Atletico Madrid defeats Man City 2-1
These were the words that filled the stadium for the entire 90 minutes of the match between English Premier League (EPL) Manchester City and Spanish La Liga side Atletico Madrid at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Tuesday. Atletico Madrid won the match 2-1, but even fans wearing City jerseys were cheering for both teams throughout the match, especially when players made nonstop passes, had crucial goal chances, or made goalkeeping saves.
When Elling Holland, the world’s best goalkeeper of his generation and a superstar for Manchester City, or Antoine Griezmann, the key man for Atletico Madrid, touches the ball, there are cheers and applause, even when Kevin De Bruyne, the midfield commander on the bench in this game, is shown on the scoreboard. After the game, Holland walked around the field and greeted the fans before taking off his jersey and throwing it to them, prompting them to chant “Holland” in unison. Despite a 40-minute delay in kickoff due to unexpected rain, the 64,185 fans who packed the stadium cheered on the EPL and La Liga representatives until the end of the game.
Both teams’ players responded to the roar of the fans, and the nerves were on full display from the start. Despite the fact that it was a friendly, players from both teams pressed hard and played fiery attacking soccer as if they were in a UEFA Champions League final. At times, there was rough play, and yellow cards, which are rare in friendlies, were issued five times on the day, and players challenged refereeing decisions on several occasions.
Managers were no different. Pep Guardiola, who manages the world’s most dominant club, City, which has won three consecutive English Premier League (EPL) titles and a triple treble, and Diego Simeone, who led his team to a third-place finish in La Liga last season, stood in front of the bench throughout the game and continued to direct their players. At one point, Guardiola threw his hands in the air to show his frustration with his players.
The moment the goal came, the fans erupted in celebration. It was Memphis Depay, a second-half substitute, who broke the tie. Defai found the back of the net for City in the 21st minute with a powerful mid-range shot from the left side of the arc circle. Eight minutes later, Yannick Carrasco made it 2-0 when he beat a City defender on the left flank and then broke through himself for another mid-range shot.
After going two goals down to a thunderous mid-range shot, City tried their best to make amends until the end of the game. In the 40th minute of the second half, Javeng Dias headed home a corner kick from Sergio Gomes, 한국야동 but it was not enough to put the game out of reach for Atletico Madrid.