La Liga: Sporting Gijón 1 – 1 Atlético

Atlético again frustrated by strong goalkeeping performance

Canella puts the ball past his own goalkeeper(Marca)

Canella puts the ball past his own goalkeeper

After a great run in January, it seems Atlético can no longer win. At Sporting we were held to a third consecutive draw in the league.

An own goal gave us the lead, but the first goal conceded under Diego Simeone meant that we had to settle for one point on our travel to El Molinón that ended in a 1-1 tie.

Simeone picked the same eleven players that started in Rome, with Mario again taking the place of the injured Tiago.

Arda Turan picked up a knock in training and missed out as well. He was initially included in our match selection, but decided to stay behind in Madrid where the Turk was sighted in the city’s nightlife until the early hours.

It only took Atleti five minutes to create two big opportunities to score. After a great pass by Koke, Falcao found himself eye to eye with Juan Pablo but the striker shot straight at the ‘keeper.

From the ensuing corner Diego Godín could have scored, but he headed wide from close range.

In the 20th minute Adrián ran into space and found himself with a lot of time and options. The forward’s cross-cum-shot was tapped into the empty net by the unfortunate Roberto Canella, who gave Atlético the lead with an own goal.

Shortly after the goal Diego whipped in a fantastic cross for Falcao, but the striker couldn’t get enough power and direction behind his header. At the other end Gregory headed just inches wide off the post and nearly tied the game for Sporting.

Shorty before the break Sporting equalized after Atleti were pinned down in their box when a free kick wasn’t cleared. The ball was crossed in again and Eguren made the most of a momentary lapse in defence.

It was only the first goal Atlético conceded in La Liga since the 18th of December, and so our clean sheet streak of 577 minutes under Simeone has come to an end.

In the final minute of the first half Juanfran provided Diego with an excellent opportunity to retake the lead, but Juan Pablo made a good save to keep the score at 1-1.

After the break it took a little while for Atleti to get back into the game, but then strikes by Gabi and Falcao threatened the opposing goal.

There was bad news for Atleti when Diego Ribas went down. The Brazilian playmaker seemed to have pulled a muscle in his thigh and had to be replaced. It’s unclear how long it will take for him to recover.

With Salvio and Pizzi on, Atleti opted for a more direct approach. The Argentine saw his shot stopped by Juan Pablo, when maybe he should have tried to reach Falcao.

Without Diego and Koke the team lacked creativity in the final third and the two forwards weren’t as involved. When we did get the ball inside the box, Falcao was missing the power to beat Sporting’s goalkeeper.

The Colombian didn’t seem to have his scoring boots on tonight. After excellent work by Salvio he again found himself in a perfect position to score, but Juan Pablo once again was able to get himself behind the ball.

At the other end Sporting almost nicked the game when Colunga broke through, but Courtois pulled off a strong save to keep the sides level.

And so Courtois did well to save a point for Atleti, but the big man tonight was without a doubt Sporting’s shot stopper. Like last week we played a good game but were lacking in our finishing. Against Racing we were frustrated by Toño, this week it was Juan Pablo who made sure Atleti had to settle for a point.

Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Diego (“61 Pizzi), Gabi, Mario, Koke (“55 Salvio); Adrián (“81 Perea) and Falcao.

Goals: 0-1 Canella o.g. (“20); 1-1 Eguren (“37)

  • I thought it was a very unconvincing result should have been better. We lacked the final ball and touch

  • starvs

    Ugh, generated some good chances, but gotta win these games.

    Diego can’t be playing out on the left, he needs to be in the middle and on the ball as much as possible. Hopefully his injury is not too serious either.

  • Rob

    We had a couple good chances, which we should have finished. Sporting were more fired up, but we still did pretty well and we deserved more. I was disappointed with the substitutions. I thought Mario had a poor game and Salvio should have come on for him instead of Koke.

  • AtletiFanInPhilly

    Watching Diego Costa score two more goals for Rayo, was it a mistake that Atleti loaned him? I don’t think this decision is getting enough attention.

  • Tackle_Hard

    I saw the league table today morning and thought with this win we are moving another step towards the champions league spot.What a letdown!
    Next we have 2 very critical matches at Calderon. Fingers crossed.

  • ratchet

    it gives him a chance to develop and prove his abilities in la liga. hes doing well, and at the end of the season he can come back a quality player. i look forward to seeing how he does.

  • AtletiFanInPhilly

    Ratchet: Yes, I am glad that he is developing, but the team seems to like another scoring threat. For me, Salvio and Pizzi lack the ability to score. When Adrian and Falcao have off days, there is no one on the bench that can put one in the net.

  • ratchet

    @AtletiFanInPhilly, yeah, i agree, but as he wasnt in the squad named for the league, he would have been stuck and it would have been a waste of half a season. This way we can make sure he gets plenty of game time and he can build his confidence. In the long-term, its a win-win situation. Just gotta hope falcao and adrian get some consistency in their form

  • ali_

    he was after a serious injury, who tought that he will score a bunch of goals after 6 month without football?

