Unai Emery loses plot as Atlético snatch draw after comedy own goal | Sid Lowe


Sid Lowe

The Villarreal manager had to watch as his goalkeeper went walkabouts and his defender headed into his own net in the 95th minute

Oh Mandi. All that and it ended like this, everything falling apart on the stroke of midnight. Sunday became Monday and Atlético Madrid had just taken their 16th corner, their last chance gone, when it happened. Villarreal had not taken any and they had only two shots, compared to Atlético’s 23, but both had gone in and so here they were about to beat the league champions. After 14 attempts, Unai Emery was actually going to defeat Diego Simeone. And then a ridiculous 95th-minute own goal changed everything, leaving those who weren’t falling down falling about.

Villarreal led 2-1 and there were 23 seconds left on the final game of week three. Although no one inside the Metropolitano knew that, screens stopping on 90.00 because that most basic piece of information is clearly too sensitive for football fans to handle, they knew it was over. Five minutes had gone up on the board – it could have been twice as many – and almost gone by on the pitch. Some were leaving. Those who stayed found cameras uncomfortably close, the TV director going all arty on their loss. Simeone stood all in black, arms behind his back, and slowly shook his head. The tension had finally given way to resignation. Inexplicably, it was done.

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