Fernando Torres, Luciano Vietto power Atletico Madrid’s comeback win vs Napoli
Atletico Madrid were trailing 0-1 with just 18 minutes left to play before Luciano Vietto and Fernando Torres struck in their Audi Cup match. Jose Callejon scored for Napolifootball Updated: Aug 02, 2017 09:28 IST
Fernando Torres and Luciano Vietto scored late goals as Atletico Madrid fought back from behind to defeat Napoli 2-1 and reach the final of the Audi Cup.
Diego Simeone’s side trailed 1-0 with 18 minutes left at the Allianz Arena, but scruffy efforts from Torres and then Vietto turned the match around.
Atletico will meet hosts Bayern Munich or Liverpool in Wednesday’s final, while Napoli will face the loser of Tuesday’s second semi.
Having survived a first-half penalty, which saw Jan Oblak deny Arkadiusz Milik, Atleti fell behind in the 56th minute to Jose Callejon’s well taken volley.
But Antoine Griezmann teed up Torres to score from an awkward position before Vietto - who spent the 2016-17 campaign on loan at Sevilla - turned home the winner.
However, Diego Godin inexplicably picked up two yellow cards in the final 10 minutes for a pair of needless, rash challenges.
The opening quarter of the game provided little by the way of goalmouth action before Griezmann’s powerful header was superbly kept out by the strong left hand of Pepe Reina, who then got up smartly to thwart Nico Gaitan on the rebound.
Within a minute Griezmann was in again, but this time he volleyed wide on the stretch.
Atletico were given an even greater let-off at the other end, however, as Milik saw his spot-kick saved by Oblak diving low to his left after Stefan Savic had brought down Callejon as he tried to convert Faouzi Ghoulam’s teasing ball.
But Milik’s blushes were spared in the 56th minute as Ghoulam delivered another cross from the left to Callejon, whose first-time volley thumped into the ground and up into the top-left corner.
Oblak could do little to keep that effort out, but he was equal to Dries Mertens’ dipping free-kick eight minutes later, the Belgian having just come on for the goalscorer as Napoli set the tone for a raft of changes.
The Slovenia keeper was called into action again soon afterwards, tipping over Ghoulam’s rasping drive before Atleti showed some renewed signs of life as Godin glanced a header over from close range.
Torres equalised within two minutes of that miss, doing well to twist his body and convert Griezmann’s cutback.
Atletico completed the turnaround with nine minutes remaining when Yannick Carrasco’s corner was flicked on by Lucas Hernandez and Vietto stabbed home at the back post.
Godin’s lunge on Adam Ounas earned him a second caution a minute from time to blight an otherwise positive day for Simeone’s men, who are still the best part of three weeks away from the start of their season in earnest.