Diego Simeone’s first game in charge of Atlético has ended in a goalless draw.
Málaga were kept out at La Roseleda on Saturday night: 0-0.
In his first game as coach of Atleti, Diego Simeone surprisingly left Adrián and Arda Turan out of the team. The coach started in a 4-5-1 formation with Juanfran and Salvio on the wings and Radamel Falcao up top.
Cholo asked for more aggression from his team and after only 12 seconds we committed our first foul, a clear signal of our intentions.
Nevertheless Málaga created the first opportunity of the match. Buonanotte, who was linked to Atleti earlier this week, had a good chance, but his angle was so difficult that he was unable to beat Courtois.
Thibaut Courtois made another spectacular save from a powerful header by Málaga striker Rondón.
After half an hour of play Atleti finally crawled out of their shell. Salvio skipped past his marker and laid the ball off for Diego. The Brazilian’s shot took a deflection and came back off the crossbar.
Shortly before the break there was a good chance for Toulalan, but the Frenchman failed to get his head on the ball from close range after yet another free kick for the home side.
Málaga had dominated the first half, but Atleti improved in the second. The team played further forward, but either side created few chances.
Atleti’s biggest opportunity came in the 71st minute. A header by Diego Godín was saved off the line by Santi Cazorla.
Just minutes before the end Atlético almost snatched the full three points. Juanfran dribbled inside the box and found Diego, but his shot whistled past the post.
It was the last chance of the game in what turned out to be a dull affair. In the second half Málaga seemed exhausted after their Copa del Rey defeat in midweek, while Atleti seemed more concerned with keeping out their opponents instead of trying to score themselves.
The point gained on Saturday was only our second in all away games this season. After eight games on the road we are yet to win away from the Vicente Calderón.
A positive to take from this result is that Atleti looked committed to keep a clean sheet and did well defensively, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
Next up for the Colchoneros is the home game against Villarreal next Sunday. We will be without Álvaro Domínguez and Luis Perea, who both will have to sit out through suspension after being booked tonight.
Line-up: Courtois; Perea, Godín, Domínguez, Filipe; Gabi, Tiago, Diego, Juanfran, Salvio (“68 Arda); and Falcao (“89 Adrián).