Atletico vs Villarreal: ‘Toothless’ Atletico at 7th place in table

Diego Simeone in the match, Atletico Madrid vs Vilarreal
Diego Simeone in the match, Atletico Madrid vs Vilarreal

With a draw against Villarreal, Atletico Madrid is at seventh place in the league table. Diego Simeone, the Atletico manager, was looking for a comeback after 1-0 defeat to Barcelona. But a wasteful showing meant it was unsuccessful. A rip-roaring opening 45 minutes produced chances aplenty at either end, but the poor finishing and post hinder Atletico’s chances.

After the break, there was initially a similar pattern to the contest before Atletico upped the ante towards the end, but a woeful miss from Renan Lodi summed up its performance. A thrilling first half began with three opportunities inside the first 15 minutes.

Atletico Defence and Oblak

Oblak acrobatically stopped Samuel Chukwueze’s long-range effort and then parried away Gerard Moreno’s header, before Joao Felix’s 30-yard strike hit the right-hand post.

But Atletico again had to rely on Oblak when he tipped Manu Trigueros’ brilliant dipping volley on to the roof of the net just after the half-hour. Proceedings resumed at a similarly blistering pace, and Villarreal should have taken the lead – Chukwueze inexplicably missing the target after being fed into the box by Trigueros. Jan Oblak was in inspired form did not allow further embarrassment to the team.

Lodi somehow eclipsed Chukwueze’s haplessness, however, shooting over from close range following Joao Felix’s cross, and that proved to be Atletico’s final clear-cut chance.

Villarreal playmaker Trigueros enjoyed a fantastic display. While playing at the front, the midfielder was the host’s creator-in-chief and was excellent, laying on a match-high five chances.

Atletico Madrid Attack

Although Villarreal boasts one of La Liga’s best attacks, it is by no means watertight at the back. Alvaro Morata would have fancied his chances of causing trouble. Still, he was mostly ineffective and was fortunate to escape a second yellow card for a nasty foul on Raul Albiol.

Atletico drifting away with each match

Joao Felix wasted an even better opportunity 10 minutes later, firing over when played through on goal by Koke. After Atletico’s 1-0 defeat to Barcelona, Diego Simeone claimed he was not thinking about Blaugrana or Real Madrid. Instead, he highlighted the increasing gap between itself and Sevilla. Atletico could end the weekend eight points adrift of Julen Lopetegui’s men, while Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao will fancy its chances of moving four points ahead of the capital club.

Atletico vs Villarreal: 'Toothless' Atletico at 7th place in table European Leagues La Liga
Head to Head: Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal