Atletico Madrid 1-1 Rayo Vallecano
Atletico Madrid looked as if they were on course for a second win in typical ‘Cholo’ Simeone style, but the Argentine manager will have been left furious by the dropped points.
Los Colchoneros started off the match in good shape, playing on the counter and keeping Rayo at arms length. Antoine Griezmann, fresh from his winner in Bilbao at the weekend, again made the difference as he won the ball back high up the pitch from Fran Garcia. He needed just one touch to pick out Alvaro Morata in the middle, who touched the ball calmly into the corner.
The game continued in a similar fashion for much of the match. Griezmann was the best of an Atleti side that continued to pass up chances though. As spaces appeared on the break, a wrong decision or a poor final pass dogged them.
For their part, Rayo had hung on at 1-0 but this allowed them to construct a final assault in the closing stages. Andoni Iraola’s side caused problems for Atleti and Jose Maria Gimenez was forced to clear off the line after Radamel Falcao was put through one on one.
In stoppage time though, it was Gimenez in the way again – only with his arm. After a VAR review, a penalty was given in stoppage time. Falcao stepped up and sent Ivo Grbic the wrong way, sealing a point. Clearly pleased, he restrained himself from the level of celebrations his teammates committed to in the corner.
Morata complained of the penalty decision after the match, however Simeone will likely direct most of his irritation to his own players. They left Rayo alive and with Falcao back at the club where he performed best, it came back to haunt them.