Simeone makes LaLiga history in 6-1 Atletico win
Atletico Madrid marked manager Diego Simeone’s record 613th game as coach with a 6-1 thrashing of Sevilla, who were reduced to 10 men late on, on Saturday.
Dutch forward Memphis Depay marked his first start for the club with two goals and substitute Alvaro Morata also bagged a brace in the win that saw Simeone overtake Luis Aragones for the most games as Atletico coach.
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“It’s hard to explain the emotions, you can’t put into words what you feel inside,” Simeone said. “Both of us [he and Aragones] are on the same road… Sometimes we make mistakes but I’m calm, I’m where I want to be, doing what I love.”
Atletico seized the opportunity to go third after Real Sociedad drew at home 0-0 against lowly Cadiz on Friday, leapfrogging the Basque side in the standings and climbing to 45 points.
Sociedad are now fourth on 44 points, while holders Real Madrid are second on 52 points, seven behind leaders Barcelona on 59 points, both with a game in hand.
Winless in their last three games, Sevilla are 16th on 25 points, only one point clear of the relegation zone.
Atletico delivered arguably their best showing of the season on a night they were celebrating history for Simeone, who also recorded his 359th win as the club’s manager, compared to Aragones’ 308.
“I asked the players for two things, to play with passion and heart, and with the talent they have,” Simeone added. “They’re really good, they understood how to hurt Sevilla.”
Sevilla played a five-man defence but could not deal with the relentless intensity of Atletico who were led by an inspired pair in Depay and Antoine Griezmann.
The two connected twice in three minutes to give the hosts a two-goal lead before the half hour mark.
Starting his first game for Atletico since arriving from Barcelona in January, Depay recovered the ball in midfield, gave it to Griezmann and ran up front to receive a long pass from the French forward before slotting past the goalkeeper in the 23rd minute.
Three minutes later, Depay was on the end of a clever combination between Griezmann and Marcos Llorente to unleash a thunderous strike into the upper left corner from just outside the box.
When Atletico were in full control, Youssef En Nesyri was quick enough to beat goalkeeper Jan Oblak inside the box and hit back for Sevilla from close-range in the 39th.
But Atletico didn’t take their foot off the gas after the break and Griezmann scored their third with a brilliant shot from range.
“It was an important day for Simeone and I wanted it to be a magical day also for the fans and for my team mates,” Griezmann told Movistar Plus.
“When I saw the result from Real Sociedad on Friday I was nervous, I wanted to seize the opportunity to leapfrog them. I’m really happy that we did it.”
Yannick Carrasco extended Atletico’s advantage in the 69th minute, before Ivan Rakitic missed a penalty, hitting the post from the spot.
Substitute Morata in the 76th and 92nd minutes delivered the final blows to a hopeless Sevilla, who had Pape Alassane Gueye sent off in the 81st minute after receiving his second yellow card of the match