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Atlético Madrid v Espanyol Live Commentary, 06/11/2022

FT
1 - 1
ATM
ESP
João Félix (78)
Darder (62)
Estádio Cívitas Metropolitano

Commentary

That's all from Madrid today, so thank you for joining us and goodbye!
Atletico have just two games remaining before the World Cup intervenes - a trip to Mallorca, then a potential banana-skin tie in the Copa del Rey. Espanyol, meanwhile, next host Villarreal on Wednesday; aiming to earn just their third league win of the season.
To their immense frustration, ailing Atletico Madrid fail to take advantage of having an extra man for more than an hour, and their winless run continues. Showing great character and discipline, their 10-man visitors hold out for yet another draw - their third on the spin and sixth of the season - and only Joao Felix's arrival from the bench denied them all three points at the mutinous Metropolitano. Espanyol move clear of the bottom three, while Atleti are still well adrift of La Liga's top two.
90' + 8' FULL-TIME: ATLETICO MADRID 1-1 ESPANYOL
90' + 8' JUST WIDE! Atleti's final chance of a winner goes begging: Molina turns a low shot wide of the right-hand post!
90' + 7' CLOSE! After receiving the ball from Correa, Gimenez again goes close, as he sees a 15-yard shot spin just wide of the right-hand post! Espanyol escape!
O. El Hilali
Yellow Card
Espanyol
90' + 6' Only recently on as a substitute, Omar is booked by the referee.
90' + 4' SAVE! Calero is finally helped off, to a chorus of whistles from the home fans. Then, within seconds of the re-start, Joao Felix again bursts down the left and is only denied by Lecomte's low smothering save at the near post! Another great stop! That could secure a precious point for his team.
90' + 2' Having been winded by a collision in midfield, Calero goes down and will need medical attention. That will frustrate Atleti, as they seek a late winner in five minutes of stoppage time initially signalled by the officials.
90' Lecomte has to be alert to field an overhit ball back from Vinicius, who attempts to steer Molina's right-wing cross to safety with his head. That was almost a calamitous conclusion to the game for Espanyol!
Pol Lozano
Aleix Vidal
Espanyol
88' Just after being booked, Vidal is replaced by Lozano.
O. El Hilali
Óscar Gil
Espanyol
88' Martinez attempts to see the game out with another pair of changes. First, Gil makes way for Omar.
João Félix
Yellow Card
Atlético Madrid
87' A clumsy challenge from behind sees the over-eager Joao Felix receive a yellow card. He will miss Atletico's next game as a result.
Aleix Vidal
Yellow Card
Espanyol
85' For pointlessly hacking down Molina, deep inside the Atletico half, a tired and out-of-position Vidal is booked.
J. Giménez
Yellow Card
Atlético Madrid
82' A late challenge results in Gimenez receiving a yellow card from the referee.
82' SHARP STOP! Meeting a ball across from the right by Llorente, Joao Felix rises well at the far post to plant a firm header from the centre of the box toward goal. He sees it saved in the top-left corner, though, by a firm hand from goalkeeper Lecomte!
80' Following Joao Felix's third league goal of the campaign, Atletico Madrid have now scored six times via substitutes in La Liga this season - only Barcelona (seven) have managed more.
T. Lemar
Assist
Atlético Madrid
78' Lemar sets up fellow sub Joao Felix for the equaliser, as he plays the ball through on the left for his team-mate.
João Félix
Goal
Atlético Madrid
78' ATLETI ARE LEVEL! An absolute rocket from Joao Felix flashes past Lecomte at his near post, after the Portuguese forward drives into the box from the left-hand side; finishing off an Atletico counter with a flourish! Out of nothing, really, the hosts are back level: 1-1 at the Metropolitano!
76' Gomez goes down inside his own area, and Espanyol kick the ball out of play, which angers the Atleti fans and players alike. The game is temporarily halted, and that helps the clock tick down from the visitors' point of view.
