Atlético Madrid beat Elche 2-0 on Thursday to move into third place in the La Liga table. Here are three things we learned from the victory for Diego Simeone’s side:
1 | Simeone will start João Félix
João Félix started in attack for Atlético despite his future at the Cívitas Metropolitano remaining in doubt. The Portugal international, who has been linked with a January move to several Premier League sides, scored a header from close range after Antoine Griezmann clipped a cross in from the right in the second half. João Félix was at the heart of everything good for Atlético but Édgar Badía kept him out and denied him from scoring a brace.
2 | Pablo Barrios is one for the future
Atlético youth coach and club legend Fernando Torres has done impressive work with a player who looks more than 19 years old. He made everything look easy on his first-ever senior start as Atlético won on their return to La Liga action after the World Cup break. Barrios received a deserved ovation from the home supporters when he was substituted in the 80th minute. Goalscorer Álvaro Morata described Barrios as a “great kid” when speaking to Movistar+ after the 2-0 win.
3 | Hermoso major part of Atlético’s red card record
Atlético Madrid defender Mario Hermoso received his marching orders in the 53rd minute of the match and it wasn’t the first time he picked up a red card for Los Colchoneros.
Atlético’s recent red cards in La Liga (includes four reds for Hermoso):
Mario HERMOSO vs Real Betis 🟥
Mario HERMOSO vs Celta 🟥
João Félix vs Athletic Club
Geoffrey Kondogbia vs Villarreal
Felipe vs Getafe
Javi Serrano vs Cádiz
Ángel Correa vs Rayo Vallecano
Kondogbia vs Espanyol
Nahuel Molina vs Villarreal
Mario HERMOSO vs Real Madrid 🟥
Mario HERMOSO vs Elche 🟥
(Hermoso stat via Fran Martínez)
After tonight’s defeat in the Spanish capital, Elche remain bottom of the table, with just four points from their opening 15 league games.
GSFN | Kieran Quaile