Atletico Madrid returned to the top of La Liga, but they were unable to find the win as Real Betis held them at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.
Yannick Carrasco gave them an early lead, but it was soon cancelled out by Cristian Tello. Joao Felix and Kieran Trippier were both forced off with injuries, meaning the visitors will be glad for a point in the end.
Despite also missing both Luis Suarez and Marcos Llorente, Atletico started well and took the lead within five minutes. Carrasco combined well with Felix and Angel Correa before tapping home from close range.
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Saul was denied with a header ten minutes later, but the visitors dropped off and quickly paid the price. Alex Moreno’s pinpoint cross was volleyed home expertly by Tello, leaving Jan Oblak helpless.
Correa was lively throughout, causing Betis all sorts of problems with his positioning. He drifted out to the left and fired two crosses in, putting Claudio Bravo under pressure, while Carrassco shot into the side netting as Atleti regained control heading into half time.
Diego Simeone’s side suffered a blow seconds after the break as his attacking options were reduced further. Felix, who rolled his ankle just prior to the whistle, was forced off and replaced by Lucas Torreira.
Moments later, Carrasco almost scored a second after a brilliant pass by Saul, but Bravo did well to save,
At the other end, Emerson was denied by Oblak before his cross narrowly evaded Joaquin. The enforced system change for Atleti following Felix’s withdrawal allowed Betis more space in attack, and they began to carry a threat.
Betis forced the issue again, first through Aitor Ruibal, who was denied by a brilliant Jose Gimenez tackle, and then his replacement Diego Lainez, who forced Oblak into action.
Bravo stood tall to deny Correa twice in stoppage time, but in truth, a draw was the right result.
Die Profis von Atlético Madrid nach der Partie gegen Betis Sevilla
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT – Cholo running out of strikers
Atletico came into this one having won every game without Suarez this season, and in the first half it was easy to see why. Felix and Correa were linking up brilliantly and they had control of the game. After Felix went off, forcing that formation rethink, Betis grabbed the initiative. Los Rojiblancos looked tired and it remains to be seen what missing their main attackers – and the COVID-struck Mousa Dembele – will do to their title chances.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Claudio Bravo (Real Betis)
For all of their struggles in the second half, the league leaders squandered glorious chances late on. Correa, himself a contender for man of the match, was denied twice by Bravo; the Chilean was alert when it mattered most, but also held his own first half. He deserves great recognition.
Real Betis: Bravo 8, Alex Moreno 7, Bartra 6, Mandi 6, Emerson 7, Rodriguez 6, Canales 7, Tello 7, Fekir 7, Ruibal 7, Joaquin 6 Substitutes: Juanmi 6, Lainez 7, Carvalho n/a
Atletico Madrid: Oblak 7, Hermoso 6, Savic 5, Gimenez 7, Carrassco 7, Saul 6, Herrera 6, Koke 6, Trippier 6, Felix 7, Correa 8 Substitutes: Torreira 6, Lodi 5, Vitolo 6, Vrsaljko n/a
5′ – GOAL! Carrasco! Lovely link up with Felix and Correa. Atleti have started with purpose and killed any fears of struggling for goals without Suarez.
20′ – GOAL! Tello volleys home the equaliser. Atleti didn’t learn their lesson from Alex Moreno’s last cross.
70′ – BLOCK! Gimenez, wow! Betis break and the ball finds Ruibal, but the Uruguayan gets there to tackle. Perfect timing and a crucial moment.
- For the first time since February 28, an Atletico player other than Suarez or Llorente found the net.
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