MX23RW : Sunday, December 16 06:36:01
Mar 18, 2018 at 5.30pm UK at ​Estadio de la Cerámica (Villarreal)
Attendance: 19,385
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Unal (82', 90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Griezmann (20' pen.)
Vitolo (90')

Live Commentary: Villarreal 2-1 Atletico Madrid - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's La Liga coverage as Villarreal come from behind to earn a shock 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid at the Estadio de la Ceramica.
Live Commentary: Villarreal 2-1 Atletico Madrid - as it happened
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Villarreal took on Atletico Madrid at the Estadio de la Ceramica in La Liga as Diego Simeone's side looked to build on three straight wins in all competitions.

The visitors started well and they took the lead through Antoine Griezmann's first-half penalty, only for substitute Enes Unal to pull Villarreal back into contention with eight minutes to play in Castellon.

The controversy was not to stop there either, as Unal prodded home deep into injury time in order to hand Villarreal a shock 2-1 comeback win.

Relive all of the action with our minute-by-minute updates below.

4.30pmAfternoon everyone and thanks for joining us as we bring you live La Liga coverage as Villarreal welcome the visit of Atletico Madrid to the Estadio de la Ceramica in Castellon. The travelling side will be hoping for three away points to cement their position in second place, while the hosts are still aiming for a Europa League spot come the end of the campaign.

4.31pmATLETICO MADRID STARTING XI: Oblak; Vrsaljko, Gimenez, Godin, Lucas; Thomas, Saul, Correa, Koke; Costa, Griezmann

4.31pmATLETICO MADRID SUBSTITUTES: Werner, Savin, Sergi, Gabi, Vitolo, Torres, Gameiro

4.33pmVILLARREAL STARTING XI: Asenjo; Mario, Bonera, Alvaro, Costa; Trigueros, Rodrigo, Soriano; Fornals, Bacca, Raba

4.33pmVILLARREAL SUBSTITUTES: Barbosa, Ruiz, Castillejo, Unal, Sansone, Fuego, Rukavina

4.35pmSo the important news for Madrid fans is that Diego Costa is able to return from some recent injury issues and he starts alongside Antoine Griezmann in attack. Atletico have also been able to hand a start to keeper Jan Oblak who has had his own injury concerns of late.

4.37pmSimeone has opted for his standard 4-4-2 formation, which sees Thomas, Saul Niguez , Angel Correa and Koke occupy the midfield. Lucas Hernandez starts at left-back and Sime Vrsaljko is over on the right. Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez sit at the heart of the visiting defence today.

4.39pmMuch of the injury news has centred around that horrific leg break Filipe Luis suffered during the Europa League, but one piece of positive news comes in the form of Kevin Gameiro returning to the Atletico bench here.

4.40pmFor the home side, Javier Calleja has decided to go with a forward three made up from Carlos Bacca, Pablo Fornals and Dani Raba.

4.42pmMario Gaspar has also returned at right-back following time spent out through suspension, while Roberto Soriano has been preferred to Samu Castillejo on the left flank. The club have also been able to welcome back Nicola Sansone from injury and he finds himself with a place on the bench.

4.44pmDomestically, Atletico are having yet another strong season under the leadership of charismatic manager Simeone. Madrid have pushed an unbeaten Barcelona side close this term, but the Catalans' slender 1-0 win a few weeks ago has seen Barcelona take an eight point lead at the top with 10 games to play.

4.46pmAtletico know that if they are to induce a historic slip-up from Ernesto Valverde's men, winning their remaining 10 games is likely to be a minimum requirement.

4.48pmYou could see the heartache on the players' faces after the 1-0 loss at the Camp Nou, but Simeone's charges have been able to respond with some positive intent in recent weeks and that will certainly please their coach.

4.50pmSince losing to Barca, Atleti have responded with three consecutive competitive wins, conceding just one goal and scoring 11 in the process.

4.52pmTwo of those contests came in the Europa League, as Madrid dispatched Lokomotiv Moscow with an 8-1 aggregate win. At times Simeone's side appeared devastating over two legs, although the team was undoubtedly rocked by the injury to Luis during the 5-1 win in Moscow.

4.54pmSuch has been Atletico's resilience this season, the club have only lost two games all season and both of those came courtesy of 1-0 defeats.

4.56pmMadrid currently find themselves in the midst of some strong defensive form too. Simeone's charges have kept a clean sheet in six of their last eight matches in La Liga.

4.58pmCentral to the club's success has been their defensive work throughout the campaign. Simeone's side have the best defensive record in La Liga, having conceded just 12 goals all term.

