Atletico Madrid stunned by Levante

Reinildo Mandava (2nd R) of Atletico Madrid in action against Gonzalo Melero (R) of Levante during La Liga soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Levante at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid, Spain on February 16, 2022.

Atletico Madrid have squandered a golden chance to move closer to the top of the Spanish league, losing 1-0 to last-placed Levante at home.

Gonzalo Melero scored on a breakaway early in the second half to give Levante only its second win in 24 league matches.

The stunning loss kept Atletico from regaining the final Champions League qualification spot. The defending champions stayed fifth, tied on points with fourth-place Barcelona, who have a game in hand.

The match was postponed from the 21st round last month. Atletico couldn't play then because they faced Real Sociedad in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey in a match postponed because of Atletico's participation in the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Atletico had won three of their last five leagues matches after enduring a four-game losing streak in the competition.

We are not giving our best and it's impossible to win like this, Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak said. We are going through a very difficult moment and we have to improve in every aspect. We are not playing at the level we should be playing. We need to change or we are not going to make it to the Champions League.

Levante's only other league win this season was 2-0 against Mallorca last month. The Valencia club stayed 10 points from safety despite Wednesday's win.

It's been a very tough season and a win like this will give us a great boost going forward, said Melero, who found the net from inside the area in the 54th minute at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Atletico thought they had equalised deep into stoppage time but Angel Correa's bicycle-kick goal was disallowed for a foul away from the play.

Diego Simeone's team haven't beaten Levante in four straight matches. They had also lost to Levante at home in a league game last year.

Simeone started with Matheus Cunha and Correa in attack, with Joao Felix and Luis Suarez coming off the bench in the second half.

Levante have the league's worst defence with 50 goals conceded in 24 matches. They had conceded 18 goals in their last six league games, and 25 in their last eight matches in all competitions.

Post a Comment

Please 🙏 engage and share this content

Previous Post Next Post