Joao Felix

Joao Felix video
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La Liga roundup: Atleti snaps skid with Joao Felix brace (video)

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MADRID — Joao Felix scored twice in his first match back from injury as Atletico Madrid routed Osasuna 5-0 on Wednesday to end its winless streak and regain fourth place in the Spanish league.

Felix scored a goal in each half to lead Atletico to its first win after three consecutive league draws. The Portugal forward had been nursing a sprained left knee and had not played since the league resumed amid the coronarivus pandemic.

Marcos Llorente, Alvaro Morata and Yannick Carrasco also scored for Atletico, which had dropped outside the Champions League places following its slump.

[ MORE: Man City drops Arsenal | Pep reacts ]

Diego Simeone’s team eliminated defending champion Liverpool in the round of 16 of the Champions League just before the pandemic break, but it had won only two of its last nine league games.

The victory kept Atletico 15 points behind leader Barcelona – which defeated Leganes 2-0 on Tuesday – but moved the team two points behind third-place Sevilla, which drew 1-1 at Levante on Monday. Real Sociedad can get past Atletico again for fourth place if it wins at Alaves on Thursday.

Atletico is 10 points behind second-place Real Madrid ahead of its rival’s home game against Valencia on Thursday.

Felix, who arrived from Benfica amid high expectations in the offseason as a replacement to Antoine Griezmann, controlled the action for Atletico early on. He opened the scoring with a powerful right-foot shot into the top of the net in the 27th minute after picking up a loose ball inside the area. His second goal came from close range in the 56th after a pass from Diego Costa.

It was Felix’s first double with Atletico, giving him eight goals this season.

Llorente scored in the 79th, Morata in the 82nd and Carrasco in the 88th.

Morata’s goal was initially disallowed for offside but the decision was overturned by video review.

Osasuna, which had drawn at Real Sociedad in its first match after the break, stayed in 11th place.

Large banners with photos of Osasuna fans covered the stands at the empty El Sadar Stadium.

Atletico next hosts Valladolid, while Osasuna visits Valencia.

OTHER RESULTS

Forward Iago Aspas squandered a 71st-minute penalty as Celta Vigo drew 0-0 at Valladolid to remain winless after the break and stay near the relegation zone.

Athletic Bilbao followed up its home draw against Atletico with a 2-2 draw at Eibar, missing a chance to move closer to the European places.

Atletico’s Joao Felix suffers knee injury

Joao Felix
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Atletico Madrid wonderkid Joao Felix has suffered a knee injury in training as the La Liga club stepped up their return to full fitness.

Felix, 20, has been a key part of Diego Simeone’s squad which has reached the UEFA Champions League last eight and are battling for a top four spot in La Liga.

It appears that Felix’s initial diagnosis is an MCL sprain, which could well see him miss some of the season when it restarts next month following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Atletico posted an update, sating that Felix: “Suffered a sprain of the medial collateral ligament of the left knee. as confirmed by the tests he has undergone at the University of Navarra Clinic. The Portuguese international is pending evaluation.”

Atletico, like all professional clubs in Spain, had yet to return to full group training and were instead putting on sessions in groups of 10 players at a time.

La Liga aim to get the 2019-20 season restarted on June 11 and Spain’s top-flight still have 11 rounds of matches to play.

Felix has scored six goals and added two assists in 28 appearances in all competitions after his $137 million move from Benfica last summer. Although those numbers seem modest, he does bring a calmness to Atletico’s often hectic play and he has clearly improved the longer the 2019-20 season has gone on.

Simeone will be sweating on Felix’s fitness as Atletico currently sit in sixth place but are just one point off the top four and they have a relatively easy schedule remaining. They do have to travel to Barcelona and all signs point to their final two games of the season, against top four rivals Getafe and Real Sociedad, as being key in whether or not they’ll be in the UEFA Champions League next season.

Champions League wrap: Mbappe, Neymar on fire; Atleti, Atalanta advance

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The UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16 contestants are confirmed after Atletico Madrid and Atalanta made sure only teams from the top five leagues in Europe made the jump.

[ RECAPS: D. Zagreb 1-4 Man City | Bayern 3-1 Spurs ]

What does that mean for the four Premier League sides? Here’s who they can draw.

