Atletico Madrid 0 Celta Vigo 0: Simeone's side draws a blank against brilliant Blanco

An inspired performance from goalkeeper Ruben Blanco helped Celta Vigo secure an unlikely point from its trip to Atletico Madrid.

Alvaro Morata reacts after a missed opportunity against Celta Vigo.

Alvaro Morata reacts after a missed opportunity against Celta Vigo.   -  Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid failed to win for a third successive game in all competitions as an inspired performance from Ruben Blanco secured Celta Vigo an unexpected 0-0 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Diego Simeone's side saw its 100 per cent LaLiga record come to an emphatic end against Real Sociedad last weekend, while it rallied on Wednesday to secure a 2-2 Champions League draw with Juventus.

However, its efforts in clawing back from a two-goal deficit against the Serie A champion appeared to have taken a toll judging by its performance against Celta, with a sluggish Atletico failing to score at home in league action for the first time since May 2018.

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Hector Herrera was rewarded for his equaliser off the bench in midweek with a first LaLiga start, while Simeone also selected Angel Correa in an attack-minded starting XI.

Yet for all their exerted efforts going forward, Atletico was unable to find a way to beat the outstanding Blanco.

He kept the home team at bay with a trio of fine saves in the first half, starting with an acrobatic effort to turn away Felipe's header from Kieran Trippier's inswinging free-kick.

The visiting goalkeeper also tipped over a rising long-range drive from Renan Lodi, with Blanco then denying Joao Felix's on-target prod from the resulting corner.

Koke tested the 24-year-old's reflexes again from distance early in a second half where Atletico became increasingly frustrated with each passing minute.

Lodi's decision to go for goal from a tight angle rather than cross for the waiting Alvaro Morata summed up a below-par performance, while the side was grateful substitute Pione Sisto failed to do better with a back-post opportunity in the closing minutes of a quickly forgettable encounter.

What does it mean? Sluggish Atleti comes up short

After two tough fixtures, it is perhaps understandable Atleti was a little flat, despite the best efforts of a raucous home crowd to inspire the team.

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Worryingly for Simeone, the team has now managed just five goals in as many LaLiga outings in 2019-20, despite having 20 attempts on Saturday.

Blanco makes a point for Celta

The away team was resilient in defence but still relied on its goalkeeper to pick up a point on its travels. Blanco made five saves in total, the best of them his early denial of Felipe's close-range header.

Joao Felix fails to fire before departure

The Portugal international has still managed just the one goal for the Spanish club since his big-money arrival from Benfica. As was also the case against La Real, the teenager was withdrawn when his side was searching for a way to find a breakthrough in attack.

Simeone keeps faith with misfiring Atletico Madrid striker Costa

Simeone will continue to put his faith in Diego Costa despite the striker's La Liga goal drought continuing against Celta Vigo. Costa, 30, was booked after the final whistle for his part in an ugly fracas with the Celta Vigo players.

When asked a question about Costa's attitude for his role in the aftermath, Simeone claimed he "didn't see" the incident. However, the Argentinian has backed Costa to come good even though the ex-Chelsea forward has not found the net in a competitive match since he scored against Alaves in March.

"The numbers are what you say, it's the reality, but I trust Costa," Simeone said. I know he'll be fit again and it's a challenge for him. The championship is long and the team needs him."

Simeone called on Costa and the club's other strikers to become more ruthless after Atletico's return of just seven goals in five La Liga matches in this season so far.

"I think we started the pre-season at a great level, especially for strikers," added Simeone. The team looked good and it gives me the feeling that it is normal, when the season starts there are spikes and immediately the goals appear and in others they disappear."

"Hopefully we can get the focus to play back because the situations are there. If we do not, we must try to increase the offensive intensity because the goal comes from the rage of wanting to make a goal."

What's next?

With a midweek round of fixtures in Spain, Atletico Madrid travels to Real Mallorca on Wednesday. Celta, meanwhile, is in action the following day, as it hosts Espanyol.

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