Lodi scores twice as Atletico beat Celta to climb to fourth in LaLiga – Reuters

Soccer Football – LaLiga – Atletico Madrid v Celta Vigo – Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain – February 26, 2022 Atletico Madrid's Renan Lodi celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Javier Barbancho
MADRID, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Brazilian defender Renan Lodi scored two goals for Atletico Madrid in a convincing 2-0 home win over Celta Vigo on Saturday, lifting the LaLiga champions to fourth place in the standings.
Lodi opened the scoring in the 36th minute with a cross-shot that snuck in between the goalkeeper and his right post after a long pass from Geoffrey Kondogbia.
The same combination led to Atletico's second on the hour mark as Central African Republic captain Kondogbia set up Lodi to score from close range for the first brace of his career.
The win meant leapfrogged Barcelona to fourth place in the standings, with 45 points, one behind Real Betis, six from second-placed Sevilla and 15 behind leaders Real Madrid.
It was sweet redemption for Lodi who was not being picked by coach Diego Simeone earlier in the season. He burst into tears when the crowd in the Metropolitano stadium gave him a standing ovation as he was substituted late in the second half.
He was also one of Atletico's best players in their 1-1 draw against Manchester United in the Champions League last 16 first leg last Wednesday.
"Lodi is a hard-working, humble player who deserves all the praise and support," Simeone told reporters.
The Brazilian was grateful to the coach for giving him a chance to shine in a more attacking position on the pitch.
"I'm really happy for the opportunity that the coach gave me to play out of my position," Lodi said.
"I'm a left back, that's what I do best, but if I'm needed up-front like the last two matches, I'll do my best to contribute. I'm delighted that I finally had the chance to show what I'm worth."
The result meant back-to-back wins for Atletico in the league, either side of their impressive showing against United in Europe, giving them hope of rescuing their season after a disappointing start.
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