It took nine tries, but for the first time this season Atlético Madrid have finally taken their first three points away from home.
For the third consecutive game we shut out our opponents. And after a great team performance and a hat-trick by Falcao, we beat Real Sociedad at Anoeta.
Diego Simeone decided not to make any changes to the line-up that convincingly beat Villarreal. This meant that Álvaro Domínguez and Luis Perea, both sitting out suspension last week, were on the bench, with Juanfran again starting at right back.
The only change on the team sheet was Mario Suárez, with his fresh new haircut, who took the place of the suspended Tiago.
The Rojiblancos were off to a great start. After a mistake in defence, Arda Turan was give a good opportunity to score. His shot was stopped, but Diego picked up the ball and crossed it, only for the pass to be blocked by the hands of Demidov.
Referee Muñíz Fernández didn’t hesitate and pointed to the spot. Falcao converted the penalty kick and so Atleti were leading after just 130 seconds.
With six penalties taken this season, El Tigre still has a 100% conversion rate.
Falcao nearly scored his second a little later, but Adrián’s cross was played behind him and Diego’s shot in the follow up was blocked.
Atlético were close to doubling their lead, but more than once the final pass was lacking. Real Sociedad struggled to keep up with the pace and seemed intimidated by Atlético’s physical approach.
In the first half we committed three times more fouls than the home side, which lead to two dangerous free kicks just outside the box. But aside from those moments, La Real were unable of breaking down the wall Diego Simeone has put up.
Atlético started the second half similar to the first and again immediately struck after kick off. Juanfran played a one-two with Falcao and then crossed to Adrián, who scored in two instances.
In the remainder of the match Atleti created few chances, but instead sat back and let Real Sociedad come at them. The Txuri Urdin won a lot of corners and set pieces, but Courtois collected everyone the Basques threw at him.
In the final minutes Radamel Falcao decided the match. After a quick break by Juanfran and Adrián, the striker received the ball far from goal. Claudio Bravo never could have expected the fantastic lob produced by Falcao that beat him from 35 meters out.
And the game still wasn’t over. In the final minutes substitute Koke delivered the ball brilliantly to Falcao, who completed his hat-trick after La Real’s defenders had completely given up.
The only downside of our performance tonight were the many yellow cards we picked up. As a result of our aggressive approach we will be without Gabi and Diego against Osasuna, as they picked up their fifth yellow cards of the campaign.
Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe (“85 Domínguez); Diego (“80 Koke), Mario (“68 Assunção), Gabi, Arda; Adrián and Falcao
Goals: 0-1 Falcao p.k. (“3); 0-2 Adrián (“47); 0-3 Falcao (“83); 0-4 Falcao (“91)