La Liga: Rayo 0 – 1 Atlético

Falcao decides the match with a fastbreak goal in the second half

Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao against Rayo Vallecano defender Raul Bravo

Falcao against Raúl Bravo (Marca)

Atlético Madrid got a hard fought 1-0 victory against a heavily handicapped Rayo Vallecano side.

The game between the two Madrid sides wasn’t always entertaining but it was closely contested, until a goal by Radamel Falcao in the second half decided the encounter.

After Wednesday’s loss to Real Madrid, and perhaps with our upcoming Europa League clash against Valencia in mind, Simeone made four changes to the line-up. He replaced Arda Turan, Gabi and defensive duo Luis Perea and Diego Godín for Salvio, Mario, Miranda and Álvaro Domínguez, respectively.

Rayo started the match stronger and first threatened through Movilla. The popular former Colchonero tested Thibaut Courtois with a shot from 20 yards out, which was tapped over the bar by the young Belgian.

The home side settled down after the opening period, when Adrián and Diego started getting to work. The Asturian provided Filipe with an opportunity to shoot and also twice escaped the attention from Rayo’s defence with an explosive run, but on both occasions the forward was unable to find Radamel Falcao in front of goal.

Diego played an inside pass to Eduardo Salvio, whose shot went wide across of goal.

Just when Atleti seemed to grow into the match, the home side attempted to strike. Sandoval was without Atleti loanees Joel, Pulido and Diego Costa, but the latter’s replacement Raúl Tamudo did well to maneuver himself in a great position and seemed certain to score from close range. However, Tamudo’s header was brilliantly saved by Courtois who kept the ball out with a spectacular save.

Atlético too had a huge opportunity to score a headed goal, but Mario Suárez was denied by Cobeño after failing to direct Diego’s free kick to one of the corners of the goal.

Our alleged summer transfer target Lass Bangoura gave Juanfran a hard time on Rayo’s left wing, and only just missed the target when he cut inside closely before half time.

After the break the first chance was for the Vallecanos with Michu heading just wide.

Out of nothing Atlético took the lead, when from near his own box Juanfran played the ball into Radamel Falcao. At the halfway line the Colombian stepped over the ball, leaving his man behind and with nobody but David Cobeño in front of him. In full speed Falcao went past the goalkeeper and slotted the ball into the empty net to make it 1-0 to Atlético.

It was Falcao’s 30th goal of the season and also our club’s 1,500th on the road in La Liga.

Diego almost immediately doubled the lead with a strike from far, but his shot whistled past the wrong side of the post.

Rayo coach José Ramón Sandoval took risks and took off defender Raúl Bravo for Dani Pacheco, who is owned by Liverpool, but taken on loan by Atleti only to be loaned out to our neighbours. After the change Michu had a chance to shoot, but Courtois held on to the ball in two tries. At the other end Diego came very close to 2-0, but Cobeño got a hand to his low drive.

Five minutes before the end Falcao missed an incredible opportunity to decide the match. Adrián served the ball on a platter for our topscorer, but El Tigre hit only air and completely missed the ball from near the penalty spot.

In the added time Adrián should have either scored or provided Falcao for our second goal, but the 24-year old waited too long and was stopped by Rayo’s defence. It had no negative consequences, because immediately after the ball was taken off him, referee Mateu Lahoz blew for the final whistle.

Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Domínguez, Filipe; Salvio (“60 Arda), Tiago, Mario, Diego (“90 Perea); Adrián and Falcao.

Goals: 0-1 Falcao (“65)

  • Javi Lozoya

    Great victory. We’re now back on track for European cups. Next comes Espanyol which is gonna be tough, and y’all will get to see Alvaro Vasquez. Atleti can defeat Espanyol though.
    Nice goal from Falcao and great pass from Juanfran. I believe he might be the best right back in the Spanish league.
    I would’ve like to see our boys playing against us but unfortunately we couldn’t.

  • solari

    the performence doesn’t matter, all we care about is that we are getting close to the champions league and we still can hope once again…

  • GREAT PERFORMANCE. Some much needed confidence for our squad going into the Valencia clash. Come Atleti keep working and reach your goal, champions league football NEXT SEASON.

