Sant Andreu 0-1 Atletico Madrid: Gelson Martins give La Liga giants the edge in first leg of Copa del Rey clash
- Atletico Madrid edge past Catalan minnows Sant Andreu in Copa del Rey clash
- Striker Gelson Martins broke the deadlock for the visitors on the half-hour mark
- Diego Simeone’s men take slim first-leg lead back to the Wanda Metropolitano
Atletico Madrid overcame tough conditions on a wet artificial turf to beat fourth-division club Sant Andreu 1-0 on Tuesday to open its Copa del Rey campaign.
Portugal forward Gelson Martins scored a 33rd-minute winner for the visitors, which played without Antoine Griezmann and most of its regular starters.
Atletico also didn’t have coach Diego Simeone on the bench as he served the first of a three-game suspension following a rant in a Copa match against Sevilla last season.
Gelson Martins (centre) gave Atletico Madrid the lead on the half-hour mark on Tuesday night
The Atletico players celebrate Martins breaking the deadlock in their Copa del Rey clash
SANT ANDREU: (4-2-3-1) Segovia; Villar, Miranda, Noguera, Lopez; Guerrero (Carroza 83), Alcover; Sa (Josue 61), Danjo, Gallego; Munoz (Bandeh 66)
SUBS NOT USED: Fuentes (GK); Lopez, Martinez, Wanderson
BOOKINGS: Sa (53), Munoz (61)
COACH: Mikel Azparren
ATLETICO MADRID: (4-4-2) Adan; Arias, Savic, Montero, Juanfran; Lemar (Correa 61), Thomas, Rodrigo, Vitolo; Martins, Kalinic
SUBS NOT USED: Dos Santos (GK); Filipe Luis, Garces, Moya, Munoz, Rodriguez
GOALS: Martins (33)
COACH: Diego Simeone
REFEREE: Jesus Gil Manzano
VENUE: Narcis Sala Stadium (Barcelona)
Under heavy rain on a challenging field, Atletico controlled the game despite the absences, but its opponent put on a good fight and nearly got the equalizer in the end.
The club from Barcelona had three good chances in the final minutes, including a close-range header that hit the crossbar.
‘We allowed them to stay in it,’ Atletico goalkeeper Antonio Adan said. ‘The series is still open and we will have to finish it off in the match at home.’
Martins scored from inside the area for his first goal since joining Atletico in the summer. He was making his sixth appearance with the club.
Sant Andreu is the only fourth-division club still left in the Copa del Rey. It also faced Atletico in the Copa five years ago, losing 4-0 at home and 2-1 in Madrid.
‘We had a couple of chances to equalize,’ said midfielder Ton Alcover, one of the players who also faced Atletico five years ago. ‘We played a great match.’
Simeone used most of the players the club signed in the offseason, including Martins, Adan, Santiago Arias, Rodrigo, Thomas Lemar and Nikola Kalinic.
Thomas Lemar (left) races for the ball along with Sant Andreu’s Jaume Villar (right) on Tuesday
Atletico’s Francisco Montero (R) and Sant Andreu’s Kuku (L) battle for the ball in the first half
Atletico’s Croatian forward Nikola Kalinic (right) holds off Juan Antonio Gallego (left)
Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone (top right) talks tactics in the Narcis Sala Stadium
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