Atletico Madrid 0-0 Celta Vigo: 3 Players who were impressive for the Los Rojiblancos and 2 who weren't | La Liga 2019/20
The home side raced off the blocks and put the visitors under immediate strife. However, Celta, courtesy their confidence on the ball, grew into the match, thereby causing the Los Rojiblancos a few problems in the first half.
Yet, after the restart, the hosts turned the screw immensely and kept knocking at the visitors’ defensive door. Unfortunately for them though, they failed to barge through, despite creating several opportunities.
Thus, through this article, we will look at how the Atletico players fared on the night and chalk out three footballers who impressed and two who would not look back too fondly at the game.
#5 Koke – Impressive
Atletico and Celta immersed themselves in an extremely scrappy game where clear-cut chances were at a premium. Inevitably, most of the attack-minded players weren’t involved enough to leave a substantial imprint on the game.
However, Koke remained one of the anomalies on the night as he turned in an accomplished display in midfield.
Originally slotting in as a wide midfielder, the Spaniard endured a quiet first half. Yet, after the break, he moved in-field and complemented Hector Herrera and later, Thomas Partey. The above allowed him to dictate the game a lot more and that facet came to the fore as the minutes ticked by.
The Atletico skipper controlled the tempo of the match and made several key interceptions in the centre of the park. A few of those enabled him to mount swift counter-attacks, which led to a handful of openings for the hosts.
Defensively too, he was quite sound and rarely allowed the Celta midfielders to overrun him in the middle third.
In the opening period, most of the visitors’ attacks came through midfield as Rafinha and Denis Suarez linked up efficiently. However, with Koke switching to a more central role, the pair were denied considerable space and time, which eventually led to Suarez being hauled off.
Ever since shining with the Spanish side in junior football, Koke has been touted for greatness. After all, some even dubbed him an irresistible combination of Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
And, though his ascent hasn’t been as smooth as some would’ve envisaged, he certainly remains one of the most reliable midfielders in the La Liga, a notion he only strengthened on Saturday.