Villarreal – Atlético Madrid: Simeone’s Second Half Scheming Stuns Villarreal (2-2)
Though Ángel Correa opened the scoring early with a spectacular finish from midfield, the opening hour of the match all went in favor of Villarreal. It was when Diego Simeone brought on his substitutes in the sixty-third minute that his team’s mentality changed, and they took the game to their opponents rather than sitting back and trying to capitalize on Villarreal’s mistakes. Though Atlético Madrid could not find a winner to complete the comeback, they managed to take a point off of their opponents, something that looked nearly impossible after Villarreal scored their go-ahead goal.
Tactical analysis and match report by Charlie Tuley.
Villarreal came into the match against Atlético Madrid in top form, having won their previous four matches in LaLiga. While this would not have phased last season’s Villarreal, the club had only won three matches from their opening fifteen in the league. Villarreal had climbed the LaLiga table impressively throughout their short winning streak, and they had the chance to jump into seventh place with a win over Atlético Madrid, which would put them in contention for European football next season.
Unai Emery had a very thin squad for their clash against last season’s champions, as they were without Francis Coquelin, Rubén Peña, Paco Alcácer, and Arnaut Danjuma due to injuries. They also were missing Samu Chuckwueze, Serge Aurier, Boulaye Dia, and Aïssa Mandi due to the African Cup of Nations tournament. Geronimo Rulli started in goal for Villarreal, with Juan Foyth, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, and Pervis Estupiñán ahead of him. Villarreal’s midfield was made up of Étienne Capoue, Dani Parejo, and Manu Trigueros, flanked by Moi . . .