Atletico is probably the team which is in the best form in Europe. They have shown that tonight in Rostov. Imagine that one team is so dominant that you do not have anything to tell about his opponent. That is right, Rostov didn’t manage to create anything worth mentioning. Atletico strongly dominated whole game, imposing his game and controlling everything on the pitch.
Cold Russian night, wasn’t as expected, an advantage for the home team.
Immediately after first whistle blow, a chance for the Spanish team. Carrasco took the free-kick from some 25 meters, sending the ball to the right side of the goal. Goalkeeper deflected the ball, but only to Correa who tried to score from the left side but missed the whole goal. He was mad at himself for missing this one, and how couldn’t he be, it could have been a great start for his team.
10th minute, Carrasco entered box area to the left, managed to lose his guard, turn towards the middle, strikes with the right foot, but Dzhanaev deflects the ball clear.
Fifteen minutes later, the ball went from side to side in Rostov box, and from the left Felipe Luiz sends the ball low trough goalkeeper area to the far post but Correa sends the ball high up wide, just a few meters from goal. Diego Simeone was mad on the bench, he couldn’t believe what his players have missed. He was shouting from restricted area, demanding a goal.
But nothing happened in the first half. Rostov had luck, because with their performance, in normal circumstances they would concede at least three goals. It is unbelievable that the team who had 9 shots, almost 70% percent of the ball possession and over 300 passes in one half of the game, didn’t score.
The second half started in the same manner. Atletico dictated the tempo, Torres, Griezmann, Correa and the rest of the team tried to score, but the ball just wouldn’t enter the goal.
Torres had a good chance after one hour of play as his header, after Juan Fran centered the ball into the box, went inches above the bar.
Two minutes later, finally, Atletico scored.
Juan Fran again centered the ball into goalkeeper area, Torres missed it for an inch, but Carrasco was waiting at the far post, sending it to the opposite side of the goal, and at last Diego Simeone could be satisfied.
This is was his fifth goal of the season second in this year Champions League.
After this goal, the tempo slowed down, Atletico players kept the ball in their possession, trying to end this match with minimal energy loss.
At 86th minute, Carrasco masterfully passed the lob toward Griezmann whose header went over the bar.
In the last minute, the only interesting thing that Rostov FC managed to do was Christian Noboa’s shot from some 20 meters right, but Oblak deflected the ball clear.
How big difference between these two teams was tonight can be shown trough number of passes. Rostov had 206 and Atletico had 611, almost three times much as Russian team. 66% of the time ball was on Atletico side.
Home fans had high expectations from this game, as Rostov haven’t lost at Olimp 2 stadium more than one year. Last 26 matches to be precise. But tonight, they were helpless against one of the three teams that have a perfect score so far in Champions League.
Atletico is on the top of the Group D, and we could say that they have secured the second phase because they have two games out of three at Vicente Calderon.
Rostov only chance to stay in Europe is to beat PSV in Eindhoven, and as third placed to proceed to Europa League. But that task will be hard to get with this performance. Plus, they will play that game in Eindhoven. So they have a lot of work to do, first to improve their discipline, and then to focus on that match.
This game didn’t fulfill expectations, as many of the fans expected a hard game with many duels and physical plays. Instead, it turned out to be the one-sided demonstration of power. But Atletico is a great team, in amazing shape, and this is just how things stand right now.
Man of the match without any doubts is Yannick Carrasco. He scored the only goal, created many chances, and Rostov fans had the opportunity to see one of the best players in Europe at this moment.
That is in short, all interesting from this match. Until the next time.