Tuesday. 28.05.2024

Atletico Madrid boosted their hopes of a top-four finish in LaLiga, as Renan Lodi netted twice in a hard-fought 2-0 home win over Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Towards the end of a turgid first period, Lodi fired a deflected effort past Matias Diruto to give Diego Simeone's team the lead, then volleyed in a second on the hour, with Geoffrey Kondogbia providing assists for both goals. 

Simeone's solid rearguard stood firm as Atletico closed out the win in the latter stages, piling the pressure on top-four rivals Barcelona, who can move level with the Spanish champions by beating Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

After Atletico started slowly, Reinildo was forced into a brilliant block by Franco Cervi after 15 minutes.

Angel Correa failed to meet Marcos Llorente's inviting cut-back at the other end, but Atletico did break the deadlock on 35 minutes.

Lodi was the scorer, beating Hugo Mallo before firing a low shot past Diruto, who looked to have been wrong-footed by a touch from the Celta skipper.

26 February 2022, Spain, Madrid: Atletico de Madrid's Renan Lodi scores his sid's second goal during the Spanish LaLiga soccer match between Atletico de Madrid and Celta de Vigo at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Photo: Apo Caballero/DAX via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa.
Renan Lodi scores his side's second goal at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Photo: Apo Caballero/dpa.

Spectacular effort

Celta's Javi Galan went close with a spectacular effort, but Atletico went into the break a goal to the good, after a half in which chances were at a premium.

The visitors went on the front foot after the break, with Iago Aspas almost finding the net directly from a corner, before Lodi doubled his tally in the match, and for the entire season, with a superb second.

The Brazilian latched onto Kondogbia's lofted ball, finishing on the run to double the lead on the hour, before being substituted to a standing ovation shortly thereafter.

Substitutes Yannick Carrasco and Rodrigo de Paul then forced Diruto into strong saves, while fellow replacement Antoine Griezmann also went close twice from long rage as Atletico held on to their advantage comfortably.

Atletico Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo: Lodi double boosts hosts