La Liga: Atlético 3 – 1 Rayo

Atleti more prolific than Rayo in a balanced match

Falcao celebrates his goal against Rayo (AS)

Falcao celebrates his goal against Rayo (AS)

After losing to Getafe and Real Madrid, Atlético finally managed to win a Derbi Madrileño. Rayo Vallecano were beaten 3-1 at the Vicente Calderón.

The visitors made for a great game and were unfortunate to score just once, because for all their missed chances they could have made Atleti hurt on Sunday afternoon.

With Diego Godín, Thibaut Courtois and Arda Turan suspended and Sílvio still injured, Gregorio Manzano was forced to make changes to his starting line-up.

The coach handed Sergio Asenjo his first league start of the season and started with Koke in midfield. The middle of the park consisted of three canteranos and Diego slightly ahead, while Reyes paired up with Falcao up front.

Atlético Madrid loanee Dani Pacheco started on the bench for Rayo, who are captained by former Colchonero José María Movilla.

Both teams started with attacking intent and, despite being newly promoted, Rayo showed no fear in bringing the game to Atleti.

After twenty minutes Atlético finally were able to gain some control over the game and created three chances in quick succession. A great cross swung in by Reyes was brought down on the chest by Falcao, but goalkeeper Cobeño did well to save the Colombian’s effort.

Some minutes later Falcao assisted Gabi and the midfielder beat Cobeño and right back Tito with a delicious chip to score the first goal of the match.

The Rojiblancos almost immediately doubled their lead, but Reyes’ shot was saved by Rayo’s ‘keeper.

Rayo picked themselves up and created plenty of opportunities to equalize. Michu shot just inches wide after poor defending by Koke and Mario in midfield and Tamudo’s header went slightly off target.

Lass’ attempt was deflected and whistled past the post. Had Asenjo’s goal been 10 centimeters wider at both sides then the goalkeeper would have conceded three goals in the first half.

At half time Manzano brought on Pizzi for Koke and changed formation in order to get a hold of the game, but Rayo still found themselves in positions to score at the start of the second half.

There was a huge sigh of relief when Radamel Falcao put daylight between the two teams in the 74th minute. He set up Diego who did well to hold off two defenders, before crossing it back to the Colombian. The natural born killer finished off the move with a diving header.

In the final ten minutes Rayo continued to create opportunities, but poor finishing let them down. First Asenjo did well to save a clear cut chance for Michu and later Piti hit the side netting for the Franjirojos.

At the other end Filipe shot straight at Cobeño.

The game seemed to finish 2-0, but in the added time both sides added a goal. Salvio was at the end of a Gabi cross, and the Argentinian substitute volleyed in our third goal.

Rayo Vallecano finally got the goal they deserved when Piti made a fool out of Domínguez before crossing the ball. Gabi, one of Atleti’s better players on the afternoon, got an unfortunate touch to the ball and beat his own goalkeeper.

Atlético got the three points, but the final score is flattering considering that the visitors easily could have outscored us had they been more prolific in their finishing.

Next up for los Colchoneros is a trip to Albacete, where we’ll get our Copa del Rey run underway on Thursday.

Line-up: Asenjo; Perea, Miranda, Domínguez, Filipe; Mario, Gabi, Koke (“46 Pizzi), Diego (“88 Adrián); Reyes (“71 Salvio) and Falcao.

Goals: 1-0 Gabi (“26); 2-0 Falcao (“74); 3-0 Salvio (“91); 3-1 Gabi (o.g.)(“93)


  • Davide

    Not impressed at all. Fluke win created by the individual efforts. Team play still looks like they are running around with sh*t in their pants.

    Rayo won possession and dominated the game, and we were reduced to sporadic counter attacks at the VC, nit acceptable.

    I took us 75 minutes before we passed the ball to Falcao in the box, not acceptable. Have we played like this against CL rivals Sevilla or Athletic (i forgot we did), we would have gotten steamrolled.

    I do not believe in Manzano anymore, team has no chemistry whatsoever.

    I am not one of those people that gets blinded with the temporary “caught in Manzanos headlight” effect by picking up 3 points every now and then.

    It’s shocking how bad the tactics and team play is when you see what players we have. There seem to be no gameplan except the tactic of “save Manzanos ass another day” battleplan.

    Tired of watching this sh*t stained depression football when we have the third most expensive and best offensive artillery in Spain.

    Manzano has to go, he is not taking this team to CL, trust me.

