Have the Athletic ahead is a demanding schedule like few others. With three open competitions and a degree of excellence that you will only find with the entire active workforce. Hence the effervescence of a man like Memphis in January It is being key to keeping the pulse. The Dutchman, with his success in the 90th, once again rescued the red and white team after a tough game against Rayo, who managed to annul Reinildo’s goal with a replica of Álvaro García. After a drought of nine consecutive games without scoring, Depay He has five goals in five games. An ‘Oranje’ striker squeezed to the maximum.

Vermeeren’s debut in an Atlético full of changes

Experts – that indeterminate group that journalists use to validate their articles – recommend a varied diet. The quantity is not as important as whether the proteins, vitamins and the rest of the varieties are represented. The same thing happens in Simeone’s lineups in a phase of the season in which only an omnivorous diet will help you to be in positions of Championsadvance in that tournament, see the Cup final…And all this without losing the usual energy. Or what is the same: without Griezmann, the franchise man.

To maintain that balance, ‘Cholo’ chose to put his eleven in a revolving door from which the very young man emerged as starters. Vermeeren, which only lasted 45 minutes, and a duo formed by Memphis and Belt, who played 400 games as a rojiblanco. A goal achieved after his frustrated departure to Arabia and the frustrated signing of Moise Kean. The Argentine had two great opportunities in the first half to give himself a gift for the round figure.

In the first he missed against Dimitrievski and in the second he did so offside. He did not find Atlético in danger of the fluidity of a midfield that was becoming known, with Vermeeren as the right midfielder (his was a contact). Rayo had more possession to avoid a disaster like the one experienced with the 0-7 in the first leg. This made the Belgian invisible. The magic that the meeting needed was expressed by Pablo Barrios, a youth player who will one day be the headliner.

Reinildo unblocks, Álvaro García ties

His roulette spurred the rojiblancos, who found the goal from a set piece, with a free kick taken by Riquelme that Reinildo, with a header, scored the right goal. The goal was validated by the VAR despite the Mozambican’s grab on Lejeune. When Atlético manages to open the scoring at home, victory is usually served. However, Lightning that despite the goal against he had understood the context of the game better, It didn’t take long for him to tie with an electric play.

Typical of a team like Francisco’s, which bases its strength on defensive order, but comes out like a cyclone. Álvaro García crossed it with his left foot so tightly that he took Oblak’s bottle. The tie came after an excellent wall by Isi with Chavarría. Nothing to do with the drought that haunts the franjirroja forward. Atlético’s rotations were not enough and they were going to have to enrich the recipe to beat a well-established Rayo.

On the break ‘Profe’ Ortega received a tribute, both from the public and the players. The Uruguayan physical trainer will say goodbye at the end of the season to the project to which he has dedicated the last twelve years of his life – with an experience with his national team involved that undermined his relationship with Simeone. Vermeeren’s adventure ended and Nahuel entered after the restart.

Memphis rebels against the fate of the VAR

Atlético’s machinery did not work against a solid Rayo, where ‘Pacha’ Espino frustrated Correa’s arrivals. Simeone had no choice but to end the rotations even before game time. They entered From Paul, Lino and Griezmann to resolve a ballot that was getting complicated.

It is true that the visitors only came out with Álvaro García and Chavarría – Rayo’s best – as offensive arguments, but Atlético, at home, and in these circumstances, is obliged to win. All that was missing was Koke to undo the idea of ​​’plan B’ and that’s how it ended up happening. Barrios found the key to victory with a wonderful pass with which he canceled out Aridane.

But the VAR took a millimeter ahead of Memphis, who, far from collapsing, ended up taking another helping of heroics with the 2-1 winner in an action in the 90th where he won the game against the center backs. Rayo protested a foul by Griezmann. He did it with the bitterness of a resistance without a prize that Atlético once again won in their temple.