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Celta de Vigo
Deportivo La Coruña
8 March 2014
• Estadio de Balaídos, Vigo
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
• Attendance: 24539
Celta de Vigo
David Villa 62', 64'
Celta were excellent in the first half but they couldn't keep that level of performance up after the break, and in the end the visitors full deserved their win. It is now up to Real Madrid to reply in kind on Sunday. For now though, I've been Tom Maston, and thanks for joining me.
The final whistle blows, and due to their head to head record, Atletico are back to the top of La Liga. Villa's quickfire brace was enough to give Simeone's side victory, and after a rough run of results, this is a huge victory for Los Rojiblancos.
90' + 1'
Into two minutes of stoppage time, and after Adrian finds space on the right, the ball is worked across to Rodriguez, but his shot is straight at Yoel.
Atletico have certainly sat back since taking the lead, and with time now running down they can afford to allow Celta to keep possession in midfield. Simeone's side are heading back to the summit of La Liga.
Madinda has looked bright since coming on, and he almost creates a chance for the hosts as he manages to drill a low cross in from the right, Unfortunately for him there is no one to get on the end of it and Juanfran can clear at the back post.
Adrian is involved straight away as Sosa plays in the striker down the right-hand side, but the substitute is flagged offside as he looks to square to the waiting players in the middle.
A third and final change for Atleti, and there will be no hat-trick for Villa tonight. He has come to life in the second half, and he can now take his leave after a job well done. Adrian replaces him up front.
Celta certainly haven't given this up, with Nolito and Mallo both getting balls into the box, but with no one to get on the end of them, Courtois can breathe easy.
Almost an opportunity for Villa as he looks to shrug off Fontas in search of a ball over the top, but just as he looks to be reaching the pass, Yoel is off his line to collect.
Celta are still well on top in terms of possession across the match, but they have really struggled to get into this game in the second half. Atletico have pressed hard and full deserve their lead, despite not always being on the ball.
Madinda is now on for the hosts, replacing Krohn-Delhi, and the visitors look to get back into this one as Lopez fires straight at Courtois from 25 yards.
Lévy Clément Madinda
A second change made by Simeone as Diego, who has grown in influence in this match, replaced by Rodriguez.
Villa is searching for a hat-trick, and he almost gets an opportunity as Filipe whips in a cross from the left, and Yoel does well to come off his line and punch clear.
Atletico certainly look much more comfortable now after Villa's double, with the visitors not seeming quite as frantic with their attacks. They are now keeping the ball well and sapping the energy from the hosts.
Santiago Mina Lorenzo
Celta make a change in reaction to those two goals, with Charles replaced by teenage striker Mina.
Celta are going to have to chase this match now, and they look to come forward through Charles. The striker's run is ended by Miranda, with the defender picking up a booking for the foul.
GOAL!!! Incredible scenes in Vigo as Villa doubles his and his team's tally in a matter of seconds. The hosts are cut open again as Sosa gets down the right before crossing for the striker, and he makes no mistake with his finish from the edge of the area. Surely now Atleti will head to the top of La Liga tonight.
GOAL!!! He was quiet in the first half, but when Atletico needed him, Villa has stepped up. The goal is handed to him on a plate as Jonny's pass to Fontas is well short, and the striker is able to steal in and slide the ball past Yoel. The visitors have deserved that since the break.
Changes for either side as Orellana is replaced by Fernandez for the hosts while Sosa is on in Koke's place for Atletico.
GOOD SAVE! Atletico have been slowly going through the gears in this second half, and after Villa sees a shot blocked by Cabral, Yoel has to be on his toes to parry Filipe's effort at his near post. Celta struggling at present to stay with the visitors.
Diego does well in defence, and after he finds Villa, Atletico can finally break at pace. The striker finds Garcia around 25 yards from goal, but his effort is well wide of Yoel's right-hand post.
Filipe concedes a free-kick on the right, but after Celta play it short to Krohn-Delhi, Lopez cannot pick anyone out with his volley into the box.
Celta have certainly not had quite the monopoly of possession that they had for long periods in the first half, with the visitors certainly pressing high up the pitch and playing much of their football in the opposition's half. No real sights of goal though.
