CONCERN for Fernando Torres overshadowed Atletico Madrid’s 1-1 draw at Deportivo la Coruna as the former Liverpool and Chelsea striker suffered a frightening head injury while being knocked unconscious.
Torres was hit from behind by Deportivo’s Alex Bergantinos in a clash of heads five minutes from time and hit the ground hard as he appeared to have already lost consciousness.
“Torres suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was taken to hospital for tests. He will spend the night under observation,” Atletico initially said via their official Twitter account.
Manager Diego Simeone said immediately afterwards: “We are very worried.
Players from both sides immediately called for medical attention when Torres hit the ground.
Deportivo doctor Carlos Larino said: “What Gabi and Vrsaljko did to help Fernando Torres regain consciousness was perfect”.
Distressed Atletico defender Jose Maria Gimenez was seen crying, whilst Deportivo fans gave the former Spanish international a standing ovation as he was carried from the field.
Atletico had to play out seven minutes of stoppage time with 10 men as they had already made all three substitutions.
Antoine Griezmann added: “I don’t really care now about football or the result, only worried about Fernando’s health at moment. Hope he’s okay and back soon.”
Speaking of the moment the incident occured, Felipe Luis said: “It was something very scary for us all. News we’ve received so far is positive, most important is Fernando recovers okay.”
Former West Bromwich Albion manager Pepe Mel was making his bow as Deportivo coach after only being hired on Wednesday.
And the hosts made the perfect start when Florin Andone capitalised on a poor goal kick from Jan Oblak to run through and slot past the Slovenian.
Deportivo could even have added to their lead before half-time as Gael Kakuta fired wastefully wide when clean through and Oblak redeemed himself was a fine save from Pedro Mosquera’s acrobatic volley.
Atletico responded after half-time and equalised in stunning fashion 22 minutes from time when Antoine Griezmann thrashed home a shot from fully 30 yards.
“We have to consider reality, which is that we are now closer to finishing fourth than third,” he said.”
Atletico have to guard [fourth place] and if we need to draw matches then we need to draw them.”
Their goal made them believe and they ended up having a good first half.”
“We were disorganised, but improved and we could have won it, although we could have lost it too.”
Elsewhere in La Liga, Sevilla moved to within two points of La Liga leaders Barcelona as Vicente Iborra’s first-half winner earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.
In a battle between the two principal candidates to take over at Barca next season after Luis Enrique announced his decision to step down at the end of the season, Jorge Sampaoli edged out Ernesto Valverde in a nervy 90 minutes at the Sanchez Pizjuan.
Sevilla remain third, just a point behind Real Madrid, who also have a game in hand on their title rivals.
“It was important to have won in a game where we didn’t play our nearly at our best.”