5.00pmGoing forward, Atletico do have the worst goals-for return in the top-four, though. Leading the way for the club, however, is frontman Griezmann, who already has a fantastic return of 21 goals in 36 games so far this season. The Frenchman has 16 in 25 league appearances.

5.02pmFollowing the loss to Barca, Simeone and his men will be aiming to put together back-to-back wins in the league after beating Celta Vigo 3-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano last time out in the Spanish top flight.

5.04pmAs for the hosts, Real come into the game still in the hunt for a European qualifying spot, but their form has been far too inconsistent this term.

5.06pmOf late, Villarreal have lost two of their last three home league games, as both Alaves and Girona ended poor away runs by each earning wins over Calleja's side. Despite that, the hosts still sit in sixth place and will be hoping to secure a spot in the Europa League come the end of May.

5.08pmSome troubling form has seen the club record just two wins in their last seven games, having also lost four.

5.10pmThe club have been able to score at home consistently, however, with Villarreal scoring in five of their last six league clashes in Castellon. Bacca will be pleased too after finally getting back on the scoresheet last time out having gone six matches without scoring.

5.12pmIt could be argued that the January departure of Cedric Bakambu to Beijing has been problematic for the club, who also exited exited the round of 32 in the Europa League after being beaten by Lyon over two legs.

5.14pmLooking at this game, though, Villarreal have reasons to be cheerful. The club are undefeated in their last five matches against Atletico in all competitions.

5.16pmAdded to that, Atletico have not scored in their last two visits to the Estadio de la Ceramica and lost both of those games.

5.18pmThe most recent defeat was a 3-0 humbling in the league in 2016, while the other was a 1-0 loss in 2015. The reverse of this fixture this season ended in a 1-1 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano.

5.20pmAcross their last six league games, Villarreal have won three, drawn one and lost one against Los Rojiblancos.

5.22pmPREDICTION Not long to go until kickoff now and it's time to make a prediction. The hosts have proven to be a difficult side to beat this season, but they have also produced moments of complete naivety in some games. Atletico have been wonderfully consistent despite still being second to Barcelona. I'm backing the visitors to record a comfortable 2-0 win on the road.

5.24pmComing into the game, Simeone has been quick to dismiss his injury issues and insists that his side will work well together in order to cope:

"There's no way of knowing that in a squad of 25, six could be injured, nothing is guaranteed in life. Obviously you are always prepared to solve situations that you may encounter. I'm not worried, I have a small but important squad. We will compete with the guys that are available."

5.26pmHere's a quick glimpse of the away players warming up ahead of the game a little earlier this afternoon:

5.28pmJust a couple of minutes until we're underway here. Here's a quick recap of the starting XIs at the Estadio de la Ceramica:

VILLARREAL STARTING XI: Asenjo; Mario, Bonera, Alvaro, Costa; Trigueros, Rodrigo, Soriano; Fornals, Bacca, Raba

ATLETICO MADRID STARTING XI: Oblak; Vrsaljko, Gimenez, Godin, Lucas; Thomas, Saul, Correa, Koke; Costa, Griezmann

1 minKICKOFF! It's the visitors who get us underway in navy, while the hosts feature in all yellow...

2 minMadrid are at the races quickly here and Saul seeks to capitalise on some poor passing from the hosts. The midfielder steals possession and drives a shot towards goal, which is well saved by Asenjo.

3 minFornals shows a great turn of pace for the home side to dart down the left channel, but he is soon upended by Vrsaljko who is rightly penalised for a foul.

4 minCLOSE! Great work from the away side now as Costa drives down the left and then feeds Koke inside the area. Eventually Villarreal get enough men back and they are able to squeeze the ball out for a corner.

5 minThe Yellows win possession from the set piece and they charge down the other end on the break, where Bacca wrestles free on the right side of the box, before driving a tame effort straight into the grateful arms of Oblak, who does not have to move in his goal.

7 minA bright start for both sides then, who are showing that they might each being preferring the counter today.

8 minCosta is looking for some smart runs off the back of the centre-backs and Koke aims to find the brutish Spaniard, but Bonera reads the play well and steps across to cut out the pass with a strong header.

10 minSome early industry here from the hosts as Costa flies straight through the back of Correa, but its the defender who is left flattened on the deck. No foul given either way but the Villarreal man looks in a spot of pain.

12 minYELLOW CARD! The referee brings out the first yellow of the game as Fornals goes into the book after losing the ball and lunging full pelt into Saul. An awful tackle really and he is deservedly booked for it. Saul is just about on his feet.

14 minAfter a bright start the contest has started to edge towards being slightly attritional. Villarreal finally break forward with a hint of quality and Rodrigo fires towards goal from range, only to see his shot fly over the bar.