Yoel is almost caught out after Garcia's long range shot is deflected off the back of Cabral, and the goalkeeper just about holds on despite the effort being straight at him.
Villa looks to get himself involved on the edge of the area, but Celta are again working well as a defensive unit and they are able to clear. Villa only had six touches in the first half, so he will be hoping to provide more after the break.
Diego wins a free-kick in a dangerous position for Atletico, but after Koke delivers into the box, the flag goes up against Garcia as he heads over the top. The Celta offside trap has worked well thus far.
Atletico kick-off and we are back underway in this evening's La Liga encounter...
The players are making their way back onto the field in Vigo and we are almost ready to get back underway. Can either side break the deadlock? We will find out in the next 45 minutes.
Villa especially has struggled, with Garcia and Koke going closest for Simeone's side, and it is clear that Costa, as well as Turan, is a big miss. I'll be back in ten minutes to see whether Atleti can find the net without their top scorer in their side.
No stoppage time at the end of the first half and the two sides will head into the break goalless and with plenty to think about. Atletico have struggled to breakthrough the Celta defence, with the hosts playing some nice football as they look to push forward.
Koke looks to create something for the hosts, but after running at the heart of the Celta defence, Garcia cannot find the midfielder as he looks to trade passes with his the playmaker.
Finally an opportunity for Charles as Mallo plays him in behind the defence. Courtois is quick off his line again though and can block the striker's close range effort at his near post.
Just five minutes until half-time now, with neither side looking like they are going to push forward and risk conceding before the break. Defences have certainly been on top thus far.
Krohn-Dehli looks to break the deadlock with a speculative effort from 25 yards, but his shot has neither the power or direction to trouble Courtois as it dribbles wide of the post.
Celta are defending manfully at present, with Cabral especially getting the better of lone striker Villa. The visitors need the likes of Diego to get up and support the Spain forward.
After being played at a ferocious pace for much of the first half, the match is going through something of a lull, with Atletico looking to keep some possession and play patient football. It may not be the worst tactic from Simeone and his team.
The big pitch in Vigo is allowing plenty of space for players if the ball can be passed quickly, though Atletico are not really making the most of it. Juanfran is found in acres of space on the right, but he cannot find Villa with his ball looking for the striker.
Yellow CardMario Suárez
PENALTY? NO! Big appeals from Celta as Mallo hits a vicious volley that is heading goalwards. Alderweireld blocks, with the home players believing he used his hand, but the referee waves away the protests. He then moves to book Suarez for an off the ball foul.
A slight worry for Atletico as Garcia stays down after a tough challenge from Lopez. The midfielder is holding his ankle but is able to get back to his feet without requiring treatment.
Mallo has been excellent in the first half, and after he switches the play with a diagonal ball, Nolito creates a chance for Krohn-Dehli that the Dane fluffs. The ball does, however, make its way back to Mallo, but his shot is wide of the mark from 25 yards.
GREAT SAVE! Atletico are finally beginning to threaten, and Yoel has to be alert to get down to his right to push away Koke's effort as he burst into the box. Garcia is waiting at the back post for the rebound, but Mallo does well to clear.
WHAT A GOAL THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN! Raul Garcia tries his luck from all of 50 yards out by the touchline, and though it looks an audacious effort, he has seen Yoel off his line, and the ball bounces just over the bar. A superb effort by the midfielder.
Diego has been quiet on his return to the Atletico side, and he sees a rare opportunity for the visitors go to waste as he is pulled up for handball after latching onto Koke's ball inside the box. Little for Simeone to smile about as yet.
Celta again play some good passing football as the ball comes forward down the left, and Lopez tries his luck from 20 yards with a fierce effort. His shot flies wide of Courtois' left-hand post, though the goalkeeper did seem worried for a moment.
Charles has moved across to Alderweireld's side, but his first action is to pick up a booking as he puts an arm across the defender's neck as he challenges for a header. No complaints from the Brazilian striker.
Little goalmouth action for either side thus far, with Oubina's effort the only real shot in anger. Without Costa, Atletico look a little toothless going forward early on in this one.
