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.