16 minYELLOW CARD! Costa and Griezmann have rarely been involved thus far, but the Frenchman soon goes into the book after a poor tackle on Fornals. That looks merely out of frustration. The frontmen have had a real lack of service.



19 minInteresting scenes at the Estadio de la Ceramica. Lemar whips a hopeful ball into the middle of the box, where Costa wins a wonderful knockdown to set Griezmann galloping beyond the last man. The forward reaches the ball and goes down under pressure from defender Jaume Costa and the linesman flags for a penalty. Replays suggest that there is minimal, if any, contact and it appears as though Griezmann might just have bought it. Anyway, the forward steps up and sends Asenjo the wrong way to put Madrid into the lead.

21 minThe home side respond with a positive run from Soriano, who thinks he's through on goal only to be denied by a great recovering tackle from Godin in the middle of the box.

23 minOFF THE POST! This game has sprung to life now. A beautiful exchange of passes eventually sees Koke drift free into the area, where he opens up and lashes a shot towards the bottom corner. Asenjo is well-beaten but the shot cannons back off the post.

25 minAtletico have enjoyed the lion's share of possession in the last few minutes as they aim to gain a foothold after opening the scoring. There has been little to separate the teams other than that penalty decision...

27 minVillarreal threaten down the right this time through Raba, but his cross into the middle misses everyone and Atletico are spared. This hasn't been the most technical of affairs, but we've seen plenty of industry.

29 minCorrea shows great feet to get the better of Costa and the left-back soon brings the winger down around 25 yards out from goal in a decent position for Atletico.

30 minThe resulting set piece turns out to be a poor one, however, as the ball is shifted short to Griezmann and he chips a cross straight into the grasp of keeper Asenjo.

31 minCLOSE! Some inspired pressure allows Villarreal to win back possession on the edge of the Atletico area, leaving Fornals to wind up and drive a promising effort along the ground and just wide of Oblak's post.

33 minCosta aims to redeem himself after the penalty with a promising move down the left, although his cross into the middle does not possess the required quality and Thomas can clear with ease.

35 minMadrid have just started to retreat a little deeper and you get the sense they are now gearing up to work on the break. Villarreal are having plenty of the ball in the visiting half, but have failed to do much with it going forward.

36 minFinally some quality from the hosts who work the ball wonderfully with a string of short passes on the edge of the Madrid box. The ball is finally threaded out into space for the overlapping Raba, who then delivers a poor cross and Atletico are let off the hook. The story of Villarreal's afternoon, really.

38 minAtletico show a glimpse of quality on the break as the ball is flung down the left. The ball is whipped into the feet of Costa, who controls and shoots with two touches, only to see his effort fly over the goal. The linesman has his flag raised for offside too.

40 minThe visitors have dropped off slightly again and look set on seeing this first half out. Griezmann offers a clever option on the break, although he is flagged offside by the referee's assistant after peeling off the back of Alvaro.

42 minSimeone's men are the masters of soaking up pressure. They'll be happy to stifle the home side and work on the counter for however long is required in this contest. Villarreal certainly have to show more quality in the final third here.

43 minCHANCE! Gimenez shows wonderful strength as he is called in to make the first vital challenge of the game. It looks like Bacca is about to pull the trigger in the centre of the box, but the centre-back throws his body on the line to make a crucial interception.

44 minSoriano does really well on the left to earn a free kick off Vrsaljko in a dangerous position. Trigueros fires in the set piece towards goal, although the Madrid wall does its job well and blocks the shot before it can reach Oblak.

45+! minCHANCE! Madrid catch the home side on the break and Griezmann shifts the ball into Correa who bears down on goal. The winger can shoot, but instead he shifts again to Costa, but by then Villarreal have enough numbers back to shutdown the move.


6.17pmTypical Atletico in some ways, this... The visitors have been far from their best but they have taken the one major chance of the half to earn a lead. Simeone's men have been compact at the back and have all but stifled Villarreal from having a look in at home.

6.24pmCalleja's men have shared so much of the ball although a total bluntness in attack has limited the hosts in the final third. Villarreal have every right to feel aggrieved with the penalty call, but they have done themselves no favours when trying to restore parity.

6.29pmThe players are now back out on the pitch. No changes just yet for either side. What will Villarreal do to get back into this? We certainly know Simeone's plans from here on in...

46 minSECOND HALF! The Yellow Submarine get us moving again in the second half...

48 minCosta almost beats the offside trap with a smart run off Bonera, but the linesman leaves it late to raise his flag. The centre-back takes a hammering from the forward in the challenge too.

49 minMario finds himself some space on the right and he drives down the flank before cutting inside. The full-back winds up a shot from distance under pressure from Correa, but Oblak has it covered with a smart save down low.

