La Liga: Granada 0 – 0 Atlético

Atlético survive in Granada and get away with a draw

Reyes was Atleti's most dangerous player(AS.com)

Reyes was Atleti's most dangerous player
(AS.com)

Atlético Madrid continue their dry spell after failing to score against Granada.

The Rojiblancos haven’t scored in their last three league games and were lucky to leave Los Cármenes with a point, because for most of the match home side Granada seemed closer to breaking the deadlock.

Luis Perea has reportedly requested Manzano to no longer use him as right back, and with Antonio López and Sílvio unavailable, Gregorio Manzano decided to start with Juanfran in defence.

On the left wing Diego replaced Arda Turan who, like Eduardo Salvio, is recovering from injury.

Atlético escaped in the first minutes of the match when Nigerian striker Ikechukwu Uche hit the post with a powerful header.

We were fortunate again when centre back Mainz headed just wide for el Graná. And in the 21st minute Dani Benítez shot just inches wide when he appeared all alone before Thibaut Courtois, missing Granada’s third big opportunity to open the scoring.

Shortly after, Atlético could have made the home side pay for their misses, but goalkeeper Roberto saved his team with an excellent reaction to Reyes’ shot. The winger was assisted by Diego, who had also set up Gabi a minute earlier, but his shot went straight into the hands of the ‘keeper.

Our defence was occasionally struck by lapses in concentration, but fortunately Filipe was paying attention when Siquiera appeared inside the box and ready to shoot. Our left back slid in with a last ditch tackle to prevent his fellow Brazilian from scoring.

After an hour of play Manzano made a double-substitution and Paulo Assunção almost immediately got on the score sheet, but his volley was blocked by Fran Rico.

With Adrián an extra forward on the pitch, Atleti managed to pin Granada back on their own half. This almost led to a fantastic strike by Diego, but his bicycle kick went off target.

In the 72nd minute Courtois saved a 1-on-1 situation with Uche after the striker easily shrugged off Domínguez’s challenge, and a minute later Roberto did the same when Adrián appeared before him at the other end.

Star signing Radamel Falcao was invisible tonight and unlucky whenever he got a touch. With 15 minutes to go, the Colombian striker was taken off, which means he hasn’t scored in four matches for Atlético.

Ten minutes before time Adrián had Atleti’s biggest chance to score, but the substitute hit the side-netting after yet another pass by Diego. Moments later Reyes whipped in a dangerous cross for the forward, but Adrián was unable to get a touch to it.

Reyes and Adrián again combined inside the box a little later, but La Perla’s shot lacked the power and accuracy to beat Roberto.

In the final minutes Roberto made two more saves to shut out Adrián and Reyes as no goals were scored in Los Cármenes on Saturday night.

In the first half Granada should have scored at least a couple of goals, while Atleti played a much stronger second half. Gregorio Manzano will be worried about the lack of productivity from his forwards though, because tonight’s shut out was the fifth match this campaign that we have failed to score.

Next up for Atlético is the tough away fixture at Udinese in the Europa League on Thursday.

Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Domínguez, Filipe; Tiago (“57 Adrián), Mario (“57 Assunção), Gabi; Reyes, Falcao (“75 Pizzi) and Diego.

Goals:


  • starvs

    Atleti must be much much more willing to cross it into Falcao. Multiple times a pass out wide was available that could have led to an easy cross (not far from the touch line, which are most effective). Don’t pay 40m for someone and then ignore their biggest asset.

    Same thing goes with short corners. Why when you have Falcao. WHYYYYY!?

  • 92

    Juanfran played a decent match as RB, except he was almost sent off. Anyways not really a good result in our CL quest, but we earned another clean sheet. We had chances to score, not exactly great chances, but we did have some.
    Adrian was a great addition at the end, he almost opens the score, and of course Falcao didn’t had enough crosses or passes as he requires. Once again Manzano makes some tactical mistakes, this time in not placing Pizzi or Adrian from the start of the match, since Turan was not available.
    And let’s not take about Koke and Pulido (which were told by Manzano himself that were gonna have playing time),
    who are seem to have been forgotten by Manzano, I don’t why he doesn’t plays Koke, he had really great performances last season and this year with Spain youth teams. I don’t think Koke is injured, so why Manzano doesn’t give him playing time it’s really a mistery. Let’s hope he gives Koke and Pulido playing time from now on, because they are really good prospects and it seems Manzano doesn’t like them at all.

  • Ringo

    Okay, I love Manzano for implementing 4-3-3, but he’s playing too safe, in my opinion.

    Diego as midfielder brings much more play to the team, since he has more possession of the ball.

