Atletico Madrid missed the opportunity to usurp third-placed Sevilla in LaLiga as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Julen Lopetegui's side at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.

Diego Simeone's men were hoping for a positive result that would have taken themselves back into the top four ahead of their Champions League last-16 second leg with Liverpool, but Sevilla claimed a commendable draw as Atletico failed to capitalise on their chances after half-time.

Luuk de Jong put Sevilla in front, before an Alvaro Morata penalty and a deflected Joao Felix effort turned the tables, but the visitors did go in at the interval level thanks to Lucas Ocampos' spot-kick.

Atletico attacked with increased intensity in the second half and crafted some presentable chances, but Diego Costa and Yannick Carrasco were both unable to capitalise as a Sevilla held on.

Sevilla began with the greater intent and deservedly went ahead 19 minutes in, Stefan Savic unable to cut out Joan Jordan's pass in from the right and De Jong finishing clinically after a fine first touch.

Atletico levelled from the spot through Morata – Diego Carlos penalised for an apparent handball following a lengthy VAR check.

Joao Felix then then put the hosts in front in the 36th minute, his left-footed shot taking a massive deflection of Jules Kounde before looping over the helpless Tomas Vaclik.

However, Sevilla equalised just before the break.

Ocampos converted the game's second spot-kick after another protracted VAR review adjudged Kieran Trippier to have caught the Argentinian.

Valik produced a wonderful save to deny Carrasco just past the hour-mark, reacting to claw the ball away after it had taken a hefty deflection.

The Belgian forward went close again soon after, blasting over from the centre of the box with what proved to be Atletico's final clear-cut opportunity.

 

What does it mean? Atletico happy to avoid defeat

While a draw will frustrate Simeone, he is probably grateful to avoid defeat above all, as that could have been a major blow for their top-four chances and dented their confidence ahead of Wednesday.

Nevertheless, Sevilla might feel irritated they did not do more to put Atleti under pressure in the first half when they were the better side.

Joao Felix provides a bit of spark

It has not been a great debut season at Atletico for Joao Felix, but he certainly showed flashes of his undoubted ability on Saturday. The Portugal star created three opportunities, second only to team-mate Trippier, had three shots and got himself a goal – even if he needed help from Kounde to beat Vaclik.

Suso's so-so

Much of the creative burden should have been on Suso for Sevilla, but the January signing from Milan was very quiet as he failed to create a single chance.

What's next?

Atletico turn their attention to the Champions League now, as they go to Anfield 1-0 up against title-holders Liverpool, followed by a trip to Athletic Bilbao. Sevilla host Roma in the Europa League on Thursday, then welcome bitter rivals Real Betis to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan three days later.

Arsenal and Everton are moving closer to confirming their new bosses.

According to reports, the Premier League clubs have identified their preferred candidates and commenced discussions.

But while supporters appear to be onside, it seems Manchester City have been left upset by recent developments.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL MAKE PROGRESS WITH ARTETA PURSUIT

Arsenal have opened talks with City assistant Mikel Arteta and the Premier League champions are not pleased, according to The Athletic.

Arteta, 37, reportedly met with Arsenal's head of football Raul Sanllehi last week and discussions regarding his potential appointment are said to have advanced following discussions with key officials Vinai Venkatesham and Huss Fahmy.

The Athletic's report suggests that though the Spaniard has kept his employers informed, City have received no official approach from the Gunners – an oversight that has "angered" those at the Etihad Stadium, according to the Mirror.

Arteta spent five seasons with Arsenal as a player and was in the running to succeed Arsene Wenger in 2018, before the job went to Unai Emery.

 

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- Arteta has also been linked with a return to Everton but the Toffees look set to land a vastly more experienced candidate. According to The Telegraph, Carlo Ancelotti is on the verge of becoming their new manager on a deal running through to 2024. Everton, however, have denied issuing any contract offers in the wake of Marco Silva's dismissal.