    Aupa Atleti!!!!!

  • Sebyk

    @Javi Lozoya: I’d be pretty surprised if we saw much of Álvaro Vázquez next week – the boy lost his place in the starting 11 quite a long time ago…

  • Javi Lozoya

    So?. he scored a goal today, and played 45 min so yes, we are definitely going to see him next week.

  • Arjit

    Juanfran, the best right back really? He’s a smart player, that much is obvious. He makes good interceptions and passes. However, three reasons make him vunerable; he cannot win the ball in the air, he is easily beaten in one on one situations, He cannot clear the ball. Lass completely tore him apart, he’s just not a good defender. He’s a great outlet yes, he supports the attack well but I’d rather have Silvio.

  • Jorge

    I’d like Silvio over Godin and Pera, but he’s at least even with Juanfran.
    Btw, why do so many fans trash Miranda? I think he’s solid all-around.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Name someone else better than Juanfran then. And Silvio?, Silvio who?, who’s that?. Don’t even know why we signed him honestly. He can go back to Braga. Prefer Juanfran a million times better, and then there’s Javi Manquillo coming from the B team.
    And fyi Juanfran has been played as RB for not even a year, and he’s fucking great despite you saying otherwise.

  • davidsf

    Dude javi lazoya… chill out. No one is attacking you, simply replying to your statement about best rb in la liga. To name a few: arbeloa, dani fucking alvez, iraola, jesus gamez. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a great team player and fights for the shirt, but arjits right: he lacks on the defensive side.

    Let’s not talk champs league cuz every time we do, we lose. Focus on valencia

  • Javi Lozoya

    I’m cool dude what the hell?. Don’t get why you guys detracting Juanfran. Dani Alves can’t even defend, Arbeloa? uff, Only Iraola might be better, but I guess you guys prefer fucking diver Alves or dirty Arbeloa before our own players like Juanfran. I don’t.
    And how the hell is Juanfran lacking defensively?. He has rarely made mistakes in the last matches. He did make some at when he began to adapt as RB but now he has been very solid. He has been choose as the best right back in many games by people who actually have credibility and have knowledge.
    Juanfran has been playing as RB for no more than a year and again, remember?, I suppose you don’t. Despite that has been fucking great, he can get better in no time. I used to think he sucked but now I think he fucking rocks and deserves recognition. Respect for Juanfran. Grande Juanfran haters!!!

  • Javi Lozoya

    Grande Juanfran haters!!!, Respect. And if some of y’all like Dani Alves the diver or Dirty Arbeloa go support Barcelona and Madrid and watch your favorite RB’s but I won’t stand saying Juanfran is vulnerable and lacks defensive skills. For sakes, this is his first year as right back and he fucking rocks, he is the boss. And some of you have to learn to read, I clearly said he might be the best RB not that he was the best. So get Rosetta Stone or take English reading and learn how to read. And again, Grande Juanfran HATERZ!!!.

  • shlomgar

    You’re all thinking right place right time. Juanfran was, for all I know, a freaking default, because nobody wanted to take the job of RB. So he is courageous, and he leads the right side in offense, and he defends pretty well from long balls. That’s what we neede.
    He is not the best RB in la liga but he is the best thing to happen to this club this year after Cholo!

  • davidsf

    Jazi L- Dude how old are you? We’re just trying to talk colchonero and you always try and make it a personal thing. Rosetta Stone? Grow up buddy 🙂

  • Yon

    He gives players too much space *cough*Ronaldo last week*cough*!!!!! His 2nd was easily preventable if Juanfran or Perea got stuck in! Other than that though he hasn’t put a foot wrong in my eyes so hopefully he will continue to improve!

    Unrealted but – Tiago needs to go!!!!!

