Atletico Madrid began their new season with a tough win over Celta Vigo, with Angel Correa coming up with the goals.
Atletico Madrid were the favourites going into the tie against Celta Vigo but had to do it the hard way. Two goals from Angel Correa either side of an Iago Aspas penalty secured all three points, although both teams saw red cards right near the end of the game.
Celta skipper Hugo Mallo caught Suarez late in the second half extra time, resulting in a mass melee. While Mallo got sent off, another red card was shown to Atletico’s Miguel Hermoso for his involvement in the brawl. Irrespective of that period, Diego Simeone will leave the pitch as the happier manager with all three points in the bag.
The game began in cagey fashion, as both sides found clear cut chances hard to come by. Celta had a few tries early on, but couldn’t find a way through, as things got a little feisty with early challenges flying in from both sets of players. Finally, the first shot on target of the game resulted in a goal around the 24th minute, with Angel Correa smashing the ball into the right corner from the edge of the penalty area.
Celta looked dangerous on the counter at times, but Atletico’s defence stood their ground to prevent any opportunities for their opponents. The second half began in a similar rough manner, and it was Celta who were awarded a penalty kick near the 58th-minute mark after much deliberation from the VAR team.
Iago Aspas converted the spot-kick to equalise, but Angel Correa, on the 65th-minute mark, put Atletico in front again with a drilling shot into the far corner. Barring the late fracas, Atletico limped over the finish line and bagged all three points to begin their quest to retain the title with a tough win.
Here’s how Atletico Madrid players fared in their win away to Celta Vigo.
Jan Oblak – 6/10
Not at his best, but still a stable performance from the Slovenian. His failure to contain the corner helped factors leading to the penalty. Iago Aspas sent his spot-kick past Oblak with ease and equalised for Celta Vigo.
Jose Gimenez – 8/10
A rock at the back for Atletico, Gimenez was at the top of his defensive game showing good authority while also being adventurous. His 92% passing rate and two dribbles made him a healthy option at the back, in what was an assured display.
Stefan Savic – 7/10
Savic dealt with everything that got thrown at him. He was the best in the air, winning duels and making five clearances from a defensive perspective. Brilliant start to a season, and Atletico will need him fit if they wish to retain their domestic title.
Mario Hermoso – 5/10
Unlike his defensive partners, Hermoso struggled to get to grips during the contest. Constantly beat by Celta attackers for duels, the Atletico defender found life hard at the back. Made amends by assisting Angel Correa for his goal but was shown a red card very late in the game, meaning he would miss the next three games for the club.
Marcos Llorente – 5/10
Llorente’s experience playing right-back last season would have convinced Diego Simeone to start him in that position against Celta. While defensively sound, it’s difficult to see him play in that position as he is better further up the pitch. Conceded the penalty that allowed Celta to equalise.
Koke – 5/10
Koke did not always seem to exude his usual composure, although he battled hard in midfield. Kept things ticking throughout his time on the pitch and was later replaced by Trippier when Atletico needed more defensive protection.
Geoffrey Kondogbia – 8.5/10
The Frenchman put in a colossal display in the middle of the park, repaying the faith shown by the manager. Apart from resisting Celta’s press, he made nine-ball recoveries in the first half alone. He also had 87% passing accuracy and completed six dribbles. He controlled the tempo of Atletico’s game with quick and accurate passes.
Thomas Lemar – 6.5/10
Lemar came through with improved performance and led the counterattack that produced their first goal. He got his name on the assist sheet for the opening strike, and his overall game in the 3-5-2 formation compels Simeone to pick him in the side.
Saul Niguez – 7/10
We expected him on the bench for new signing Rodrigo De Paul, but Saul was in the lineup, although not in midfield. He started in an unfamiliar left wing-back role where he performed professionally and got an assist for the winning goal.
Angel Correa – 8.5/10
Clinical in front of goal, Correa picked where he left off last season. His two goals gave Atletico all three points in this tricky game, where he took only three shots and scored from both his strikes on target.
Yannick Carrasco – 5/10
As Simeone tinkered with the lineup, Carrasco played out of position. Unlike the others who played elsewhere, the Belgian struggled but somehow remained on the pitch until very late in the game, although before leaving, missed a glorious opportunity to score.
Luis Suarez – 5/10
Got minutes under his belt after coming off the bench. Suarez arrived late after his role in the Copa America. He got involved in some decent play before being at the heart of the late brawl that saw one player from each side getting sent off.
Rodrigo De Paul – 5.5/10
De Paul started the game from the bench but came on to play the final third of the contest. He quietly glided from one position to another without making an actual impact as Atletico saw off the game. Will be happy with his first minutes in La Liga.
Kieran Trippier – 5/10
Sent in to shore up the defence in place of Koke and did a decent job. He, too, was a late arrival and will be happy to get some minutes under his belt.
Renan Lodi – 4/10
Like Trippier, Lodi was sent late to add defensive steel to the side as Atletico protected their lead.
Sime Vrsaljko – N/A
Too little time to get a rating.