Europa League: Atlético 3 – 1 Besiktas

Atleti take two goal lead to Istanbul after great first half performance

Atletico Madrid forward Eduardo Salvio scores against Besiktas

Salvio on target against Besiktas

With a fantastic performance in the first half, Atlético already seem to have sealed their passage to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

At the Vicente Calderón we beat Besiktas 3-1 with two goals by Salvio and another from Adrián.

Diego Simeone had to do without seven absentees and lined up without any surprises in the XI, or it must have been the presence of veteran Luis Perea in the starting line-up.

Just three minutes into the match Atleti created their first big opportunity. Adrián skipped past his defender and found Falcao inside the box, but the striker struggled with the wobbly pass and placed the ball just past the wrong side of the post.

At the other end former Valencia midfielder Manuel Fernandes almost surprised Thibaut Courtois with a swirling shot.

Midway through the first half Atleti missed another incredible opportunity. After a free kick by Besiktas, we broke forward quickly with Adrián providing Koke on the right wing. The canterano played a first time pass across goal where Salvio was waiting to tap it in, but the Argentine missed hopelessly and put the ball behind for a goal kick.

Some minutes later Falcao was put through, but our top-scorer was unable to beat goalkeeper Gönen in a direct duel.

It was inevitable that Atlético would score and in the 25th minute Eduardo Salvio opened the scoring. The winger controlled a long pass by Koke and beat his defender, before putting it past Gönen.

And Atleti didn’t stop there. Just moments after the night’s second kick off, the goalkeeper again was forced to a save after Filipe nutmegged his opponent and aimed for the far corner.

The Rojiblancos did strike succesfully a second time just four minutes after the opening goal. Again Koke found Salvio with a brilliant pass and Toto finished off the move with a Messi-esque chip over the ‘keeper.

Atleti continued to run riot in the Besiktas defence and added a third goal before half time. Adrián was gifted the ball by a Turkish player and crossed half the pitch, before coming to a stop. Just as the Asturian seemed to have gone up a dead end, he turned to beat his marker and slammed the ball against the crossbar and into the back of the net.

In the second half Atleti took their foot of the gas and even allowed Besiktas back into the game. After we failed to clear a corner, the ball fell to Simão who curled it perfectly into the top corner and far out of Courtois’ reach.

As he promised, Simão didn’t celebrate his goal but his effort was welcomed with a warm feeling of nostalgia by the Vicente Calderón crowd.

The home side seemed to have completely shut down and almost conceded a second goal, but Pektemek put it wide.

Even Diego Simeone seemed to take the result for granted, as he took off Adrián after just an hour of play.

Atlético strolled towards the end of the match without really pushing for more, although Koke did come close to restoring our three goal cushion.

Five minutes before the end Simeone brought on one of three Atlético B players that were on the bench tonight. 17-year-old Sául Ñíguez replaced Koke and made his official debut in the first team.

Shortly before the end, Courtois prevented us from conceding a second goal when the entire team already seemed to have their mind set on our next match against Granada on Sunday.

Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Perea, Godín, Filipe; Salvio (“82 Domínguez), Gabi, Mario, Koke (“85 Saúl Ñíguez); Adrián (“62 Pizzi) and Falcao.

Goals: 1-0 Salvio (“25); 2-0 Salvio (“28); 3-0 Adrián (“37); 3-1 Simão (“53)

  • Ringo

    Dat Koke assisting <3

  • SoLobo

    It was a great match with 4 really amazing goals. (I still can’t stop loving Simao – do you, idiots, on the board see what have we missed almost for free??) Salvio is capable of the best and the worst even at the same match! Koke and Adrian were awesome. Saul welcome to the first team!

  • Matthijs

    Great first half, the second half was boring. Perea and Mario Suarez played really well. We have to finish it in Istanbul.

  • Javi Lozoya

    I was so full of joy when I saw Sául coming in, I knew he was gonna play, since yesterday I was thinking about his debut with the first team, his debut made my day, too bad Pedro and Kader didn’t get a chance, hope they do in the near future.

  • Asg

    It seemed to me that the Besiktas fans were quite unhappy with Simão honoring his promise of no celebrating if scored.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Koke and Saul the future of Atleti!!!, and there’s Óliver behind them!!!, the future looks very bright for Atleti, I’m so excited about these kids!!!.

  • Mais

    great day all around

    im of the simao camp as well, i dont care if he isnt the same simao of 3 yrs ago, just can not stop feeling positive about that guy..wud welcome a return in a heartbeat

    im very happy with simeone..hes taking that extra step to incorporate atletis up-and-coming, love the forward thinking, can only imagine how great the locker room feels right now

  • leika

    anyone left out of the second leg because of yellow cards?

  • Mais

    no yellows for us

  • dgsozkan

    On the other hand, Fabian Ernst,Besiktas, is suspended for next match.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Cool video about Saúl;, is in Japanese and partially Spanish, I didn’t quite understand it but it was real entertaining for me. You can see part II of the video as well. And if you need translation or something I would be glad to help you.

  • Mais

    can u explain the bit with barca?

  • Javi Lozoya

    which minute are you referring to?, because the video it’s pretty long

  • Mais

    about 2 mins or so into it…looks like a commercial?

  • Javi Lozoya

    Yeah it’s just a commercial, Iniesta is saying you have to learn how to control the rhythm of a match, Pique about defending, Busquets about passing, Pedro about finishing, and Cesc about becoming a world class player.

  • Very good Performance. Cool video. Hope we can do this or even better against Granada.

  • Gert

    Lovely how Simeone celebrated the goals !!

  • JohnGreece

    Link to see goals?

  • Derek Maaijen

    We’ve added a video with the goals to the right column of this website John!

  • JohnGreece

    Pure magic…How did though Simeone impove our game style to that point in no time?just wondering..

  • Javi Lozoya

    Because he is a genius Simeone, grande Cholo!

  • Javi u on facebook?

  • Javi Lozoya that is

  • Javi Lozoya

    Nah I don’t have facebook, do you?

  • ratchet

    I have facebook

  • Oh cool Ratchet whats your name?

  • Yes Javi I do have one i not on twitter.

  • Snormac

    Hi guys sorry to bother you but i would appreciate it if you could flag and dislike this video.

    The guy stole mine. Thanks!

  • ratchet

    @ Randy, Its Ryan Evans, Ive got an atletico badge as my profile picture

  • Ok cool My name is Randy German Jawahir and i have myself as a profile picture

  • ratchet

    @ Randy, ur wearing a green top on yh? If thats you then ive sent a friend request

  • Javi Lozoya

    Malaga just defeated Levante and they cling the 4th position in La Liga awaiting for Bilbao to lost or tie, now Atleti has no choice but to win tomorrow or things could get complicated.

  • Ratchet u are right that is me i got it and accept it