Miranda has certainly looked in bullish mood at the back for Atletico, with Charles struggling to make an impact against his fellow countrymen. The striker may have to move his concentration onto Alderweireld if he is to have any joy.
A break forward from Jonny leads to Celta gaining some possession around the Atletico area, but after playing the ball between each other without reward, Mallo surrenders possession with a loose pass. Still, some good signs for the home side.
The ball is whipped across the box but Cabral is unchallenged and is able to clear. The ball eventually finds its way to Raul Garcia, but the play is pulled up for offside well before he can volley into the net.
Opportunity for Atletico to get the ball into the box as Juanfran is obstructed by Nolito and the linesman awards a free-kick on the right-hand side.
An early booking here for Gabi, though the Atletico captain doesn't really know why. It seems the referee felt he showed dissent after being challenged by Jonny.
Celta again threaten as Mallo finds Oubina from a throw-in, and the midfielder strikes an effort first time from the edge of the area. His shot is always arrowing wide though and Courtois can watch it behind for a goal kick.
Atletico fall asleep at the back as Koke's corner is cleared, and Nolito is set free down the right hand channel. The forward is in the clear, but Courtois is off his line quickly to push the ball out for a throw. Good work by the goalkeeper as he managed to win the ball and stay inside his area.
Atletico have begun by camping in the Celta half, with Juanfran already threatening down the right-hand side. He and Filipe will be crucial as the visitors look to stretch the play down the wings.
Celta kick-off and we are underway in Vigo...
The players have made their way out onto the field and we are all but ready for kick-off. First, though, the players will serve a minute's silence...
There is a good crowd inside Estadio de Balaidos with the players ready to make their way out onto the field and there is sure to be a good atmosphere given Atletico's form this season. Simeone's side have lost their last two away trips in the league, and I'm sure the home fans will try to make it imposing for them.
There are just under ten minutes until kick-off in Vigo, and I'm sure the travelling Atletico fans will be hoping Villa can lead the line effectively with Costa not in the matchday squad. The former Barcelona striker has blown hot and cold this season, but the visitors will need him to on form in front of goal should chances inevitably come his way.
Simeone is forced into three changes from his side that drew 2-2 with Real Madrid, with top goalscorer Diego Costa and playmaker Arda Turan both out. Diego Godin is also missing, meaning Toby Alderweireld starts in the heart of the defence. He is joined by the returning Diego and David Villa in the starting line-up.
Atletico Madrid: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Alderweireld, Filipe; Suarez, Gabi; Garcia, Koke, Diego; Villa
Celta Vigo: Yoel; Mallo, Fontas, Cabral, Jonny; Oubina, Krohn-Dehli, Lopez, Orellana; Nolito, Charles
Before we go any further, the team line-ups for tonight's fixture have been named...
Celta, meanwhile, sit 11th in the Primera Division table, though depspite seemingly sitting comfortbably in midtable, they are just four points clear of the relegation zone and still very much embroiled in the battle for survival. Luis Enrique's side will surely be up for tonight's fixture, and a win would see them create some breathing space between them and the bottom three.
Cristiano Ronaldo's late equaliser last week in the Madrid derby cost Atleti the chance of closing the gap to their city rivals, and with competing in Europe as well as domestically beginning to catch up with a thin squad, Simeone's men are facing their biggest test of the season so far. But with some winnable fixtures on the horizon, beginning with tonight's trip to Vigo, their title bid could yet gain a much needed shot in the arm in the coming weeks.
For those that have missed today's earlier results from Spain, Barcelona were defeated at Valladolid, meaning Atletico can go ahead of the Catalan side with a win this evening. A remarkably heavy victory could even see them usurp Real Madrid at the top of the table ahead of their fixture with Levante, though after just one league win in four, just three points will do for Simeone.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Atletico Madrid's trip to Celta Vigo in La Liga. Diego Simeone's side have struggled of late, but with Barcelona defeated earlier today, Atleti have the chance to move up to at least second in the table with a win this evening. I'm Tom Maston and I'll be guiding you through all the action from Estadio de Balaidos.
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