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Atlético Madrid v Elche Live Commentary, 29/12/2022

2 - 0
João Félix (56)
Álvaro Morata (74)
Estádio Cívitas Metropolitano


That's all for today, goodbye!
The win takes Atletico up to third place for the time being while winless Elche remain at the bottom of the table. Simeone's side will play Real Oveido in the Copa del Rey next before hosting Barcelona in the league. Elche face Cueta in the cup followed by a home game against Celta Vigo in LaLiga.
Elche had opportunities to counter forward but have been very poor in both their build-up play and set-pieces. The key moment in the first period was in additional time as the referee showed a red card to Verdu following a check on the VAR monitor for a last-man foul on Morata, but the scoreline remained goalless. The second half was off to a flying start as Hermoso received two yellow cards in the first eight minutes to level the playing field. Joao Felix then opened the scoring in the 56th minute as he headed home Griezmann’s cross. The Frenchman then got his second assist of the game as Morata’s deflected effort secured a 2-0 win for his side. The action was not over however as Quina received the third red card of the game after receiving a second yellow in the 90th minute.
90' + 2' Referee Guillermo Cuadra has given seven red cards in eight LaLiga games this season, only Alejandro Muniz (eight) has given more.
90' There will be a minimum of four additional minutes.
90' RED CARD! Quina is shown a second yellow card for a needless challenge in the middle of the pitch on Morata. Elche are down to nine men.
89' HUGE SAVE! Oblak makes an outstanding diving save from close range to stop Bigas from scoring!
87' Elche players are not happy as they linesman indicates for a goal kick when they think it should be a corner. The away side are sending more bodies forward but not creating any scoring opportunities.
Domingos Quina
Yellow Card
85' Quina receives a yellow card after a late challenge on Gimenez.
Tete Morente
H. Palacios
83' Morente comes on for Palacios as Elche's fifth and final substitution.
Domingos Quina
Raúl Guti
83' Guti makes way for Quina for the final few minutes of this match.
Pere Milla
83' Fidel replaces Milla in the Elche attack as they look to leave with something from this game.
82' CLOSE! Morata and Kondogbia combine well outside the box before the latter fires a shot from 20 yards out. His effort goes just past the left post.
Álex Collado
Yellow Card
80' Collado's name goes into the referee's book following a reckless challenge.
Pablo Barrios
Atlético Madrid
79' Koke comes on for Barrios, who received a booking a few minutes ago.
A. Griezmann
Atlético Madrid
79' Saul replaces Griezmann in the Atletico midfield.
77' Morata has scored his sixth goal this season, more than any other Atletico player in LaLiga.
Pablo Barrios
Yellow Card
Atlético Madrid
76' Barrios receives a yellow card for a poor challenge in the middle of the pitch.
A. Griezmann
Atlético Madrid
74' Griezmann plays Morata into a wide position on the right side of the box. The forward then takes on two players before his deflected strike loops over Badia and into the goal.
Álvaro Morata
Atlético Madrid
74' GOALLL!! 2-0 ATLETICO!! MORATA!! Morata doubles Atletico’s lead with a deflected finish! He does well to get past Bigas and Clerc before shooting. His shot takes a wicked deflection, looping the ball over Badia in goal!
71' CHANCE! Milla has the chance to equalise for Elche but sends his header wide of the target!
Álex Collado
L. Boyé
69' Boye makes way for Collado who looks to add more energy to the Elche attack.
E. Ponce
69' Ponce comes on for Marti as Elche search for an equaliser.
68' Atletico are doing well to smother the Elche attackers when they try to break forward. The visitors need to get more bodies forward as their attacking players are very isolated.
T. Lemar
João Félix
Atlético Madrid
66' Lemar replaces Joao Felix in the Atletico attack for the final 25 minutes.
64' Joao Felix is down on the pitch after being involved in a heavy challenge. He is carrying on for now but Lemar is warming up on the sidelines.
62' SAVE! Badia makes a good diving save low to his right to stop Felix from scoring his second of the game!