  • Javi Lozoya

    He is a natural goalscorer just as Falcao. Obviously Falcao is better at the moment but Costa has similar characteristics and can improve over the course of the years.

  • DJ_ZA

    @ Tackle_Hard – it’s the ‘counting the chickens…’ thing – but this is Atleti, and it’s best never ever to do that! We envisage the great things we can achieve against minnows …. and fail dismally.

    @ AtletiFanInPhilly – it’s that old ‘as soon as as we’re away from Atleti we’ll do well’ syndrome…. and the rather unfortunate ‘we’ve got too many non-EU players’ thang…not that i’m a Costa (4 goals in 3 games) fan …of course there’s also the Raul Garcia ‘i can be fantastic against Barca’ example….

    Well, time to get back to reality. Barca next week. Zero expectation from me. Just hope Diego and Arda are fit and ready for that one… but then again, will it make a difference?

  • Javi Lozoya

    Great performance from our loaned players at Rayo for the third consecutive week. Joel, Pulido and Diego Costa all started the game, Costa scored a double, I think it -could’ve been a hat-trick if he was not substituted, Pulido assisted Lass in the fourth goal. Unfortunately Pacheco didn’t play. I’m worried about him because he is a very promising player. He just needs some playing time.

  • Davide

    I told you guys it was gonna be hard fought battle. Playing with Pizzi in the team is like playing with ten players, non existent entity. Sen back Pizzi to Braga and cancel Costa loan deal, bring him back.

    We burn to many chances. Diego should have calmly buried that free chance in the far corner and Falcao should have smacked that ball into the roof of goal in the end after the turn in the box from 2 metres.

    We ain’t going nowhere unless we can convert the clear chances.

  • Javi Lozoya

    And?, you want a gold medal or what?. It is what it is, team plays good but the results are not the expected. There’s still plenty of matches to be played, everything is gonna be all right. No need to be so drastic. Cholo has everything under control and it’s just a matter of time to get the results we want.

  • ratchet

    we need that cutting edge. itll come, but we got 2 very hard matches. we will probably lose to barca, at very best a draw, and we will probably draw with sevilla as well. we need results to keep going our way and after those two matches we eill have to start getting wins again. draws are simply not good enough.

  • palc

    @ Whomever it may concern.

    Diego Costa is an extracomunitario. If we bring him in now, Miranda, Salvio or Falcao has to go. Personally i’d like to see him instead of Salvio, although Salvio is a good prospect and played well today.. Hopefully next season DC will attain his spanish citizenship.

    Back to the game. It was pretty clear that we lacked that energy we have had under Cholo. Not always pressuring the opponents nor attacking at full speed. Obviously tired from the Lazio-game. But there’s no excuse for Falcaos misses. HORRIBLE. He better get his act together.

    Also alarming to see that we still defend badly at set pieces. These last games the only way our opponents have been able to create chances was from set pieces. And there have been big chances. Inevitably, today, we conceded a goal from it. And we even could’ve conceded more.. So, Cholo, fix that!

    Hopefully Diego will recover for our clash with Barca. Also a good thing that Filipe, Godin and Falcao avoided their fifth yellow card for the season.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Forgot to mention Salvio did a good job today. He did some nice plays including some good crosses and passes, too bad Falcao wasn’t on his day. If Toto keeps to perform like he did today then he might have a future with Atleti, if not then it might be better for him to sell him to Benfica where he already impressed last year. Hope he plays some minutes against Lazio.

  • Tackle_Hard

    @ DJ_ZA Will keep that in mind next time I check the table.

    But the thing is, the aggressive variation of the team being opined by our dear ‘el cholo’ still has not enough striking force, our midfielders still don’t baffle the opposition keepers enough.

  • falcao

    Bad news Diego is injured and he will miss next three games…..

  • leika
  • Javi Lozoya

    I don’t. Barcelona have Alexis Sánchez who has been doing a great season, canteranos Cristian Tello is also doing a great job along with Isaac Cuenca. Barça have Pedro also and David Villa (who’s injured) but they have been important for Barcelona. I don’t really think they want to sign Adrian although with Adrian outstanding performances it would be hard to not get offers from him. Adrian is a very promising player, he show his prowess with Spain youth natl. teams, Depor and now with Atleti. I think eventually he is gonna be called for Spain primer national team and is gonna be very important player for them. I hope he stays for Atleti for a long time or his whole career and also, I don’t think he is gonna leave Atleti at the moment.

  • ratchet

    Barca wont buy him. If they did they would have too many forwards to keep giving them playing time like they can with their current forwards. Adrian would need to be first team, it wont happen as their other forwards also need to be first team as well.

  • Hey Ratchet why predict something so. LOLZ!!!!!XD!!!!!!