Diego Simeone inherently knows that he has to do things differently over the next month-plus. His Atlético Madrid side has been thrown back into action following such a long break from play, with LaLiga stipulating that its 2019/20 season will be complete by July 19. The coach has to rotate frequently and use as many players as he can — a philosophy the coach has never really espoused for long periods of time.
But It will take everyone for Atlético to reach its objectives this season — and on Wednesday, Simeone dropped midfield pillar Thomas Partey for Héctor Herrera. The Mexican’s path to playing time was blocked following a groin injury and Marcos Llorente’s emergence, but HH took advantage of this opportunity to start the move which culminated in the game’s opening goal.
This ball released Renan Lodi into space, and it freed up the Brazilian to pick out Saúl, whose shot was blocked...
João Félix’s first goal
...but the ball stayed on a proverbial silver platter for a fit and firing Félix.
Félix silently called off Ángel Correa and popped the ball into the top of the net, leaving Rubén Martínez with no chance. The 27th minute strike carried Atlético into the dressing room with a lead, and this was the first league game in which Atleti scored first since Feb. 14.
João Félix’s second goal
Osasuna crawled back into the game toward the end of the first half with several low-grade chances. The keen observer/cynic would have noted that they’ve seen this movie before, where Atlético sag off and get bitten. But Simeone’s attacking trio had other ideas.
Correa’s ball finally unlatched Diego Costa, who unselfishly squared to his 20-year-old strike partner. Easy-peasy after that.
Costa has a goal and assists in 119 minutes since play resumed. Félix has scored four goals in the past four league games, albeit with a long break in between appearances.
Marcos Llorente’s goal
Cholo’s substitutions combined for three goals and two assists on Wednesday. Marcos Llorente accounted for one of those goals and both assists. He created all three goals in a span of nine minutes.
Llorente initially struggled to dig out Herrera’s free kick — and the task was not made easier with three defenders around him. But no matter. Marcos pried the ball free, lashed the ball beyond Rubén’s reach, and looked like he’d been doing it all his life.
Marcos Llorente’s second assist
Llorente then went on to set up Yannick Carrasco’s first Atlético goal in nearly two-and-half years. Look at the space, the composure, and the touch he places on this ball to clinch the manita. And Carrasco’s defensive effort started it!
Los Colchoneros scored five goals in a league game away from home for the first time since a 5-2 win at Sevilla in Feb. 2018. Atlético are fourth now, two points clear of both Real Sociedad and Getafe, with nine weeks to go.
OSA XI Rubén; Unai García (Nacho Vidal 67’), Hernández, David García, Lato (Estupiñán 68’); Moncayola; Brasanac (Rubén García 62’), Pérez, Torres, Arnaíz (Adrián 62’); Gallego (Cardona 79’).
ATM XI Oblak; Arias, Savić, Giménez, Lodi; Herrera, Saúl (Carrasco 84’), Correa (Llorente 63’), Koke; Félix (Thomas 69’), Costa (Morata 63’)
Goals Félix 27’ 56’, Llorente 79’, Morata 82’, Carrasco 88’