Following a 2-0 loss away to Barcelona the previous week, Atlético Madrid went into this encounter eager to return to winning ways. Their failure to close the gap on the league leaders meant that any hopes of mounting a late bid for the title were dwindling.
The visitors to the Wanda Metropolitana on Saturday, Celta Vigo, had most recently earned victory against Real Sociedad, where heroic striker Iago Aspas once again proved to be the catalyst in their attempts to avoid relegation.
Despite bettering their hosts’ xG rating, Celta failed to score on the day, and ran out 2-0 losers thanks to goals from Antoine Griezmann and Álvaro Morata. This analysis will pin-point where Fran Escriba’s men came up short, as well as shining a light on Atleti’s tried and trusted strategies.
With a number of key players out injured or suspended for this game, Diego Simeone was forced to select an inexperienced central defensive pairing of Fransisco Montero and Toni Moya. The youngsters were flanked, however, by veteran full-backs Felipe Luís and Juanfran.
Thomas Partey’s absence meant that Saúl Ñíguez could play in his preferred role at the heart of the midfield, while Vitolo took up a wide berth on the left. Ángel Correa joined Griezmann up front.
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