A year and a month ago, the Belgian winger Yannick Carrasco starred in an unexpected return to Atlético de Madrid from Chinese football two after his departure. A day later he played 20 minutes against him Real Madrid. Now, in the run-up to another Madrid derby, this key to the league title points to a new return after three absences due to injury.
Protagonist of a surprising departure in February 2018 to the Dalian Chino, when he was established as one of the most relevant ends of the squad, as sharp as it was irregular, even more so was his return a year ago when the club struggled to incorporate a striker to replace the then injured Diego Costa, and his very fast re-run, in the derby lost 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu. One year later, it is a key piece.
Become the left lane preferred by the Argentine coach Diego Pablo Simeone In the innovative 5-3-2 scheme that Atlético has adopted since November, taking advantage of his maturity, chiseled in his experience in China, and greater defensive discipline combined with his ability to be unbalanced in attack, Carrasco it is a capital element in this formation.
Only injuries have deprived him of being even more relevant. He has missed nine games, between a muscle injury in the right thigh in October (four games lost), a blow to the knee (one game), the coronavirus outbreak (one, because he entered the squad against Celta , although he did not play) and a post-traumatic injury in the musculature of the left leg, which has left him out of the last three games (Levante, Chelsea and Villarreal).
This concatenation of ailments has deprived the Belgian of being even more decisive in this new role, which he had already played in the Belgian team, in which Simeone offers him the whole band and in which he had his best moment in December, when he distributed four goal assists in three consecutive games (Elche, Real Sociedad and Getafe), at the beginning of the leader’s last league streak, when he chained eight victories followed in the championship.
FROM ONE DERBI TO ANOTHER DERBI
If the Madrid derby marked the Belgian winger his re-run with Atlético, with the last 20 minutes he played at the Santiago Bernabéu, which he entered instead of Victor Machin ‘Vitolo’In the 71st minute of a match that ended with a 1-0 victory for Whites; It will be another derby that will see him reappear again, if what Simeone has worked on in recent days is fulfilled.
In both Wednesday and Thursday sessions, the left-handed winger went straight into the starting eleven from the infirmary, as did his partner in the other band, the Englishman. Kieran trippier, absent from the last eleven games due to the sanction imposed by the English Federation.
Whether in the 5-3-2 scheme that Atlético has managed in the last four months, or in the 4-4-2 variant that it has rehearsed lately -and if the plans do not change in the two remaining sessions-, Carrasco will enter eleven, again in a derby.
The Belgian has played nine and has only won one, the semi-final round of the 2015-16 Champions League, the last European duel of Vicente Calderón, in which the team said goodbye to the Manzanares river stadium, beating the eternal rival under a deluge with a 2-1 insufficient to turn around the 3-0 of the first leg.
A year earlier, Carrasco had been the capital in another derby, that of the Milan ‘Champions’ final, when a goal of his tied Sergio Ramos’ initial with 11 minutes to go after his French teammate Antoine Griezmann I would have missed a penalty. Atlético then did not know, or could not, win the game, and ‘Orejona’ ended up deciding on penalties, falling on the white side.
His other seven derbies include three draws and four losses. In Atlético’s last league victory against the eternal citizen rival five years ago, in February 2016, he was injured.
Now back again in a derby Carrasco aspires to generate from the far left the opportunities that will lead Atlético to give a blow to the League, as it did against Barcelona, dodging a desperate exit from the German Marc-André Ter Stegen to give his team victory in the Wanda Metropolitano (1-0).