Atletico Madrid chalk up another win thanks to impenetrable defence

Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid clawed two points back in what many consider to be a non-event of a title race last weekend.

Diego Simeone’s side’s dominant performance was, once again, underpinned by a solid defensive set-up with one of the best goalkeepers in the world between the sticks.

Jan Oblak oversaw proceedings from his own penalty area and was on hand to provide some guidance to the inexperienced centre-back pairing of Francisco Montero and Antonio Moya Vega in front of him. Montero and Moya Vega have a combined age of 41.

On either side of the young centre-back pairing, Juanfran and Filipe Luis were also the voices of wisdom to assist Moya Vega on his La Liga debut. It was only the second league start of Montero’s fledgeling professional career.

With Barcelona fielding a weakened team and drawing 0-0 at bottom-of-the-table Huesca, Atleti’s win reduced the Catalan club’s lead at the top from 11 points to 9.

Star striker Antoine Griezmann broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute with a great finish from a direct free-kick. That goal gave Simeone’s men a 1-0 lead at the break.

Griezmann turned provider in the 74th minute, slipping Alvaro Morata in to make it two. Morata was only on the pitch a few minutes before scoring, having replaced Vitolo in the second half.

With Diego Godin and Stefan Savic both missing the game through injury, while Jose Maria Gimenez was suspended, Simeone will be delighted that Montero and Moya Vega managed to play the full 90 minutes.

Diego Costa won’t be in action in La Liga again this season having picked up an eight-match ban for his altercation with the referee in their loss at Barcelona the previous weekend.

Celta Vigo lacked any real firepower up front and certainly missed in-form frontman Iago Aspas who was also suspended. They will need Aspas available and firing on all cylinders if Celta are to stave off relegation this season.

None of Celta’s players picked up a positive points total for fantasy La Liga in this game.

Goalkeeper Ruben Blanco finished with -2 points. Hugo Mallo, Gustavo Cabral and Ryad Boudebouz were all awarded -1 point each. The rest of Celta Vigo’s players finished with 0 points.

Jan Oblak was the highest fantasy La Liga points scorer on the day. The Atleti goalkeeper earned 7 points with his clean sheet.

Santiago Arias, Filipe Luis and Antoine Griezmann all won 5 points. Alvaro Morata and Juanfran got 4 points with Angel Correa, Saul Niguez and Koke getting 2 points apiece.

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