In our final match of 2023, we were unable to come away with a point as we fell to a 1-0 defeat at the Metropolitano. A red card to defender Çağlar Söyüncü reduced the home side to ten men with a little under 20 minutes to play, but we were ultimately unable to make the advantage count as we piled on the pressure against a side challenging at the top of the table.
The match started at a fast pace, with both teams showing attacking intent. Rakitic had the first attempt, stealing the ball and trying his luck against Oblak without finding the target. Just a minute later, Morata tested Dmitrovic after a good combination play with De Paul. However, after that moment, the home side gradually began to enjoy more possession, although there were not many attempts on Dmitrovic's goal.
In the opening sixty seconds of the second half Simione's side took the lead
At halftime, Atlético made changes that paid off immediately in the second half. Koke's inside pass to Marcos Llorente, fresh onto the pitch, was cleared initially by Ramos at the near post but Llorente pounced again to make it 1-0. Quique didn't wait to respond and brought on En-Nesyri and Sow for Suso and Rakitic. The team improved with the substitutions and had chances of our own. Ocampos had the best chance as he raced clear following a pass from Óliver, but he was denied but a good stop from Oblak. Shortly after, Óliver himself had a shot deflected from the edge of the box. Turkish defender Söyüncü then saw red only four minutes after coming on after a badly timed challenge on Ocampos, although it was only confirmed after a VAR review.
There was enough time, and the ghosts of the previous Tuesday against Getafe loomed over the Metropolitano. However, despite a clear chance for Ocampos and a Reinildo shot that narrowly missed the post after being deflected, we couldn't make the numerical advantage count. Simeone's team defended resolutely, pressed, and on the counterattack could have even extended their lead but Dmitrovic came up strong to prevent a second. We now look forward to the winter break and reset ahead of the second half of the season to come in 2024, where we will kick off the year in Nervión on January 4 against Athletic Club.