  • Nexus

    @javi dude every one is entitled to his/her own opinion regardless of whether he supports ur team or not. If u think Juanfran is the best so be it, wy u taking this personal.
    Anyway anoda scrappy win bt a win neverthe less. Focus on europa league is next

  • Sebyk

    @Javi Lozoya: Firstly, you aren’t very good at maths, are you? 90 – 55 = 35. Secondly, Vázquez came on the pitch when the score was 2:0 for Espanyol and Valencia was engaged in what was probably their worst game this season. Thirdly, over the last 15 matches, Álvaro’s average time spent on the pitch is about 20 minutes. Fourthly, you must be kidding with Juanfran. I do consider him now being one of the top 5 right backs in La Liga which is admirable especially considering the fact he’s just started playing in the position, however, Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos (even if he doesn’t play in this position so often now) and Iraola probably as well are much better than him. Fifthly, we are talking about quality, not our empathies. Dani Alves is twice a right back than Juanfran even if he were the biggest sucker in the world. Sixthly and lastly, turn off the Football Manager, start watching real football and mainly grow up for Christ’s sake!

  • ali_

    just ignore him, guys.

  • ali_

    btw i think we owe a big thanks to the ref. there were a lot of handball from us, and he never punished us with those. tho it seems he likes the game tough, beacuse he didnt blow the whistle on several occasions.

    i think the most important thing is the 3 point. oh, and i think dominator played a great game, as well as suarez.

  • palc


  • ratchet

    ok people, lets not get into an argument about juanfran and Vázquez being good/not so good. Personnally, i think juanfran is a great right-back, and i feel that he is a better sportsman than alves. In fact, in many ways i believe juanfran is a better player than alves. But its just my opinion. We are all entitled to one. At the end of the day, we are here to share our opinions and whether someone believes that juanfran is one of the best RB’s in spain or not, we should all treat their point of view fairly. Now, can we please stop arguing and enjoy this rare away win and look forward to valencia, we all support atleti so lets get behind them and hope for a good result against valencia.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Again, if you like Alves and Ramos and Arbeloa so much support Barca or Madrid and learn how to read word for word. Some of you look like you’re illiterate and act like you know everything and try to play the manager. I never said Juanfran was the best right back. I won’t keep arguing with a bunch of conceited “dudes” who think and act like they know everything, it’s like talking to a god damned wall. For those who think Juanfran is not ‘good enough”, I’ll just reply what Maradona said. “Suck it and keep on sucking it”. I’ve had it.

  • ali_

    jesus javi, does it offend u if somebody has another opinion than yours? (btw if somebody shares your opinion than he/she must be copy your posts, right?)

    nobody loves team thats pretty obvious. imo arbeola is a piece of shit, but ramos is good. i hate him, but i admit it.
    juanfran is good, but yeah, he cant win the ball in the air for example, like arjit said. BUT the fact that he just started to play as RB, makes him fuckin great.

  • palc

    Alves the best right back in the world by quite a margin. But he’s Barca’s asshole no 2, just beaten by Valdes. I sincerely think Juanfran is la ligas 2. best right back. Ramos for instance doesnt offer much in the attacking play. Arbeloa, are you kidding me? I think he one of La Ligas worst right backs. Even Valera is better. He offers nada in terms of attacking and I laugh everytime he gets the ball. He’s bad at positioning as well, often caught out of position.

  • ratchet

    well, if anyone says juanfran isn’t good enough, they clearly dont really know how hard it is to change position. I have a lot of respect for juanfran as he c=wanted to play for the team when it would have been easier to leave. However, like i said before, it is peoples opinion on these matters. No matter if we agree with it or not, we need to listen to their side of the argument, not just dismiss their opinion altogether and say they dont understand football. And no one is trying to play the manager, its just that sometimes you have a critisism of a player, and are stating why you think the player is not good enough. This site allows people to offer things like possible selections. People suggest who to play not because they believe they know best, but because they feel this player is doing well or this player hasn’t performed. I think we all just need to stop taking things too personnaly and try to see what someone is saying, if you dont agree with their comment, say why, but lets not accuse people of being childish or stupid because they shared their opinion. I know some people will think juanfran is not a very good RB. Does that make them stupid? No. They have a reason for it. Some may think juanfran is the best right back? does that make them immature and naive? No, because it is what they believe. We should try to show a bit more respect to each other.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Alves can’t even defend well, he is a great attacker but a poor defender. Watch Chelsea vs Barca, the Stamford Bridge scandal and then say if Alves is on the best rights backs. He isn’t.
    And no, I don’t have a problem with other people’s views. Just with people who act and think they know everything, act as manager and shit.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Those who said Arbeloa is better than Juanfran. Ha!, don’t even know how to respond or why respond to you. Just laughing my fucking ass off.

