Correa fires early stunner in Atletico’s comeback 2-2 draw vs. Villarreal

Vila-real, Spain, Jan 9 (EFE).- Atletico de Madrid’s Angel Correa brought the team back from behind with a shot-on-goal from the midfield line that got the capital squad a comeback 2-2 draw in an exciting match against Villarreal at La Ceramica stadium on Sunday before some 14,000 fans.

Atletico took an early lead when Correa drove a stunning shot over Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli and then Pau Torres tied things up in the 29th minute, where the score stood at the break.

But the capital boys fell behind in the second half when Alberto Moreno tallied in the 58th minute when the left-back took Gerard Moreno’s through ball and headed it, whirling in behind it and sinking it past Oblak for the go-ahead goal.

Atletico then spent a nervous nine minutes until Geoffrey Kondogbia found the twine to get Atletico even again at 2-2.

Yannick Carrasco ran with the ball and sent a cross to Correa, who fired, although Rulli blocked it with his right foot only to have Kondogbia send it home through the many players on the scene who obscured the netminder’s view.

Kondogbia was booted in injury time with a second yellow card after delivering a body check on Yeremy Pino.

The long strike at Minute 10 was Correa’s seventh tally of this season and Atletico coach Diego Simeone said after the match that “It’s an incredible goal, it could be goal of the season.”

The stunning early goal came after Dani Parejo passed the ball away at the midway line, with Correa intercepting, stepping just over the halfway line and sending a fantastic lobbing shot into the net and over the straining Rulli, who had been taken by surprise at the audacious try.

A few minutes later, Gerard Moreno was unable to bring Villarreal even from the penalty spot when Atletico netminder Jan Oblak slapped at the ball for the save, with Parejo going for the rebound and knocking it into the net, a pseudo-tally that was disallowed after VAR review found that the ball had hit his hand.

With the win, Atletico now moves back into fourth place in the La Liga table, even on points with Real Sociedad in the No. 5 spot but 16 points behind league leader Real Madrid.

Meanwhile, Villarreal remains in the eighth spot, just four points shy of Champions League qualification.


Villarreal: Rulli, Foyth, Albiol, Pau Torres, Estupiñan (Jackson, m.86); Alberto Moreno (Yeremy, m.73), Capoue (Iborra, m.80), Parejo, Trigueros (Pedraza, m.73), Moi Gomez and Gerard Moreno.

Atletico de Madrid: Oblak, Llorente, Felipe, Hermoso, Lodi (Vrsaljko, m.62); Carrasco, Kondogbia, De Paul (Koke, m.62), Lemar; Cunha (Joao Felix, m.62) and Correa.

EFE sm/jl/bp

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