- "Senior stars" at Tottenham have urged Jose Mourinho to sign Wolves winger Adama Traore, reports Football Insider. Traore scored a goal and ran the Spurs defence ragged in his side's 2-1 defeat at Molineux on Sunday.

- LaLiga title hopefuls Real Madrid are taking a close look at teenage Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, claims L'Equipe. Camavinga has already accrued 20 Ligue 1 starts at the tender age of 17.

- Bayern Munich hope to sign Sevilla winger Lucas Ocampos but may be forced to wait until the end of the season, says Sky Sport Italia reporter Gianluca Di Marzio.

- Remaining with Bayern and, even though the Bundesliga champions sit six points adrift of leaders RB Leipzig, club executives are keeping the faith with interim head coach Hansi Flick, reports Bild. That means Thomas Tuchel will not be making a mid-season switch from Paris Saint-Germain.

- Serie A table-toppers Inter admire 20-year-old River Plate midfielder Cristian Ferreira and have discussed the possibility of a transfer with his agent, reports CalcioMercato. 

Joachim Low hailed Serge Gnabry's performance in Germany's 2-2 draw with Argentina as "very dangerous" but said he brought the Bayern Munich forward off to protect him from injury.

Gnabry netted Germany's opener after just 15 minutes of the friendly at Signal-Iduna-Park, taking his goal tally for club and country to six in his last four matches.

Kai Havertz added a second to give Low's men a 2-0 lead at half-time but Argentina took advantage of some poor second-half defending to level the match, with Lucas Alario and Lucas Ocampos on target.

Germany face Estonia in a Euro 2020 qualifying match on Sunday, and Low indicated his decision to replace Gnabry after 72 minutes with Schalke's Suat Serdar was made with one eye on that game.

"We didn't want Serge Gnabry playing for 90 minutes," Low told reporters.

"He has also played a lot of games lately. He went very fast and covered a lot of ground.

"Serge showed up almost everywhere, was always very dangerous and made the Argentine defence insecure in the first half. That's why it was clear from the outset that we would take him off the pitch after 70 minutes.

"We definitely need him in the next games, and the risk was too big for me that he could still injure himself there."

Low gave a glowing report on Joshua Kimmich's performance as captain, and explained his decision to give the Bayern Munich defensive midfielder the armband.

At the age of just 24, Kimmich has already earned 45 caps since making his Germany debut in May 2016.

"Jo [Kimmich] has been with us a long time," said Low. "He fits in with his personality. He's a role model when it comes to deployment. He is a role model in his whole attitude.

"Meanwhile he also has some experience. He can also verbally lead a team on the pitch. He is very good at organisation and gives instructions.

"He is also always omnipresent on the pitch. So it was clear to me that Jo [Kimmich] was captain today."

Lucas Ocampos scored his first senior international goal as Argentina pulled off a late fightback in a 2-2 draw with Germany, who let slip a two-goal lead in a game they dominated for an hour.

After Serge Gnabry skilfully put the hosts in front, Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz swept home Die Mannschaft's second of a game in which Argentina offered very little until substitute Lucas Alario pulled one back in the 66th minute.

Lionel Messi missed the game while he served a suspension but Lionel Scaloni fielded a strong team including Paulo Dybala, Lautaro Martinez and Roberto Pereyra in attack.

Low took the opportunity to give debuts to Gian-Luca Waldschmidt on the wing and Robin Koch in defence and was rewarded with an hour of dominance before a late rally culminated in Ocampos poaching an equaliser that silenced the crowd in Dortmund.

Argentina were undone after 15 minutes when Lukas Klostermann got around Angel Correa and played a low cross towards Gnabry, who nipped in ahead of three Argentina defenders and poked the ball into the far corner of the net from six yards.

Another Klostermann break brought Germany's second goal, the RB Leipzig wing-back pouncing after Marcos Rojo yielded possession and surging forward to feed Gnabry, whose slide-rule pass into the box found Havertz unmarked for an easy finish.

Marcel Halstenberg crashed a stunning 30-yard free-kick onto the underside of the crossbar before Argentina's Rodrigo de Paul hammered a similarly spectacular effort onto the post at the other end but at the interval the hosts deservedly led 2-0.

