Atletico Madrid 2-2 Sevilla: Jose Antonio Reyes Salvages Point Against Los Nervionenses
Negredo and Rakitic put the visitors ahead before Koke and Reyes for Atleti twice levelled in an engrossing match sharing a bittersweet draw
Atletico Madrid had to come from behind twice to salvage a 2-2 draw against Sevilla. Alvaro Negredo's stunner was cancelled out by Koke, before Ivan Rakitic restored the visitors' lead only for Jose Antonio Reyes to equalise 13 minutes from time.
A cautious opening to the game was abruptly ended in the 3rd minute when Reyes warmed the hands of Sevilla ‘keeper Javi Vargas with a stinging shot. Sevilla sat deep while Atleti conducted the early rhythm of the game, Koke and Raul Garcia orchestrating the home side’s dominance. A period of pressure ended in Vargas getting a decisive hand to a rasping drive from Garcia as Los Colchoneros relentlessly kept searching for the first goal.
Seville were restricted to sporadic and largely unproductive counter-attacks as Kun Aguero and Diego Forlan frequently threatened to break the deadlock. A frustrated Luis Fabiano sent a curling effort whistling past De Gea’s post as Atletico eased the pressure they were applying to a resilient Sevilla defence.
For all the superiority shown by Atleti, it was Sevilla who would take the lead going in at half-time. A chest down from Diego Perotti in the 41st minute allowed Negredo to sweetly lash into the far bottom corner past David De Gea to give the visitors and the few travelling fans something to cheer about.
Aguero nearly replied before half-time as the home team tried to respond immediately and put an end to their previous profligacy. Atletico could feel hard done by because of their near total command of the first half which went unrewarded but Sevilla showed their prowess in front of goal despite producing few chances.
Some stern words at half-time displayed their effectiveness as Koke equalised less than two minutes after the restart. He peeled away from his marker to delicately head past the stubborn Vargas as Forlan whipped in a delightful cross. The 50,000 in the Vicente Calderon stadium were finally in full voice as they now expected to push on and win.
An intelligent through ball by Reyes nearly let Forlan in to poach a second when at the other end minutes later, De Gea saved a goal bound header from the powerful Fabiano. The game was growing into a real end-to-end battle when Aguero and Koke saw efforts go without goals.
However, following the pattern of the first half, Rakitic put Sevilla ahead once more. This time Jesus Navas was provider as his cross was met by the midfielder and he steered home to reclaim the lead for his side. After an extremely positive spell from Atletico, it was Sevilla who would prove to be more efficient in front of goal.
This only urged Los Colchoneros on even more and Reyes was handsomely rewarded for his influential and adventurous play throughout the game. Latching onto a clipped ball from Aguero over the top, the winger rolled the ball into the far corner past Vargas of the net to level matters once more in the 75th minute.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes, Aguero was at the forefront of every Atleti attack trying to score a priceless winner coming close on two occasions as Vargas was determined to keep the Argentine at bay. Attacking so wholeheartedly, Negrado almost snatched it at the death for Sevilla but fired across the face of goal instead.
The energy-sapping game finished 2-2 but regrets and positives will no doubt be found by both coaches. Both teams contributed to a fascinating game and a late winner would've been to cruel for such a pair of worthy competitors.
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