Atlético are not giving up
Real Madrid and Barça have now closed the gap on Atlético with Madrid even becoming leaders for 24 hours. But Atléti, even with the water up to their neck, have no plans on giving up the fight for the title. Yesterday they managed a draw away against a decent Betis side thanks to an enormous effort with which they tried to compensate for the accumulation of casualties in attack.
Simeone’s side are without Luis Suárez and Llorente. They are also without Dembélé as doctors try to determine what caused him to faint at training last week. In addition, João Félix, who was involved in Carrasco’s magnificent and very fast opening goal, left the game injured soon after the start of the second half. A draw seems like a poor result for Atlético, but given the circumstances it is far from it. And Koke’s satisfaction after the game was evident of this (“It’s all in the head”).
Atlético still believe
Despite losing their big points advantage in the past few weeks, Atlético still believe. They had a tough time in long periods of the second half, in which Betis attacked well but finished badly. At the end, I think both teams were happy with the draw, which helped to keep Betis in the fight for Europe and put Atlético back into the top spot, a position which was very briefly on loan to Madrid.
The battle for LaLiga is going down to the wire with the three favorites separated by just two points. Madrid is still in the Champions League and even Zidane confesses that they are feeling the pressure. Barça has a certain habit of getting tangled up in their own ghosts when Madrid are around, and that was clearly seen on Saturday with the reactions of Koeman and Piqué. Atlético, meanwhile, have lost their immense lead, but they are not giving up.