B. Lecomte
Yellow Card
Espanyol
74' Due to an obvious attempt at time-wasting from a goal-kick, Lecomte is shown a yellow card.
Matheus Cunha
Álvaro Morata
Atlético Madrid
73' Morata also comes off, as the Atleti strikeforce is entirely remodelled; Cunha comes on for the final 20 minutes or so.
T. Lemar
A. Griezmann
Atlético Madrid
73' A curious move from Simeone sees Griezmann substituted and his fellow Frenchman Lemar making a return from injury.
70' Rather unconvicingly, Lecomte claims the ball low down in his six-yard box at the second attempt, after Molina zips it across from the right for Morata, who can't quite reach it in time.
68' Atleti are applying constant pressure now, with Llorente's blocked shot eventually breaking to Griezmann, who slices an effort from 20 yards wide of the right-hand post.
A. Witsel
G. Kondogbia
Atlético Madrid
66' Kondogbia is also replaced, as Witsel comes on in midfield.
João Félix
Y. Carrasco
Atlético Madrid
65' Simeone is going for broke now, as he removes Carrasco and calls upon Joao Felix to save the day.
65' MISS! An awful miss at the far post, following a cross from far out on the opposite flank, sees Gimenez turn the ball wide of the target with his head when unmarked! What a chance to equalise!
Joselu
Assist
Espanyol
62' Joselu showed great awareness to steer his header straight back across the face of Atleti's goal and into the path of Darder, who forced home the opening goal.
Darder
Goal
Espanyol
62' ESPANYOL LEAD! The Metropolitano is stunned, as Darder gives the 10-man visitors a one-goal advantage! A well-guided header back across goal by Joselu sets up the midfielder at the back post, and a smart volleyed finish leaves Oblak with no chance! A real shock is on the cards here, as Espanyol are 1-0 ahead!
60' An inswinging cross from a left-sided free-kick picks out Gomez's run to the back post, but under severe pressure from two Atleti defenders, he puts his header just wide!
G. Kondogbia
Yellow Card
Atlético Madrid
59' As well as conceding a free-kick in a good position for Espanyol to cross, Kondogbia receives a booking following a reckless foul.
57' SAVE! At close range, Lecomte makes an important stop at his near post, to keep out a Correa shot towards the bottom corner! Then, the subsequent corner is worked into the six-yard box by a clever Correa move, and following a real scramble for the ball, Espanyol somehow manage to clear their lines!
Simo
Brian Oliván
Espanyol
56' The second of Martinez's double change sees Olivan making way for 17-year-old Simo.
Javi Puado
M. Braithwaite
Espanyol
56' Having been forced into a deeper role due to Cabrera's dismissal, Braithwaite has struggled and was recently booked. He therefore comes off for Puado.
54' Following a centrally-placed free-kick into the box, Gimenez rises highest to meet the ball, but his header loops harmlessly over Lecomte's crossbar.
M. Braithwaite
Yellow Card
Espanyol
53' Caught out in midfield, Braithwaite is booked for hauling back Kondogbia.
52' After Carrasco manages to feed the ball to Morata from a tight spot midway through the Espanyol half, Morata has an ambitious long-range shot charged down at close range.
50' Olivan wastes a good crossing opportunity from the left flank, after Espanyol win a free-kick midway through Atleti's half, and his ball to the far post is nowhere near his team-mates.
48' A neat turn and flick by half-time substitute Correa almost plays through Llorente on the edge of the box, but Gomez lunges in and makes a crucial block.
Á. Correa
R. De Paul
Atlético Madrid
46' Simeone has opted to switch things up at the interval, as he attempts to break down 10-man opposition: De Paul makes way for his compatriot Correa.
46' Atleti kick off, and we are back under way at the Metropolitano!
Perhaps the scoreline after 45 minutes should not be a surprise, as Atletico have now stopped the opposition from scoring a first-half goal in 11 of their 13 La Liga games this term - the Primera Division's best record. Meanwhile, Espanyol have failed to score a first-half goal nine times in their 13 matches. Can either side break the stalemate in the second half, though?