Emre Can forced Agustin Marchesin into a save on the edge of his penalty area early in the second half before Scaloni sent on Alario for Dybala.

The Bayer Leverkusen striker had been on the pitch just three minutes when fellow substitute Marcos Acuna picked him out with a floated cross from the left and he arrowed a header into the far corner of Marc-Andre ter Stegen's net.

A Joshua Kimmich free-kick tested Marchesin in the closing stages but the Porto goalkeeper punched it clear before Alario's run sliced Germany open and Ocampos side-footed home via a deflection off Can, beating Ter Stegen at his near post to Low's dismay.

 

What does it mean? Low's men took their foot off the gas

Germany face stiff competition from Northern Ireland and Netherlands to qualify for Euro 2020 but looked confident and incisive enough to beat almost anyone for an hour in Dortmund.

That assured display gave way to a disappointing half-hour in which Germany's inexperience perhaps took its toll.

Brandt bossed it

The best Germany teams of the last decade have always featured an imposing presence in attacking midfield, and Julian Brandt's high-pressing performance offered shades of Thomas Muller in his prime.

Rojo no show

Rojo went into this game having played just 30 minutes of Premier League football for Manchester United this season and it showed; he was hauled off at half-time.

What's next?

Germany face Estonia on Sunday in the battle of top versus bottom in Euro 2020 qualifying group C, while Argentina play another friendly against Ecuador in Spain.

Boca Juniors attacker Alexis Mac Allister was one of seven uncapped players named in Argentina's squad for upcoming friendlies against Chile and Mexico.

Lionel Scaloni named a 27-man squad on Sunday, including Mac Allister, Leonardo Balerdi, Nicolas Figal, Lucas Martinez, Nicolas Dominguez, Lucas Ocampos and Adolfo Gaich.

Mac Allister, 20, is on loan at Boca from Premier League club Brighton and Hove Albion, who signed the attacker in January.

Argentina, who finished third at the Copa America, are without superstar Lionel Messi as the forward serves a suspension.

It is an inexperienced squad for the friendlies in September, with Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria among the players joining Messi in missing.

Argentina face Chile in Los Angeles on September 5 before taking on Mexico in Texas five days later.

Argentina: Esteban Andrada (Boca Juniors), Franco Armani (River Plate), Agustin Marchesin (Porto); Leonardo Balerdi (Borussia Dortmund), Nicolas Figal (Independiente), Lucas Martinez (River Plate), Gonzalo Montiel (River Plate), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax); Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP), Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese), Nicolas Dominguez (Velez Sarsfield), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham), Alexis Mac Allister (Boca Juniors), Lucas Ocampos (Sevilla), Exequiel Palacios (River Plate), Leandro Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain), Roberto Pereyra (Watford), Guido Rodriguez (America), Matias Zaracho (Racing Club); Joaquin Correa (Lazio), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Adolfo Gaich (San Lorenzo), Lautaro Martinez (Inter).

Sevilla have made Lucas Ocampos their seventh permanent arrival of the close season, the winger joining for a reported €15million fee from Marseille.

Ocampos signed for Marseille in 2015 and, after a difficult first few years – including loans to Genoa and AC Milan – he settled to become a key player.

Offering a mix of craft, work-rate and pace, the 24-year-old was one of few Marseille players to come away from the 2018-19 campaign with his reputation intact and he has signed a five-year contract at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

He joins Sevilla in a state of flux, with Luuk de Jong, Joan Jordan, Diego Carlos, Munas Dabbur and Jules Kounde all recent arrivals, while Maximilian Wober's loan from Ajax became permanent.

Sevilla have also been busy arranging departures: Gabriel Mercado, Pablo Sarabia, Quincy Promes and Luis Muriel have all moved on, while Simon Kjaer, Aleix Vidal, Roque Mesa, Joris Gnagnon, Ibrahim Amadou, Guilherme Arana and Wissam Ben Yedder have been heavily linked with the exit.

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