Atletico claim maiden LaLiga win
Posted: 25 August 2018 Time: 21:34
Atletico Madrid were made to sweat by a stubborn Rayo Vallecano in securing a narrow 1-0 victory in a LaLiga encounter on Saturday evening.
Atletico started slowly and struggled to break down the Vallecano defence who were content to sit back and play on the counterattack.
A shot earlier on from Adrian Embarda was deflected away for a corner, as the home side were reduced to defending in the opening few minutes.
Embarda was making all the earlier entries for Rayo, but the lack of support from his teammates saw his hard-running on and off the ball movements yielding no fruits most of the time.
Atleti soaked up all the pressure and through the boot of Diego Costa were able to get in their first shot in anger just before the half and hour mark.
Diego Simeone made an early change, subsequently for tactical reasons, as Juanfran made way for Thomas Partey on 36 minutes.
There was to be the last chance at goal, which fell to Atleti in added time as Antoine Griezmann forced a good save from Alberto Garcia.
Following the resumption for the second half, Rayo started off in the similar vein to the first with Lucas Hernandez breaking the deadlock for them after 52 minutes with an outside shot.
A period of good build-up play from Rayo found Alvaro Medran at the end of the delivery, but mistimed his shot wide of target after 57 minutes.
It was all Rayo, with Atleti appear to be having no answers to combat the mini onslaught piled on by Hernandez and company.
The slaughter was soon to be eradicated as Simeone’s men raced ahead through the efforts of Griezmann on 62 minutes, finishing off from close range.
That inadvertently signaled time for a second change off the bench, as Koke entered for Angel Correa four minutes thereafter.
Chasing a come back, Rayo were not prepared to sit back and surrender but immediately began searching for a way back through Medran.
After 76 minutes, the promoted club then handed league debuts to teenage protege Sergio Moreno, while in the closing stages, Jose Angel Pozo nearly found the equaliser, but Jan Oblak was on hand to deny him.
The recently crowned UEFA Super Cup champions held on for their first win of the campaign after playing to a 1-1 draw with Valencia on Monday.