Sabina recited it, "to the place where you were happy you should not try to return." It had been almost two years since his Atlético de Madrid visited Pucela, that League unavoidable for so many things, that alirón in the parking lot of José Zorrilla, that descent of Valladolid too. And yet, the return, already 120 years old, was again full. Another triumph, of power first, of suffering later; the seventh in the last eight games for Simeone's team in search of what only remains, the league runner-up. [2-5: Narration and statistics]

Although the final win was misleading, the conclusion has been evident for weeks. In 2023, there is no one more solid than Atletico in domestic football. Others falter and ask for the time of the season; The red-and-whites are going to fall very short. Because, despite all the good things now, the loot will be nil. And, as Luis Aragonés himself pronounced, "nobody remembers the runner-up". That, the second place of Real Madrid, is the incentive. And in it walk the Cholo, mounted to the current wave, efficiency, good football, confidence and even some of that fortune that was missed so much at the beginning of the course.

Because Zorrilla looked for the occasion, with a Valladolid to which the bonfire of the descent continues to burn. And with that enthusiasm of finishing the qualifying duties left Paulo Pezzonalo, with verve of dominance and courage, active and aggressive to bother Atletico. But the red-and-whites are a chameleon that adapts to any circumstance. Before the high pressure of the locals, the blow of the long pass. Giménez, who was going to sign an assist and a goal in four minutes, served on a plate to Nahuel Molina, who defined with coldness of genius his interned on the right. The 0-2 was led by an error by Masip: the stopped ball returned to reward the Uruguayan center, one of his specialties.

Another assist from Griezmann

It put the game downhill for Atletico in the blink of an eye. Now they were the nerves of Valladolid and spaces to enjoy. Hongla took the third under the sticks to Morata, who did not forgive shortly after, in a tuya-mía manual with Griezmann (his 12th assist). Only the recklessness of Mario Hermoso, who took his elbow in the area against Plata, clouded the great first half rojiblanca: Larin did not miss the penalty.

And that gave a lot of life to the rival. Pezzolano raised the bid of his team's momentum after the break. First without danger, but then, especially after the entrance of Escudero, with a lot of dynamite and intensity. He was believing it while Atlético did not sentence: a ball to the stick of Joaquín, a goal annulled to Hongla ... Until Escudero himself, with a magnificent header on the first post of a corner kick, put all the pepper with the 2-3. And there, the Cholo group really trembled, less safe without Oblak (the stopped ball was a torture for a really nervous Grbic): Sergio León did not tie shortly after miracle, another ball to the wood.

In the anxiety, the crazy and ownerless game, the runaway Valladolid, with an Atleti already without dominance, closed it to save hot flashes Joaquín in own door, after one of those playyard of school of Correa. And shortly after, to round it all off, Memphis Depay, who was reappearing from his injury, made the fifth. Pucela is still happiness for the rojiblancos and Valladolid a favorable rival: he has not won any of the last 14 games played.

  • Valladolid
  • Atletico Madrid

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