  • ratchet

    @ Javi Loyoza, i just watched that video, both clubs are such a disgrace, arbeloa for stamping, villa for scraming on the floor when there is nothing wrong with him. God i hate el clasico, please dont be barca v real in the final of the CL…

  • Javi Lozoya

    Yep. You said it Ratchet. Both teams are very unsporting and cheaters. Should be ashamed of themselves. Madrid for being a dirty team who gets help from the refs and Uefalona for being cheaters and divers and get help from the refs too. At least Atleti doesn’t have any cheaters or dirty players. I’m proud of my team. Prefer to lose with with dignity than get help from the ref.
    La Liga is just a circus for rich people to become even more richer, while clubs like Atleti sinks every year thanks to Madrid and Barca. Pathetic. I dislike the Spanish league a lot now. Uefa and Fifa should really do something about this. It’s not fair, it’s just bullshit.

  • starvs

    Imma just go on the record saying Silvio is a G, he is gonna be good for sure.

    I do like DJ Juanfran though, he’s been incredibly surprisingly good at RB.

  • Sebyk

    @Javi Lozoya: Atleti sink especially due to its poor management and the Gil family. I must say I find blaming Real and Barca for our situation very funny. It’s like drowning and kicking all around…
    It’s true that Spanish league is a big circus, however, the biggest local circus is by far the Circus Atléti. With its poor management, huge debts and high, yet every year unfulfilled expectations, Atlético is a true “symbol” of the Spanish league. It is truly a circus a where rich people become even richer – the Gil family and Jorge Mendes being the best example of all.
    By the way, UEFA and FIFA have little control or responsibility over La Liga and even if they did, they’re just a bunch of senile bureaucrats. What UEFA and FIFA can do though, is to heavily penalize Atlético for its sneaky affairs with the mobster Mendes – fines, suspension of activity at the transfer market and so on…

  • Jorge

    Javi, sorry for the delay. I’ve been computerless for a day. I don’t think anyone is “knocking” Juanfran-certainly not me). He’s a wonderful offensisive minded back, who hustles and has decent defensive capabilities. Still, he’s not the best in the league. Our own Luis Felipe is arguably the same type of player with better dribbling.

  • Javi Lozoya

    “Atleti sink especially due to its poor management and the Gil family.”, no duh Sherlock. Did you find out that by yourself?, bravo!, you’re a genius!. ha!, I’ve been saying and expressing that for I don’t know, probably since the beginning of the year, “Gil cabron fuera del Calderon”, does that tell you something?. What you say it’s nothing new. Quit acting like you know everything, it annoys me.

  • Sebyk

    @Javi Lozoya
    Thank you sincerely for entitling me a genius. It is a great honour, especially as it came from the mouth of the other local “genius”

    Oh really? I was reacting to this bit anyway: “…while clubs like Atleti sinks every year thanks to Madrid and Barca. Pathetic. I dislike the Spanish league a lot now.” As you’re saying, pathetic. Especially pathetic if you realize that it’s the Gil family who is to blame for the current situation and yet you have the need to look for culprits elsewhere…

    Actually, it seems that any person with a different opinion to you annoys you. Likewise, it seems to me it’s rather you acting in the way you despise of so much. It’s like our discussion about Javi Cantero a few weeks ago, when you told me that your “secret friend” is more than sure than Cantero has the quality to play a role in the first team. It’s more than interesting to see now that some time ago Cantero lost his place in the starting 11 in the reserve team to a newbie Elbis. Wouldn’t say that a player who doesn’t figure regularly in a third-tier team does necessarily have the quality for a club like Atlético…