51 minThe away side seek to prevent from a rare corner and the ball is sent towards the back post for Godin, but he fouls his marker while sending a header wide of the target.

53 minA fast move sees Costa eventually break free to send a knockdown to Koke on the edge of the box. The playmaker opts for the volley as it drops out of the air, although Alvaro pulls off a gutsy block to prevent the shot from threatening his keeper.

55 minTrigueros has been frustrating throughout this contest. The midfielder finds himself in a good position on the right to cross into the middle, but instead he opts for the unlikely with a shot that flies wide of the target.

57 minSimeone's game-plan is unmistakable here. The visitors are sitting deeper than in the first half and are inviting the hosts to attack. Griezmann is more like a midfielder when the visitors do not have the ball.

59 minThis is nothing short of attritional at the moment. Atletico are merely sitting and waiting, while Villarreal are arguably devoid of the quality to really threaten a compact Madrid.

61 minGriezmann loses possession on the right and Villarreal are able to drive at the away defence. Bacca is the powerhouse who bundles Gimenez over, although the eventual shot from Trigueros is a poor one and again travels wide without testing Oblak. Gimenez is incensed during the build-up and is soon given a yellow card by the referee for his words in anger.

63 minSUBSTITUTION: The hosts make a change now as Sansone comes on to replace Soriano. Still no sign of Castillejo, though.

65 minPENALTY SHOUT! The home side want a penalty as Bacca goes down under pressure from Gimenez in the middle, but the referee is having none of it and waves play on. Replays suggest that it's a close call, the second one of the game that has not gone Villarreal's way...

67 minYELLOW CARD! Bacca shows his frustrations a little too much after the decision and he goes into the referee's book. Tempers are just starting to flair a little.

69 minMISS! This is exactly what Atletico have been playing for but they pass up the chance to go further ahead. Correa leads the counter and slips in Griezmann, who finds himself one-on-one with the last man. The striker gets his head up to shoot, but sends a wasteful effort into the stands.

71 minSUBSTITUTION: That proves to be Correa's last contribution as he is replaced by Victor Vitolo out on the wing.

73 minSUBSTITUTION: Another change for the hosts, Fornals comes off for Turkish frontman Enes Unal.

75 minYou have to feel for the likes of Bacca and his strike partners. They are making all of the necessary runs and movements in behind, but their teammates are failing to deliver into the box.

77 minWe are now into a crucial period of this contest and it is unlikely that there is more than one more goal left in this game if any. Thomas does well in midfield to break up the play and bring down Unal.

79 minThis has been far from a feast for the neutrals, but Atletico fans will be used to seeing games shut down like this by Simeone. In many ways it's been the perfect away performance from an industrious side.

81 minSUBSTITUTION: Another change as Simeone seeks to break down proceedings. Griezmann's number is up as Gabs comes on.


82 minVillarreal get the goal and Madrid have certainly invited it during the second half. The ball is left unpressed on the right and a cross comes into the box. It's a testing one that leaves Oblak rooted to his line, allowing Unal to rise highest and guide a deft header beyond the away stopper.

84 minThe momentum certainly finds itself with Villarreal now who are doing all the driving inside Madrid's half. Simeone only has himself to blame really by backing his side to see themselves through with just a one-goal margin.

86 minProceedings have dropped in quality in these past few moments as Madrid really shut down at the back. Villarreal are throwing whatever they have forward, but the visitors are holding firm this time.

88 minMore shouts from Calleja for his men to get forward...


90+1 minWhat an end to this game! Villarreal look like they have a remarkable winner... Castillejo crosses into the middle and a loose shot soon finds Unal unmarked at the back post and he makes no mistake by turning the ball past a desperate Oblak.

90+3 minRED CARD! More late drama here as Vitolo is given his marching orders for a petulant attack on Sansone. Awful play from the visiting midfielder who has only just come on as a substitute...


7.24pmWhat exactly has just happened? Full credit to Calleja for making those crucial changes - both Unal and Castillejo proved inspired choices in the dying embers and now Villarreal have an unlikely win.

7.30pmAt times it had looked like Madrid were capable of seeing out the victory with just one goal, but that plan certainly backfired for Simeone after the two late finishes. Fans will likely be a tad critical of Madrid for not really going after the second and sitting too deep. That said, this was an inspirational late showing from the hosts and will live long in the memory. Those final 10 minutes came in stark contrast to an initial 80 minutes that proved difficult viewing for any neutrals out there. That is going to be all from me today, thanks for joining us!

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Arsene Wenger watches on during the Europa League group game between Arsenal and Red Star Belgrade on November 2, 2017
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