On-song Carrasco makes it three from three for Atlético
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Yannick Carrasco continued his fine form with the only goal as Atlético continued their 100% start to Group D, ending Rostov's 26-game unbeaten run at home in the process.
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Atlético Madrid maintained their perfect start to this season's UEFA Champions League with a hard-fought 1-0 victory away to Group D debutants Rostov.
The cold conditions did not seem to affect the visitors to Russia, who were dominant in the opening half. Ángel Correa twice missed the target from close range while Yannick Carrasco was smartly denied by Soslan Dzhanaev.
Things continued in a similar fashion after the restart and Carrasco was not to be denied as he fired in just after the hour mark following good work by Juanfran to ensure the Rojiblancos three points and cement their place as group leaders.
Key player: Yannick Carrasco
The Belgian flier is in a rich vein of form and was a thorn in the home side's defence throughout. His second-minute free-kick forced a save and it was a sign of things to come as he was central to everything Atlético did from an attacking point of view. Eventually he was rewarded with his second UEFA Champions League goal of the campaign.
If at first you don't succeed
A couple of years ago Atlético might have seen where the game was heading and settled for a share of the spoils, but Diego Simeone's charges are made of stronger stuff these days. They huffed and puffed, with the final ball often lacking or Dzhanaev blocking the way, but eventually were able to blow the house down through patience and persistence.
Talking point 2
Rostov's 26-match unbeaten home record had to end some time, and ultimately it took one of Europe's finest to halt their impressive 18-month run at the Olimp-2. Rostov coach Ivan Daniliants has admitted on numerous occasions that playing at this level is very much a learning curve for Rostov, and the team from the south of Russia are learning. However, it was another brief lapse in concentration that proved costly.
Richard van Poortvliet, Rostov (@UEFAcomRichVP)
It may be of little consolation to the Rostov players and coaches, but they can take a lot of positives from their loss to a side who have reached two of the last three UEFA Champions League finals. Rostov showed much greater solidity in defence and managed to frustrate a supremely talented Atlético outfit for long periods.
Joe Walker, Atlético (@UEFAcomJoeW)
Three wins from three, Atlético have one foot in the knockout stage and are favourites to finish top of Group D. Simeone could not have asked for more. It was far from vintage stuff, and Rostov showed themselves to be stubborn opponents, but they still managed to get the job done. A mark of champions.