61' Atletico have avoided defeat in their last 21 matches when scoring the opening goal in LaLiga dating back to 6th February 2022 against Barcelona (L2-4).
59' Atletico are gaining a lot of momentum from Joao Felix's goal and are looking for second to give them some breathing room.
Y. Carrasco
Atlético Madrid
57' Reguilon replaces Carrasco as Simeone changes to a more defensive backline.
A. Griezmann
Atlético Madrid
56' Griezmann tried a first-time pass to Joao Felix but it was cut out well. The second attempt was perfect as he chipped the ball onto his team-mate's head, leaving no chance for Badia to make a save.
João Félix
Atlético Madrid
56' GOALLL!! 1-0 ATLETICO!! JOAO FELIX!!! Atletico finally break the deadlock as Joao Felix heads the ball home from point-blank range! Griezmann’s initial pass to his team-mate is cut out but his second attempt is perfect for Joao Felix to finish.
55' Atletico seem to be keeping the same shape but with a back four due to the red card. Elche are playing a 4-4-1 formation.
53' RED CARD! Hermoso receives a second yellow card after a poor sliding challenge on Palacios! It is now 10 against 10.
52' Griezmann tries to lob Badia from the edge of the box but gets too much power on his effort and lifts his shot over the bar.
Yellow Card
Atlético Madrid
50' Hermoso receives a yellow card after he brings Milla down in a dangerous position.
Yellow Card
48' Marti is shown a yellow card for dissent.
48' CHANCE! Barrios plays a great through ball to Joao Felix in the box. He cuts it back to Griezmann but the Frenchman cannot hit the target from 10 yards out!
46' Joao Felix gets the second half underway for Atletico!
Atletico will need to be more patient with their build-up if they want to win this game. They are slow on the ball but quick to rush a shot, usually from outside of the box too. They will need to create better chances for Morata and Joao Felix, which requires Griezmann to get more of the ball in the final third.
The first half was relatively quiet for the most part as both sides struggled to control the game. Atletico dominated possession but only managed one shot on target throughout the half, a tame effort from Joao Felix. Elche had opportunities to counter forward but have been very poor in both their build-up play and set-pieces. The key moment in the first period was in additional time as the referee showed a red card to Verdu following a check on the VAR monitor for a last-man foul on Morata, but the scoreline remained goalless.
45' + 2' Joao Felix takes the resulting free-kick but cannot get his attempt over the Elche wall. Kondogbia fires the rebound over the bar.
Gonzalo Verdú
Red Card
45' + 1' RED CARD! Verdu is shown a red card after he brings Morata down to stop a clear goal-scoring opportunity just outside the box!
45' There will be a minimum of one additional minute.
45' VAR CHECK! The referee has gone to the monitor to look at the challenge on Morata!
44' Atletico players are visibly frustrated with the referee after another challenge on Morata is deemed legal.
43' Kondogbia does well to protect the ball and draw a foul on the halfway line. Elche are slowly retreating toward their own goal to see the half through.
41' Atletico are really struggling with their final ball in this game. They cannot pick the right pass at the right time to break Elche down.
39' Mascarell takes a short corner for Elche. The eventual cross into the box is cleared away by Griezmann at the far post.
37' Joao Felix does a brilliant turn to get away from Verdu and create space to try and test Badia. He takes his time but drags with shot wide of the right post.
36' Griezmann has scored four goals in three appearances at home against Elche in LaLiga, a brace with Real Sociedad in January 2014 and another with his current club in April 2015.
34' Llorente plays Morata into a good position on the edge of the box. The forward shoots quickly with his left foot but completely misses the target.
32' Marti tries to take Hermoso on in a one-on-one situation but the defender does well to hold his ground and regain possession for his side.
30' Mascarell tries to catch the Atletico defenders off-guard with a quick free-kick, but the hosts react quickly to stop the attack.
28' CHANCE! Carrasco sprints to byline before cutting the ball back to Morata in the six-yard box. The striker tries to flick the ball in at the near post but only finds the side netting.
