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De Paul’s dream goal is enough: Atleti with a working victory against Celta Vigo

Atletico Madrid narrowly won their home game against Celta Vigo 1:0 and are close to qualifying for the Champions League. A world champion made the difference

Atletico Madrid’s home game against Celta Vigo was all about securing fourth place ahead of rivals Bilbao. After two victories against direct rivals Athletic (3:1) and Mallorca (1:0), Diego Simeone’s side found it difficult against Celta, who were still fighting to avoid relegation.

Although the Madrilenians had more of the play from the start, they lacked penetration for long stretches. In their phases of possession, the home side looked for gaps in the visitors’ defense, which stood well and allowed very little apart from harmless approaches

Llorente misses in front of Guaida

Llorente had the best chance for Atleti when he missed in front of Guaida after a great pass from Koke (41′). A few minutes later, the hitherto harmless visitors were also dangerous for the first time, but Bamba’s cross was deflected just wide of the goal by Witsel. All in all, it was a first half without many highlights, the logical consequence: the teams went into the half-time break goalless.

Nothing really changed in the game after the break. Simeone’s team largely had their opponents under control, but lacked precision and ideas in attack.

Oblak saves against Iago Aspas

In the 59th minute, Celta Vigo got their first shot on goal – and it was immediately dangerous: after a Bamba pass, Iago Aspas forced Oblak into a brilliant save (59′). It was a wake-up call, albeit a small one, for the visitors, who subsequently became more courageous and kept looking to get forward. Fran Beltran (68′) and Iago Aspas (73′) both found themselves in promising positions, but Oblak was on the spot without too much trouble on both occasions

World-class goal from de Paul

So it looked like a goalless draw until de Paul scored a world-class goal to give Atleti the lead: The world champion took the ball with his chest on the edge of the penalty area and volleyed it into the right corner to make it 1-0 (84′).

With the win, the Madrilenians have all but secured Champions League qualification. Celta Vigo, meanwhile, have to tremble again in the relegation battle.

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