    Besides, if Reyes is your most dangerous man, you can be almost certain that the teamplay wasnt good enough, since he’s a player you’ll notice by his individual skills. Another argument is Falcao’s recent lack of goals and with the ball at his feet. Everyone knows Falcao is a player who functions best in a well playing team, not 11 well playing players…

    And once Manzano will have to consider playing Koke instead of Tiago and/or Mario, in my opinion, I believe he chooses the experienced guys for “safe” reasons, as well, which makes me pretty sad…

  • Robel

    The midfield was too slow and too predictable. I don’t see any reason Tiago should play and if Mario continues to play like he did yesterday, I think he should be axed too. Paulo Assunção made a better impression than the both of them yesterday and to be honest I think Koke would have as well.
    About Falcao, I think he played quite well. His movement was still good. But when there is practically no delivery, no crosses, nothing, then I can’t expect him to score.

  • Javi

    Extremely conservative and uncreative lineup and the juanfran experiment was a total failure-he was eaten up all night but for one occasion. There was no support to the forwards from the midfield tiago and Mario were awful. Time for new blood-koke should have played instead and Pizzi showed that he needs to start
    I attribute the result to a bad and conservative game strategy by Manzano
    It would have been the perfect occasion for Asenjo to start as well
    I hope we see some changes soon

  • starvs

    Yes, that is the other thing I meant to mention. Diego must play in the midfield, we need his creativity there. Agree with everything Javi said except Asenjo really, I’d love to see him play but Courtois has been great.

  • Javi

    Cortouis has been great but I want to see how asenjo really is-he says he is in great form

  • AtletienPhila

    There were a few positives from the match:

    – Courtois remains strong in goal
    – Pizzi showed something exciting
    – Adrian displayed great movement with and without the ball

    Some concerns:

    – Tiago at best form is quality, but he seems to be far from his best
    – Mario is capable but does not seem to have the creativity the team needs to make a difference
    – Falcao is talented for sure but he needs the team to create chances for him as he seems to struggle to create his own opportunities

  • Alfred

    yea, agreed. Falcao needs more support of other players. He is not the player like Kun and Forlan can drive the ball long long way from the middle. So just pass him more and set more shooting chance to wake up the Tiger :)) hope we can have more improvement in next match.

  • 92

    Hey guys did you found out about all the 0-0 draws today in the Serie A?, It’s unbelievable! only Bologna managed to break the deadlock and win, just hope the Roma derby is not as boring as most of the matches played today.

  • Although i have seen Torres play for liverpool but as he is yours’ youth academy star so u ppl know a hell lot more than me.so tell me he was like aguero,forlan or falcao??when he was at atleti.

  • And plz tell me if im correct,he always gain a yard of pace whenever he scores.or is it just me

  • Urban

    It looks like we are not top 4 material after all. This team has potential, but it turns out Manzano needs more time to make it all click. It seems that too many changes took place in the summer.

  • DJ_ZA

    So, the Juanfran at RB thing didn’t really work (for me)….. But we managed another clean sheet…. a bit of a contradiction really that our weakest area ie defence aren’t doing that badly (except of course against Barca.)….so I wouldn’t be surprised if Manzano tried him at RB again

    Granada haven’t been defending too badly either so I wasn’t expecting a goal fest …. but it just confirmed (again) that when Falcao’s not firing, nobody else is stepping up. It’s great that Pizzi showed potential, but the potential has to be converted into goals. (this suits only Diego Costa – when he remembers to recover, he’ll score a couple of goals and then we’ll NEVER get rid of him! hahahaha)

    Our see-saw midfield were on the down side again. Hopefully they’ll be on the up for a bit longer. And yes, while I too would like to see Koke get more match time, i have to respect that Manzano’s not doing the QSF musical chairs selection method and sticking to his plan… after all, he’s the one who’ll face the firing line if it doesn’t work out.

    On the whole, I have to agree Urban that we have a squad that just don’t always click to form a fully functional team. So I guess it’s another rollercoaster season (with hopefully more highs than lows). And for now, i’m still optimistic that we’ll make CL….. it just seems a bit early to give up hope.

  • 92

    @Chelsea Fan, Fernando Torres is like Falcao, a typical center forward although, Fernando Torres can score goals without any assists, and yes, he always gains a yard of pace whenever he scores. The problem of the Kid is that he has suffered a lot of very bad injuries, so it’s kind of hard for him to recover his past form, but I think he is slowly recovering his best form from his old days at Atleti and Liverpool, and once Fernando Torres recover his top level, he will once again be a world class player.

  • k14

    About D.Costa, I actually think he would do great with the style that the team played in this game.
    If I remember correctly, most of his goals were through passes breaking the offside line, something that doesn’t seem to work well with Falcao.

    I’m still not sure why they still keep trying to attack from the center of the field, playing on the wings with a cut-pass into the box seemed to work wonders with Falcao.

