the free kick that he had after 3 minutes from Llorente -then I would regret it very much, knowing the subsequent events- and Angel Correa as an agitator.
The Argentine is sweet. His ability to turn and run into space is gold for this Atletico who plays closer to the rival area. From one of those he reached the baseline to center towards Carrasco, but his header took him out with the Rybus head. Then he received a break from Llorente and shot, but found Guilherme.
It would be but the first of many by the Russian-Brazilian goalkeeper, who was already a wall in Moscow and repeated in the first half of the Metropolitan: he took another shot from Llorente after a corner, a 20-meter from Carrasco and then tried it again the Madrilenian with his left foot. Everything was covered by the goal of ‘Loko’, despairing of Atlético, whose attempts after half an hour became imprecise.
Still, the dominance was undeniable. The Moscow team did not pressure their rival, they entrusted themselves to the virtues of their goal and the accumulation of players. With success in the first half, which ended by complying with the plan of not receiving, since at no time did he think of proposing, just two timid counterattacks before the break.
The situation did not improve after the interval, with only Guilherme struggling to take a long shot from Saúl, so Simeone opted to switch to the system of three centrals and long lanes in search of freeing Carrasco and generating more danger. But it was not the fluid Atlético of the first half hour.
The siege returned. Carrasco kicked a foul, the first attempt against the barrier, but in the second he surprised Guilherme who could not block and Koke took advantage of the rejection to score, but he had done it offside, as confirmed later by the video referee. The cancellation a posteriori buried the rojiblancos spirits, and Simeone did not have more gunpowder on the bench than Camello.
But the rojiblanco team was already disheveled and desperate, which even allowed two Russian counterattacks, from the newly incorporated Rybchinskii and Magkeev, who did not hit the mark, and just wished that a final header from Giménez would see the door, but left on the side. The rojiblancos will have to go to the second round the hard way.
Unattainable for everyone Bayern Munich, which will be first yes or yes, the second position still has three suitors: Atlético, with five points and who need four more to avoid depending on any outside marker; the Lokomotiv, with three; and Salzburg, with one. Six remain at stake. And the next three measure the rojiblanco team with the German block.