27' Griezmann is at the heart of every Atletico attack but seems to be moving the ball too quickly for his team-mates at the moment.
25' Griezmann tries to find Carrasco with a lofted pass in behind the defence but Palacios does well to read the pass and intercept the ball.
23' Morata, Joao Felix and Griezmann try to create a quick move through the Elche backline but Joao Felix misreads Morata's movement and sends his pass straight to Badia.
21' Atletico have had 63.5 per cent of possession but have the same number of final third entries as their counterparts (nine). They are moving the ball very slowly when controlling the ball.
19' Morata appeals for a penalty after he battles with Verdu for a high and looping ball. The referee is not interested and waves play on.
17' Atletico are largely in control of the game but seem to be more dangerous on the counter compared to when they are trying to pass through the Elche defence.
15' Badia comes off his line to punch Griezmann's initial cross away. The ball lands at the feet to the Frenchman again and he passes to Joao Felix. The forward tries to catch the goalkeeper off his line but fails to get the elevation needed on his effort.
13' Atletico break forward after Llorente capitalises on a poor pass from Milla. He drills the ball into the feet of Morata, who is unable to control it on the edge of the box.
11' Elche win their first corner of the game but they cannot create a chance from it as Morata clears the ball away at the near post.
9' Milla tries his luck from range but skies his effort well over Oblak's goal.
7' Atletico are allowing Elche to move the ball around their own defence but are doing well to force them into a long ball forward rather than being patient.
5' There is a great atmosphere inside the Metropolitano Stadium as the Atletico fans try to help their side get a good start in this game.
3' Morata wins an early corner for Atletico after a good run down the left wing. Griezmann takes the corner but it leads to nothing.
1' Boye gets the game underway for Elche!
The players are making their way out of the tunnel and onto the pitch! A minutes silence will be held before kick-off to honour the late Pele.
Atletico have won their last 10 games against Elche in LaLiga, their third-longest winning run against an opponent in the top-flight (13 v Getafe in November 2013-December 2020 and 12 v Sporting de Gijon in February 1994-January 2010).
Simeone makes three changes from his side's win in the Copa del Rey as Griezmann, Kondogbia and Joao Felix replace Lemar, Koke and Witsel, who is out with an illness. Barrios makes his first league start for the club. Machin makes two changes to his starting 11 as Gonzalez and Guti come in for Josan and Gumbau.
SUBS: Axel Werner, Juan Navarro, Enzo Roco, Tete Morente, Domingos Quina, Alex Collado, Fidel, Ezequiel Ponce, Carles Marco, Alejandro Alfaro, Manuel Cocca.
Elche (3-4-3): Edgar Badia; Diego Gonzalez, Gonzalo Verdu, Pedro Bigas; Helibelton Palacios, Omar Mascarell, Raul Guti, Carlos Clerc; Roger Marti, Lucas Boye, Pere Milla.
SUBS: Ivo Grbic, Antonio Gomis, Sergio Reguilon, Koke, Angel Correa, Thomas Lemar, Saul Niguez, Felipe, Reinildo, Carlos Martin, Sergio Diez, Aitor Gismera.
Atletico Madrid (5-3-2): Jan Oblak; Marcos Llorente, Stefan Savic, Jose Gimenez, Mario Hermoso, Yannick Carrasco; Antoine Griezmann, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Pablo Barrios; Joao Felix, Alvaro Morata.
Elche come into this game as the only team in the league who are yet to win a game this season. They have drawn four of their 14 league games so far, conceding 31 goals in the process. Pablo Machin’s team have however won their last two competitive games, beating both Alcora and Guadalajara 3-0 in the cup.
Atletico are currently in sixth place in the league table and are winless in their last four league matches. They picked up some momentum last week after beating Arenteiro 3-1 in the Copa del Rey. Diego Simeone’s side could move up to third in the standings with a win today.
Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the LaLiga fixture between Atletico Madrid and Elche.