ATLETICO MADRID BEATEN BUT ARSENAL DISPLAY PROFESSIONALISM
Yesterday saw two semi finals played; one in Saudi Arabia and the the other in England. The two semis being for two different trophies; the Supercopa Espana and EFL Cup. The first match was between Atletico Madrid the Spanish giants and resilient Athletic club which saw the latter being dominated through possession and many aspects of the match but that was expected being they were the underdogs going into the the 90min game play at the King Fahad stadium in Saudi Arabia. This however didn’t impede them from being the David of the night but slaying Atletico which was their Goliath yesterday, the match was a heated contest which showed glimpses of this as early as Joao Felix’s goal was disallowed for being offside and this didn’t stop him from continuing to pose threat to Athletic Club’s defence together with Uruguayan veteran striker Luis Suarez. Athletic club also got a few chances on the break thanks to the pace of their striker Inaki Williams, these however were stopped but Jan Oblak, Atletico’s shot stopper.
The first half ended as a draw but the second half came with goals of the night all three coming from corners at both ends of the pitch, the first goal was a header from J. Felix which hit the post and was deflected in by the keeper; this gave Atletico the lead but it wasn’t long until Athletic club got a corner in the 77th minute and Y. Alvarez capitalized from the disorganized Madrid defence hence scoring from a towering header which made the scores even. We all know how substitutions in important games by mangers can sometimes pay off so did Marcelino Garcia’s decision to bring on 19 year old Nico Williams; brother to Inaki Williams who scored a lovely placed shot in the bottom corner after the ball found him outside the box through a corner too in the 81st minute. There was match drama as J. Gimenez the Atletico Madrid defender got sent off in added time but the match was a good one for the neutrals.. Sunday 16th of January, Athletic Club will face Realmadrid in the Supercopa Espana final in the King Fahad Stadium, Saudi Arabia at 21:30 EAT.
In the EFL cup, 10- man Arsenal held Liverpool to a goalless draw at Anfield.
This was after G. Xhaka threw in his leg to stop the Red’s Portuguese striker Jota who was off to score from a counter attack as Liverpool always does and unfortunately for the gunners, this was early as the 24th minute. Arsenal managed to contain Liverpool’s attack for almost the whole match following the fact that they had to play with one man down, Takumi Minamino managed to step in Salah’s and Mane’s shoes to cause panic in the opponent’s defence a few times but the deadlock wasn’t broken. Arsenal got a lot of positives from this game because of their ability to hold shape and contain their opponents, the second leg of this tie will be at the Emirates stadium in London on the 20th of January which is one week’s time.