As for a recap of Wednesday’s action and some fun highlights, read on…

Club Brugge 1-3 Real Madrid

All the goals came in the second half here, as Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior scored before Luka Modric rounded out the markers in stoppage time. Hans Vanaken scored for the Belgian set, which again used Simon Mignolet between the sticks knowing Galatasaray could’ve passed them with a win.

Olympiacos 1-0 Red Star Belgrade

Longtime Moroccan striker Youssef El-Arabi scored the lone goal as the Greeks moved into third place and a Europa League spot.

Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Atalanta

The Serie A side surged past their Ukrainian hosts, who saw star right back Dodo sent off. Three different players scored for the visitors, with Mario Pasalic and Robin Gosens leading the way. Timothy Castagne scored Atalanta’s first goal.

Paris Saint-Germain 5-0 Galatasaray

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar each had a goal and two assists, while Mauro Icardi, Edinson Cavani, and Pablo Sarabia also scored for the hosts.

Atletico Madrid 2-0 Lokomotiv Moscow

Lokomotiv keeper Anton Kochenkov pushed a Kieran Trippier penalty off the post in the first few minutes of the contest, but Joao Felix converted Atleti’s second chance from the spot as Diego Simeone’s team handled its business to reach the Round of 16. Felipe scored the side’s other goal via a Koke assist.

Bayer Leverkusen 0-2 Juventus

Atleti would’ve made it through anyway, as Bayer couldn’t spring an upset on group winners Juve. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain scored the goals in Germany.

Joao Felix injured, but not as bad as feared

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Atletico Madrid will be without its teenage sensation for a few weeks, but will still breathe a sigh of relief.

Joao Felix limped off in the 78th minute of the 1-1 draw with Valencia on Saturday, leaving Atleti with 10 men with all substitutes having been used. Simeone after the match said the medical staff believed the injury was “serious” but later that day scans showed just a Grade II ankle sprain, meaning Felix will miss approximately two to three weeks according to a report by Spanish publication AS.

Felix has been critical to the otherwise anemic Atletico Madrid attack, scoring two goals and assisting another. The team has bagged just three total goals over the last six matches, being held off the scoresheet in four of those games.

The injury means Felix will miss a Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen plus league matches against Athletic Bilbao, Alaves and Sevilla. AS reports that he could be back at the start of November when Atletico plays the reverse Champions League group stage fixture with Bayer.

The 19-year-old arrived at the Wanda Metripolitana this past summer for an enormous $140 million fee.

Champions League wrap: Juve, Atleti, PSG in the win column

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The UEFA Champions League had a bit of everything on Tuesday, including results for five visiting teams.

We’ve written plenty about Spurs’ big loss and Man City’s controlling win, but if you missed those recaps — as well as Real Madrid’s poor day versus Club Brugge — see below.

Real Madrid 2-2 Club Brugge — RECAP

Tottenham Hotspur 2-7 Bayern Munich — RECAP | Pochettino reacts

Man City 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb — RECAP | Foden, Sterling react

As for the five other matches on Tuesday’s slate…

Galatasaray 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain

The Türk Telekom Stadı is far from an easy place to visit, and PSG needed every bit of resolve to outlast the Turkish hosts. Pablo Sarabia did a lot of the heavy lifting in setting up Mauro Icardi for the match’s lone goal, which came in the 52nd minute.

Juventus 3-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Gonzalo Higuain gave The Old Lady an early lead, and Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal and set Federico Bernardeschi up for another to keep Juve on level footing with Atletico Madrid in the race for Group D’s seeded spot.

Atalanta 1-2 Shakhtar Donetsk

The Serie A side took a lead through Duvan Zapata and would’ve been happy to get a point on the board after Junior Moraes scored before halftime, but instead saw a home loss when Manor Soloman scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Red Star Belgrade 3-1 Olympiacos

Down 1-0 after 37 minutes on a Ruben Semedo strike, the hosts took off following an early second half red card to Olympiacos’ Yacine Benzia.

Milos Vulic, Nemanja Milunovic, and Richmond Boakye scored for Red Star, who was again backstopped by Canadian star Milan Borjan.

Lokomotiv Moscow 0-2 Atletico Madrid

Scoreless at the break, Joao Felix had a goal and helped set up Thomas Partey for another to make it 2-0 by the hour mark as Diego Simeone’s men climbed to four points for the tournament.

Don’t look now (actually look now, that’s why we’re putting it here. What a silly phrase) but Atleti looks really dangerous again.