Europa League: Atlético 3 – 1 Rennes

The Colchoneros secure top spot with home win over Rennes' reserves

Falcao congratulated by Adrián (AS)

Falcao congratulated by Adrián (AS)

Atlético Madrid beat Stade Rennes 3-1 to take the top spot in Group I of the Europa League.

Only a man and his dog, and no, I’m not referring to Gregorio Manzano and Mario Suárez, turned up at the Vicente Calderón on Thursday night.

In all seriousness, attendance was estimated by Cuatro broadcasters at only about 10,000 spectators, well short of the average for the Calderón.

The fans that did decide to attend voiced their discontent after two horrible performances in the past week. Manzano and his players were welcomed with whistles and boos as they entered the pitch.

The coach surprised by starting Sergio Asenjo over Thibaut Courtois. In midfield Koke replaced the suspended Gabi.

The first opportunities of the game were for Rennes. Tettey volleyed wide and Montaño, who scored in our previous meeting, headed straight at Asenjo.

In the 16th minute Atleti were fortunate not to concede, as Mavinga’s header smashed against the crossbar. A minute later Diego had Atleti’s first real chance of the game, but the Brazilian shot wide.

After the opening twenty minutes the game developed into an uneventful affair, until Falcao released Adrián with a great pass from midfield. The Spaniard received a push and went down easily, but convincingly enough for referee Kristtin Jakobson to point to the spot.

Radamel Falcao converted the penalty and has now scored in all of his last five starts.

Atlético immediately delivered Rennes a final blow. Álvaro Domínguez beat Diallo with a well-placed header from a Diego free kick.

In the second half Sergio Asenjo did very well to stop a low shot from Brahimi. From the ensuing corner Pajot headed just wide.

Arda Turan tried his luck from the halfway line, while Diego missed an incredible opportunity after being gifted the ball by Rennes’ centre backs. The playmaker should have put the crown on his performance, but missed 1-on-1 with Diallo.

While the second half was interesting to watch, more so than the first, the supporters mostly used the occasion to throw abuse at Manzano and Miguel Ángel Gil.

10 minutes before the end, Atlético made it 3-0, a flattering scoreline. Arda Turan picked up the ball outside the box, faked a shot and then beautifully curled it into the far corner to score his second goal in consecutive matches.

Sergio Asenjo deserved one, but unfortunately Atleti couldn’t keep a clean sheet. Rennes had been dangerous from set pieces the entire game and scored when Mandjeck headed in a corner.

With the victory the Rojiblancos continue their strong streak in home games, although it must be noted that Rennes coach Antonini rested almost all of his regular starting players.

Atlético have collected 13 points and finish first in Group I, ahead of runners up Udinese.

By topping the group we avoid meeting David de Gea or Sergio Agüero in the next round.

In Friday’s draw Atleti can’t be tied with any other top seeds from the Europa League or with Manchester United, Manchester City, Olympiakos or Valencia, the four best teams joining from the Champions League.

Line-up: Asenjo; Perea (“65 Miranda), Godín, Domínguez, Filipe; Assunção, Koke, Arda Turan (“81 Juanfran), Diego (“76 Tiago); Adrián and Falcao.

Goals: 1-0 Falcao p.k. (“38); 2-0 Domínguez (“42); 3-0 Arda Turan (“78); 3-1 Mandjeck (“87)

  • Javi Lozoya

    Arda Turan looks just Fabregas, maybe their twins.

  • Javi Lozoya

    I think Koke did a decent job, he sort of assisted Turan Fabregas :), I was really looking forward to see him play today, also, I think Diego should’ve associated more with Koke, they’re really similar players, and Diego should be a mentor for Koke, at some moments, Koke was unmarked and Diego preferred to do it on his own, anyways, we good the job done which was the most important thing today, it was a horrible match to watch but we won our group.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Now back to reality.

  • Mais

    Reserves or not, rennes are faster than atleti n we still came out the victors

  • Javi Lozoya

    Nah, Rennes came to Madrid just because they had to play to match and nothing else, we won the match and our group and now we must go back to the reality in Spain.

  • Javi Lozoya

    And they did used their reserves not their actual starting players.

  • ratchet

    At least weve got a strong chance of progressing to the round of 16

  • Edletico

    When is the draw for the next round?

  • Ian

    it’s interesting that everytime asenjo starts, we always win 3-1..

  • Sinan

    Fabregas has more insight, and a better view with the ball. But Arda is physically much stronger then Cecs, and Arda can create solo actions. And he defends + attacks.

    I missed the match due to work, can anyone inform me how Arda played ?

  • Urban

    Very good, as usual. He does not receive the rocognition he deserves among the fans (obv Im not speaking here about turkish supporters, LOL).

    Its funny because we suck this season and at the same time theres not much bad you can say about our offensive players.

    Falcao – surely world class, overprice but top player
    Diego – fan favourite
    Arda – doing great
    Adrian – prolly biggest suprise

    And yet we suck.

  • Ringo

    That’s because there’s no structure in midfield, and I don’t know if that’s the reason, but Diego tries to be the hero too much. I think Koke was decent today and he improved the linking between different parts of the team with his positioning.
    The biggest difference between Diego and Koke, is that Koke uses his mind more often and Diego is more of the offensive instincts, I guess, that’s probably why Koke’s better as CM and Diego as AM.

  • Stalker


    The draw for the next round will commence tommarow at 13:00 GMT+1

  • Ringo

    And Arda Turan is doing great so far, he links up terrifically with Filipe, Atleti’s left wing needs no improvement, momentarily. The right side is more of a chaos, one of the reasons is that there isn’t a ‘real’ right midfielder, today koke filled the role a bit and in the weekend I saw Gabi hanging more on the right side of the pitch. The one positioned as RW is used more as a striker, usually Adrian or Salvio (although the latter sticks to the wing a bit more), so partnering one of them with Perea/Silvio won’t really work, since there isn’t a certain right winger and especially Adrian is more of a second striker, as I mentioned above.
    I think Koke, Gabi or even Tiago should be used more as a central player, so there’s more variety to their passing, positioning Assuncao or Mario more to the right, since Arda and even Diego give enough support for the left side. Paulo/Mario should be pretty close to the CM, though, otherwise they both would be way out of their positions and they need to support the central parts of the game.

    I think that should increase the level of the midfield and decrease the amount of conceded goals.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Puff, David Villa out for about 4 to 6 months, terrible news, his injury was just awful, hope he recovers well and gets fit to play the Euro 2012, because it wqould be really sad to not see a player with caliber of el “Guaje” in Poland/Ukraine, Animo David Villa!, get well soon champ!.

  • ratchet

    Does anyone think diego will stay at atletico after the end of the season. I heard somewhere that the loan had an option to buy included. If its true i think its good news as he has done well all season

  • iemr

    diego make some show yesterday!!! he did some nice skills!! hope we will recover diego2009!!

  • Javi

    My prediction is that we win the Next two games and they dont fire Manzano…its not my wish but I see Gil doing that and having Caminero give a speech in support and blaming the players for the results

  • Veiko

    Thank you very much for birthday present ! 🙂

  • RojiBlanco

    Next round: Lazio Roma. And after that, the winner of Braga vs. Besiktas

  • ratchet

    we have the ability to win both those ties. All going well, we should get to the last 8, then weve got a good chance of winning it.

  • Ringo

    I believe SS Lazio is doing pretty well at the moment, but Atleti has the players to beat the Italian side, perhaps even twice, with a little luck.

  • falcao

    we will win Lazio,but now we must keep winning in la liga
    and think 1 away win will change everything

  • falcao

    also i would like to see two new players in our team for the next part of season