Atletico Madrid bounced back to winning ways in La Liga as they thrashed Celta Vigo 4-1 at the Civitas Metropolitano on Saturday night.
Diego Simeone fielded a much-changed side keeping in mind the upcoming Champions League clash against Bayer Leverkusen. But the hosts started well, as Angel Correa opened the scoring just nine minutes into the contest.
Midfielder Rodrigo De Paul doubled the Colchoneros’ lead five minutes into the second period before Yannick Carrasco made it 3-0 in the 66th minute.
Celta Vigo did manage to pull one back through Gabri Veiga in the 71st minute, but Unai Nunez scored an own goal ten minutes later to help Atleti reestablish their three-goal lead and romp home to a statement win.
The victory sees Los Rojiblancos move to fourth place in the La Liga standings and manager Simeone talked about the performance and the victory of the game, saying:
“We try to make sure the people are well. Today I felt the fans very close, as always in the history of this club. The goals were beautifully made. We need to be a team. Whoever understands it will have more minutes and the one who doesn’t, no”.
The Argentine tactician was also full of praise for Brazilian forward Matheus Cunha as he said: “Cunha, due to his characteristics, is the ideal player for Atlético. We need him because he transmits power, personality.”
On his decision to rest Jan Oblak and hand Ivo Grbic an opportunity in between the sticks against Celta, Simeone said:
“We understood that he was not in his best shape. Great opportunity, very well taken advantage of by Grbic, who is well integrated into the group and works with great enthusiasm. When you work, you get paid.”
Cholo also hailed veteran midfielder Axel Witsel for his performance in the backline, saying: “He has a great virtue: a vision of the game like few others. He has been a midfielder with great vision.
“When Giménez and Savic were not there, we understood that his characteristics could help us. He not only did well in that position. He gives us something different from the characteristics we have and we must continue to take advantage of it. And he has to go further because he can give us a lot because of his quality.”
Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid
Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.
Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”
He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.
“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”
The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.
“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”
And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.
“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”
Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.
“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”
“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.
And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.
“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”
Source: Mundo Deportivo