Atletico Madrid ground out a 1-1 draw at Girona in the Copa del Rey
Antoine Griezmann continued his goalscoring streak as Atletico Madrid drew 1-1 at Girona to edge them towards the last eight of the Copa del Rey. Diego Simeone’s side has not beaten Girona since they were promoted to LaLiga in 2017, but the visitors looked prime to end that run when Griezmann fortuitously put Atletico into the lead after nine minutes with his seventh goal in eight games.
However, the hosts hit back 25 minutes later as Anthony Lozano netted only his second goal of the season on a night when he was a thorn in Atletico’s side.
Simeone will fancy his chances of guiding Atletico to a seventh consecutive appearance in the quarter-finals given they are unbeaten at home this season, but Girona will stand a chance in the second leg if they put in the kind of spirited display that saw them fight back to earn a draw.
The hosts’ good start turned sour when Griezmann met Nikola Kalinic’s neat pass with a side-footed first-time shot from just inside the box that went in off goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz.
Girona hit back when Aleix Garcia’s clever ball picked out Lozano, who took a touch and stroked a dipping shot towards goal that Antonio Adan could only help into the net with a punch that lacked the strength to push it over the crossbar.
Lozano then crashed a header onto the underside of the bar, only to see it bounce back out as Atletico ended the half fortunate to be level.
Kalinic missed two chances early in the second half, heading straight at Iraizoz with the first before turning the Girona defence and blazing over the target from 12 yards with the second.
Seydou Doumbia had plenty to aim at when the ball fell to him on the edge of the six-yard box but he scuffed his shot in what proved to be Girona’s last clear-cut chance of the evening, leaving them needing to spring a surprise in Madrid next week.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) January 9, 2019