  • Javi

    Yes k14 we need to open defenses thru the sides/wings because teams concentrate two guys on Falcao in the middle
    That is why I think Pizzi can be great for us as well as Silvio and Salvio when they recover. Also Mario tiago and Gabi were bringing the plays in the middle were there is more defenders
    And I really miss our fast counter attacks from the kun-forlan days, that would throw off defenses
    We now play only controlled ball all the time imitating barsa but we ain’t no barsa so Manzano should throw in some fast counter attacks as well to let the tiger loose

  • Davide

    I think we are heading in the right direction. We have held 5 clean sheets so far. In the past we have never had problem scoring, our weak link has always been letting in to many goals. Manzano is rebuilding the teams tacticts from the back and trying to erase years defensive misfortunes. It will give us more confidence in the long run for possession play to have stable defensive tacticts.

    I have alot of patience with this project. For me it’s important that Manzano is actually aderssing the defensive issues that has plagued us for years.

    Previous years we would have dropped all points in at least 50% of the clean sheet games we played so far. I am happy to see that we can still pick up points at games even when playing badly, crucial!

    I have seen Villarreal pull back a CL spot end of season when they were bottom at the table around a christmas. A strong spring season is very underrated.

    If you take a look at the league table, we are not trailing, we are sniffing the top 4. There is 31 games left and 93 points to play for.

    I have complete faith that we will hunt down Sevilla and Valencia soon. Manzalo will probably adress the offensive tacticts as soon as the defence is set.

    Aupa!

  • 7th

    I have always perfered someone else than manzano(he is doing 49% good), for me, Luis enrique is what I wanted before they chose manzano.

    roma currently at 8 points, while us is at 9 points. same situation. plays a possession game like what we r doing.

    luis Enrique would be great us. koke would start all the time.

    well. i am happy with this season.

  • Gert

    Will Diego Costa be eligible to play when we recovers this winter? We have our 3 non-EU spots filled up with Salvio, Falcao and Miranda, no?

    I think Elias would have done well in this team. He had a good offensive skill, but hey, let’s not look back and look forward. I think Adrian or Pizzi could do well in the future.

    We’ll eventually battle for CL spots.

    Aupa Atleti!

  • Jose Ignacio Perez-Laorga

    ok I’m tired of people that still talk about Forlan, Kun, and Torres. They are long gone, deal with it, looking in the past does not help. We just need to change the midfield and sit Reyes on the bench for s couple of games, only then we will react. I liked Pizzi and Adrian, Tiago needs to step off and let Koke take control.

    Aupa Atleti!! we ll get through this

  • 92

    @Jose Ignacio Perez-Laorga, I just did a brief comparison between Falcao and Fernando Torres, I did not even mentioned a possible Fernando Torres return to Atleti, so before you hit out at people try to fully read their comments first.

  • @92,Thanx for info and good wishes mate.Good luck for ur nest games!

  • *next

  • Jose Ignacio Perez-Laorga

    @92 I haven’t hit on your comment, so stop crying, the only thing I said is that people need to stop bringing up those players, never said Torres was coming back or anything, its just that those players need to stop being mention in atletico period

  • Jose Ignacio Perez-Laorga

    @92 by the way, my comment wasnt meant for you, so why don’t you read the rest of the comments and then you’ll know what I’m talking about

  • Jose Ignacio Perez-Laorga

    by the way, my comment wasnt meant for you, so why don’t you read the rest of the comments and then you’ll know what I’m talking about

  • javi

    Jose Ignacio, maybe you meant them for my comment. I mentioned the fast counter attacks we used to do when Kun and Forlan were there. They were effective because we had formidable forwards, like we do not, and it was extremely exciting to watch. The reason I mentioned it was not for nostalgia of having those players back, they are gone, that was another era and I am happy that we moved forward and I am happy with the players we have. The point of my comment was for a tactical point so that we can initiate our attacks fast before the defense and midfileds have a chance to set up, which would give falcao more space to do his magic. Right now, under the organized play we are taking too long ALL THE TIME to go forward so there are more obtacles to overcome.

  • Jose Ignacio Perez-Laorga

    I completely agree with u Javi, and I wasn’t trying to put anybody on the spot, its just that Ive heard people cry about forlan and Kun, the only thing I was trying to say is that we need to move on and try to find answers within the team we have now

  • Javi

    And I agree with you, we have great players and we can be a much better team if we implement everything correctly and the players do their part. so lets hope for that. Manzano is smart and I believe he can figure it out much better than I can for example.

  • not_PEREA_plz

    the problem is that we don’t have good goal scorers!! reyes, arda, salvio, adrian !! maybe diego yes but his a hard worker and have to assist

  • Martin Rosenow

    @not_PEREA_plz I take it your nickname is a response to the question: “Who should be on the bench on Thursday?”

  • 92

    Regarding who should be on the bench on Thursday I say Collado could be a good option in hopes of scoring goals, and it’s I think it’s time for him to have some action with the first team.