  • JohnGreece

    At last!I found eventually one person that i fully agree with.Davide from the first match it was OBVIOUS that we have no game plan.This team should challenge for the title,the only thing we needed was just a mediocre coach,not the worst we could find.Bearing in mind that the tickets prices are that much,the last the team can do is produce nice football.We have the players to do that,we have the junior academy,we have INCREDIBLE fans the only thing we lack of is a coach.

  • dgsozkan

    You are both totally right. Look at the games we’ve won. None of them is a result of a successful game plan or a creative team strategy. Almost all of them, result of individual efforts. Manzano isn’t the coach we need. I’m sick and tired of saying this but he has to go! We should be at higher spots in the Spanish league and be a more challenging team in Europa League. We have materials to become a better team , all we need is a good coach. Why they let Manzano to be our coach anyway.

  • I am starting to loose faith in Manzano. But look at our board, they’re a bunch of knobheads as well. But a win is a win, so fuck it. AUPA ATLETI!

  • atletisrael

    Ahh, at least we won…

  • Javi Lozoya

    Guess you can’t keep everybody happy. But c’mon guys dont be too harsh on the team, we won and that’s the most important thing. Some of you want Atleti to play good football but that’s impossible, pretty much Atleti has always played counterattack, the 2 trophies we won about 2 seasons ago under Quique’s tenure -Europa League and Supercup- were won playing counterattack, so asking Atleti to play good football and total football is like asking for Granada to win La Liga. Probably back in the day Atleti used to play good football, obviously that’s why the club won a lot of trophies.
    Now, although I don’t like Manzano, he sort of has changed the counterattacking style for a style of touching and passing, obviously it’s not working at all probably because as I said Atleti is used to play counterattack, and also we lack the players to play good attrative football, honestly.
    So, if Manzano goes away, then everything is gonna be back to “normal” which it’s not too bad, I always liked the Atleti that uses counteratacking as their trademark, and probably, that’s what all us fans miss the most.

  • Boys! Three points, and we scored some fantastic goals today. We didn’t dominate, but lets enjoy the win, and it was an entertaining game of football too. Aupa Atleti!

  • Davide

    Javi Lozoya//

    A teams style of play is not rooted to if it’s Atlético or Granada, it has to do what level of players you have, what coach you have and how you use the players.

    Do you think Man City or Malaga were playing possession football 2 years ago?

    Most away games i agree we should be playing effective counter attacking football, but it is by no means ok to do so at the Calderón against Rayo Vallecano and other lower status teams, and it is not the first time this season.

    It is not ok to create only one decent pass to Falcao in 90 min.

    “We lack the players to play good attacking football”.. are you serious?

    Falcao, Diego, Arda, Reyes, Salvio, Adrian. We also have fullbacks like Silvio and Filipe Luis going down the flanks. We have the one of the best attacking squads in Europe after the big teams.

    No one is asking the team to play attacking football against big teams, but the players we have should be making tapas out of mid and low teams in the league.

    Manzano can not just get the team to work together, he seem to lack authority over most of the players. I have seen it myself.

    He has to go..

  • Mais

    i agree with geir..there was good teamwork throughout the match

    i think the conditions of the pitch did dampen the effect tho, and it wasnt just atleti that had a challenging time this week because of it

    the main thing i noticed was today they looked more confident at the back, and didnt have to resort to the types of desperate fouls we’ve seen recently..huge leap forward

    for once manzano did what a lot of us wanted…started canteranos and for those who like reyes, started him as well..i think the result was pretty decent

  • Javi Lozoya

    I dislike to say it but honestly, our squad is no way near to be in Europe top 10 squads in my opinion, it’s true that Falcao is a great CF, Arda, Adrian Diego,Reyes, Koke, Alvaro are great players, but Salvio,Miranda, Filipe Luis and Silvio -in Silvio’s case I understand he is injured but he doesn’t want to be operated and that’s affecting the team- are no way near enough to be world class players and to play good football you need world class players, you can say all you want that we have the proper players to play good football but honestly we don’t.
    And Manzano, we all agree he lacks the character to lead Atleti, but who’s responsible for that?, our incompetent directors, and you know very well that this team is going nowhere with Gil and Cerezo, so all we fans have remain to do is celebrate our victories and always cheer for Atleti despite that.

  • Gert

    Attn Koke fans. What do you think of his performance?
    He didn’t play on his preferred position but he didn’t show us much I think.

  • starvs

    I agree Gert, it as fucking stupid to play Koke there, why not play Pizzi in his natural spot instead of Koke out of position? The one time Koke gets a start its not at his natural position? That’s dumb.

  • Ringo

    Plus we have to take in account that Koke isn’t exactly in a rhytm.
    Last year he played very well in almost every position he played.