Despite having an extra man for the final 20 minutes of a disjointed first half, Atletico have struggled to put a coherent spell of pressure on the Espanyol goal, with their efforts foundering in the final third. Cabrera's dismissal drove the visitors even deeper after they'd already made a cautious start, but there have been few clear-cut chances since - perhaps Llorente's being the best opportunity so far. The Atleti fans are audibly annoyed with their misfiring team, and Simeone may have to make changes in either personnel or formation to help them break through after the interval.
45' + 4' HALF-TIME: ATLETICO MADRID 0-0 ESPANYOL
45' + 3' Over the last 15 minutes, 48 per cent of the action has taken place inside Espanyol's defensive third, and Atletico Madrid have had 80 per cent possession during that spell.
45' + 1' Finding a sliver of space in the area, Llorente has a downward header blocked at close range, and Atletico earn another corner.
44' Atleti's pressure on the Espanyol area is incessant now, but they still look disjointed in the final third. Now, Kondogbia and Morata are not on the same wavelength, and another move breaks down.
42' Meeting a raking high ball from the right flank, Carrasco flashes a volleyed effort across the six-yard box and just a yard wide of the far post. If the nearby Morata had gambled to make a run there, he'd surely have scored.
41' A coming-together between Kondogbia and Joselu sees both men tumble to the turf, and the game is brought to a temporary halt while they recover. That kills a few more seconds for under-pressure Espanyol.
39' Vidal makes an emergency block on the edge of his own six-yard box, after Carrasco cuts the ball back from the left byline to Molina, whose goalbound effort is repelled at close range.
37' It's all Atleti's ball now, as Espanyol drop ever deeper in hope of keeping the game goalless until half-time.
Sergi Gómez
K. Bare
Espanyol
35' Espanyol have to make a change to respond to going down to 10 men, so Bare makes way for centre-back Sergi Gomez.
34' OVER! Reinildo drives a ball back into the box from near the left byline, and Llorente's run into the area meets it. However, he can only turn it over the crossbar from near the penalty spot!
Brian Oliván
Yellow Card
Espanyol
34' For bringing down Morata out on the right wing, Olivan is booked.
32' Martinez is preparing a change to reshuffle his short-handed side. At the moment, Vinicius is filling in at centre-back; the position vacated by red-carded Cabrera.
30' Morata steers a header well wide of the right-hand post from Griezmann's cross, which came from the free-kick awarded for Cabrera's foul on the former. The flag then goes up for offside.
L. Cabrera
Red Card
Espanyol
28' OFF! Espanyol go down to 10 men, as Cabrera gets caught out by Morata, who chases past him to latch onto a throughball towards the box. The defender blocks his opponent off and a tangle of limbs sees a foul and a straight red card called by the referee! A touch harsh, perhaps?
26' Griezmann wins a corner by forcing Vinicius into a double block on the edge of the area. Then Carrasco's cross from the subsequent set-piece is punched away by Lecomte, before an offside is called during the follow-up.
24' With 58 per cent of the ball so far, Atleti are in the rare position of having the lion's share of possession. They've been unable to produce anything much with it, though - just two shots (one on target).
22' More groans ensue, as Kondogbia flicks a terribly overhit pass past Griezmann and straight into touch. The home team are under pressure to produce better, and that could play into their vistors' hands if they can stay level until half-time.
20' As Atleti fail to get a stranglehold on the game, against quite limited opponents, a chorus of whistles from the stands shows their fans' discontent. They've failed to respond to their recent setbacks yet, and Espanyol are creeping back into this.
18' After killing the ball with a delicate touch, Griezmann shakes off Gil on the right side of the box, but his shot at goal lacks any power and results in a simple stop for Lecomte.
