LaLiga – Atletico Madrid vs Alaves: A win was necessary for the Rojiblancos to stay clear of Barcelona and level with Sevilla at least momentarily; when they welcomed Deportivo Alavés to the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.
Despite taking the lead through a resurgent Felix in the 11th minute, there were tensions around the Metropolitano. Those fears did come through when Escalante equalised in the 63rd minute.
However, the visitors were not able to keep up with the relentless Madrid firepower and ended up conceding thrice within a space of 16 minutes, to lose 4-1.
The win has put Los Colchoneros 3rd in the league table for the moment. Furthermore, much needed momentum for the UCL quarter-finals.
As for Alaves, nothing but a miracle is needed for them to stay up in the Spanish top flight.
LaLiga – Atletico Madrid vs Alaves: Match summary
Full time score: Atletico Madrid 4-1 Alaves
Atletico Madrid (5-3-2): 1-Oblak; 12-Lodi (5-De Paul 46’), 23-Mandava, 2-Gimenez, 15-Savic, 24-Vrsaljko; 11-Lemar (21-Carrasco 46’), 4-Kongdogbia, 14-Llorente (19-Cunha 72’); 8-Griezmann (9-Suarez 61’), 7-Joao Felix. Cadangan: 21-Carrasco, 19-Cunha, 5-De Paul, 18-Felipe, 22-Hermoso, 1-Lecommte, 26-Serrano, 9-Suarez, 17-Wass.
Alaves (4-2-3-1): 1-Pacheco; 3-Duerte (23-Navarro 46’), 22-Lejeune, 5-Laguardia, 2-Tenaglia; 8-Pina (18-Pellistri 79’), 16-Escalante; 11-Rioja, 20-Pons (7-Vallejo 46’), 17-Mendez (6-Loum 79’); 9-Joselu. Cadangan: 21-Aguirregabiria, 24-De La Fuente, 14-Garcia, 25-Jason, 6-Loum, 4-Miagza, 14-Moya, 23-Navarro, 18-Pellistri, 13-Sivera, 7-Vallejo.
Atlético Madrid manager, Diego Simeone: “He (Felix) continues to grow, he’s in a great moment. He’s happy, he’s fine and he’s doing everything we need from him.
“I am very happy for him. He is in a moment that he has not lived. He is enjoying the hierarchy, the security.
“Before the game he told Joao Felix to score two goals. It’s nice. He wants to compete to win. To win, everyone has to be involved.
“Out of respect I will say that I will never forget it. And a thank you to the club for having done it.”
Deportivo Alavés manager, José Luis Mendilibar: “The situation is salvageable.”
“We played well for 75 minutes. They have played well in the first ten, they have been in our area and have scored, then we have been good and we have managed to draw. The penalty cannot be made, if they dribble you you cannot put your leg. From then on we have done a lot of things wrong, in the third they went in very easily and we were asleep at the back. A game that had to be to get something out, they put in four of us and it seems that we played badly. I don’t think it was so.
“I’m annoyed with the last fifteen minutes, I’m happy with the rest. We had the ability to get up and show our faces, and they didn’t give us chances until we equalized. When we had something in our backpack to take with us, we started to make mistakes. The penalty, once he dribbles me I can’t put my foot in at any time, and the third goal too: a foul in the middle of the field, they passed me over, controlled and went in. They are childish mistakes that we have made since tied at one. When we were better, and maybe we could get something, that’s when we made the mistakes.