The clock had not arrived to the minute and the champion who had ceased to be was already losing his afternoon. Yellow. Hermoso saw her for an entry on Raúl García that was not a card. Athletic came out in a hurricane, around that boy with the 22 on his back who entered the podium of matches in the League, 550, 216 with the rojiblanca from Madrid. The times in which to meet again were anguish, they are long ago. The clock hadn’t arrived to the minute and Atleti was already getting heavy rain from Athletic in San Mamés. As if life was not for him in the remaining five finals. Cholo’s team, once again just drifting rubble under the roar of the lion.
Simeone could only look with envy at that player who was his and who, undoubtedly, left too soon while Raúl García clawed at Oblak like cannon shots. Cholo’s plan, the one he had been rehearsing for a week, day by day, was soon just a piece of paper on the grass. It did not matter that Herrera had returned, that he shared the pivot with Kondogbia, that Grizi will occupy the right Suárez only the tip. It didn’t matter that Giménez was also back, that Koke remained on the bench. Within eight minutes everyone was shaking their heads. A smack of the lips. Oblak’s lament. Iñaki Williams ran and opened the channel to Giménez. To the umpteenth, his shot on goal tried to clear it Hermoso but the misfortune was already there, like everything that matters, in the air. Own goal. Atleti did not wake up, however. Not six minutes later, when Iñaki Williams, once again, received alone, he undressed Giménez and his center flew over the area like a grenade about to explode that no one managed to clear. It ended up crashed on the post. There was only one team in the match.. A team that played, that had scored and continued to press up as if not, with the advanced lines. A team that put sweat on the ball. The Athletic.
Opposite, Atleti was an entity, to call it somehow, inoperative in attack and full of gaps behind, incapable. As if it didn’t matter. The next Champions, the economy, the future with her and not without. As if she couldn’t begin to slip away from him for another nefarious start. In half an hour she only accumulated yellow. That of Hermoso and another to Reinildo. both the fifth. Half an hour, Atleti had not played an iota. In the 31st minute, Cholo turned the slate. 4-4-2.
Athletic, which had run it all that half hour, took a small step back. The game was even. Atleti flew over Unai Simon’s goal for the first time with a shot from Kondogbia, minute 37. The rojiblancos in blue had finally woken up. Carrasco silenced San Mamés just as the break came, with one of his own zig-zag runs and a left-footed shot that ran into Vesga and broke down. Like at the beginning with Hermoso and Williams but on the contrary. When the match returned, Correa was already part of it, Reinildo in the shower.
Everything had changed. Atleti appeared with intent, appeared at least. It already was. Grizi violently stamped a foul on the crossbar that made all of Bilbao tremble and that was really only the epilogue of the 2-0. On the next play, Herrera mowed down Muniain in the area and Iñaki Williams deposited the penalty into Oblak’s net a la Panenka. Then the light left the field, literally. Five minutes the party stopped. When he returned, the champion who was no longer was gone too. And forever. The time in Suárez’s legs, the drought in Grizi’s, the paralysis in Giménez’s in each race with the oldest of the Williams. When Cholo took Koke out, it was too late. Atleti was already broken. It was just scattered footballers like the pieces of an exploded container in the Saturday night fever of the Williams and Raúl García in San Mamés. With everything that is played. But yesterday was not the day. Yesterday was nonsense. What started with a yellow card in the second minute 44 ended with another stick, from Correa, which sounded like a slap. Four of the five finals remain. The first has already been lost.
Belt (45′, Reinildo Mandava), Paul’s (64′, Kondogbia), Koke (64′, Hector Herrera), Matheus Cunha (64′, Carrasco), Vrsaljko (69′, Luis Suarez), Oier Zarraga (73′, Nico Williams), Unai Winner (74′, Dani Garcia), Berenguer (76′, Williams), Balenziaga (87′, Yuri), daniel vivian (87′, Raul Garcia)
1-0, 7′: Beautiful Mario2-0, 55′: Williams
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
VAR Referee: Xavier Estrada Fernandez
Beautiful Mario (0′, yellow) Reinildo Mandava (17′, Yellow) Danny Garcia (24′, Yellow) Williams (67′, Yellow) Renan Augustus (70′, Yellow) Berenguer (90′, Yellow