16' SAVE! Vidal steals the ball on the right, and drives into space. He then cuts the ball across for Joselu in the centre, and the in-form striker sweeps it towards the near post, where Oblak makes a relatively routine save.
15' A crunching challenge by Griezmann on his former Barcelona team-mate Braithwaite on the halfway line results in an Espanyol free-kick. They fail to hold on to possession for long, though.
13' Inside their own box, Braithwaite and then Bare combine with a pair of headers to clear away an inswinging corner from the left, as Atletico continue to probe for an opening goal - but to little effect.
11' Atletico Madrid are not only unbeaten in their last four home games against Espanyol in La Liga, they have also won eight of their 10 meetings with today's visitors under Diego Simeone.
9' Espanyol's first attempted attack breaks down on the right side of their hosts' box, as ex-Atleti midfielder Bare has a cross blocked by Kondogbia's outstretched leg.
7' Atleti are enjoying the territorial advantage so far, but are restricted to passing patiently in front of a packed Espanyol defensive third. The visitors have clearly come to sit back and strike on the break.
5' Inside his own area, Vinicius makes an important intervention to clear away a cutback from Llorente, who had progressed to the right byline - Griezmann was well placed behind him.
3' Though Griezmann runs straight at the Espanyol defence and drives in from the left to a good shooting position, he pushes a low shot well wide of the target, and Lecomte watches it go by his near post harmlessly.
1' The visitors kick off, and we are under way in Madrid!
The players are all out on the pitch at the Metropolitano, with Atleti's club anthem resounding around the arena. Kick-off is now just moments away!
Calero, Bare and Vidal come into the Espanyol starting XI today, as Diego Martinez shuffles his pack following his side's most recent draw, at Mallorca last week. The latter of that trio joins Braithwaite and star striker Joselu in the visitors' front three.
Though both Koke and Thomas Lemar again miss out through injury today, Llorente has overcome a calf problem to start in midfield for Atleti. Meanwhile, Saul serves a suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards, and Griezmann is preferred to Correa, who partnered Morata up front at Cadiz last week.
SUBS: Pere Joan, Edu Exposito, Sergi Gomez, Alvaro Fernandez, Omar El Hilali, Wassim Keddari, Dani Gomez, Pol Lozano, Nicolas Melamed, Jose Carlos Lazo, Javier Puado.
ESPANYOL (4-3-3): Benjamin Lecomte; Oscar Gil, Leandro Cabrera, Fernando Calero, Brian Olivan; Sergi Darder, Keidi Bare, Vinicius; Aleix Vidal, Joselu, Martin Braithwaite.
SUBS: Ivo Grbic, Angel Correa, Thomas Lemar, Sergio Reguilon, Mario Hermoso, Axel Witsel, Joao Felix, Felipe, Matheus Cunha, Antonio Gomis, Sergio.
ATLETICO MADRID (4-4-2): Jan Oblak; Nahuel Molina, Stefan Savic, Jose Gimenez, Reinildo; Marcos Llorente, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Rodrigo de Paul, Yannick Carrasco; Antoine Griezmann, Alvaro Morata.
Espanyol, meanwhile, are just outside La Liga's relegation zone, only by virtue of goal difference. Today's visitors drew 1-1 with Mallorca last weekend - their fifth league draw of the campaign - and have now suffered only one defeat in their last six outings. However, they have struggled outside of Catalonia: Los Pericos have mustered one win on the road all season - a shock 1-0 victory over Athletic Club, in Bilbao.
Beaten at Porto in midweek, just days after losing to lowly Cadiz in the league, Atletico Madrid have just endured an awful week. Diego Simeone's side scored in the 85th and 89th minutes to pull Cadiz back to 2-2, before conceding a gut-wrenching 99th-minute goal. Then, their Champions League defeat in Portugal saw Los Colchoneros finish bottom of their group for the first time ever. Also well off the pace in La Liga's title race, Atleti are placed third before kick-off today.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of today's La Liga encounter between Atletico Madrid and Espanyol at the Metropolitano!