La Liga: Villarreal 0 – 1 Atlético

Late Falcao goal sends Villarreal down as Atleti finish outside Champions League places

Villarreal players pasillo atletico madrid

Villarreal's pre-game pasillo (Marca)

Atlético Madrid have concluded the 2011/12 La Liga season with a 1-0 win away at Villarreal.

A late goal sent the home team down to the Segunda División, while it leaves Atleti in 5th place. The Rojiblancos had hoped to beat Málaga to a Champions League spot, but our rivals didn’t slip up and claimed the fourth position.

Diego Simeone made two changes to the line-up that started in Bucharest. Eduardo Salvio replaced the suspended Arda, while Tiago returned from suspension and took the place of Mario Suárez.

Before kick-off Villarreal’s players applauded Atlético for their Europa League win by forming a pasillo, a guard of honour. However, as soon as the match had started the home side didn’t hold back, as they desperately needed a win to avoid any chances of relegation.

The first and only big opportunity in the opening period was for Hernán Pérez who found himself free on the edge of the box, but the winger’s shot was far off.

Ten minutes later Marco Rubén had an opportunity to shoot from a similar position, and while his shot came closer it also steered away from Courtois’ goal. Atleti soaked up the pressure and looked to break out quickly. After half an hour this strategy almost paid off, but Salvio’s volley from close range was blocked by a last ditch tackle.

Veteran Marcos Senna came close with a characteristic attempt from far out, as his low drive whistled past the post. Shortly before the break Villarreal again threatened, when Carlos Marchena headed just wide from a corner.

After the break the team in yellow retreated and allowed Atleti to get into the game. After an hour of play this almost lead to the opening goal. An excellent cross by Salvio was volleyed against the crossbar by Filipe who appeared surprisingly inside the box.

A minute later Eduardo Salvio himself nearly scored with a strong effort from outside the area, but his shot was saved spectacularly by Diego López.

Just as spectacular was the stop made by Courtois to deny Marcos Senna from a free kick.

The match seemed to bleed dry in the second half, as the home side refused to take any risks while Atleti were unable to set up any decent attacks. Just as the regular time seemed to come to an end it was Radamel Falcao who scored, his 8th goal in 4 appearances against Villarreal. The Colombian striker headed in a corner to give Atleti a late win.

It was Falcao’s 36th goal in his 50th game in red and white.

Meanwhile in Madrid, Rayo took the lead to jump over Villarreal in the table and leave them in 18th position. The Yellow Submarine went forward one last time, but Marco Rubén’s header went an inch wide of the post and left his team in the relegation zone. And so the team with the fewest goals scored again couldn’t strike when they desperately needed a goal, ultimately leading to their downfall.

Unfortunately for Atlético the match at La Rosaleda between Málaga and Sporting finished 1-0, leaving us two points behind the Boquerones and 5th in the league table.

Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran (“75 Mario), Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Salvio, Gabi (“58 Koke), Tiago, Diego; Adrián and Falcao (“91 Domínguez).

Goals: 0-1 Falcao (“88)


  • Dircil

    Villareal -> Leeds Utd of La Liga

  • AtletiFanInPhilly

    Looking at the calendar, there are a few matches that really stand out:

    1. 23rd leg/match against Racing: 0 – 0 tie, Atleti missed a handful of chances to score to beat the last-place team

    2. 24th leg/match against Sporting: 1 – 1 tie, with Atleti again missing many chances versus the second-to-last place team

    3. 28th leg/match against Mallorca: Atleti falls 2-1, with a Diego Godin own goal, a missed Falcao penalty, and Atleti failing to win the match despite playing a man up for 40 minutes

    4. 30th leg/match against Zaragoza: Atleti falls 1-0, this time with Diego Godin committing an absurd penalty in the 94th minute and, again, Atleti missing chances to score

    People may point to the Real Sociedad game, but I feel that the last-minute winning against Betis was a stroke of good luck that counter-balanced the stroke of bad luck vs. Real Sociedad.

  • shlomgar

    Man what about Barca? We should have won!

  • kabir

    @Dircil Terrible analogy since Villarreal have never won anything.

  • AtletiFanInPhilly

    All the matches I referenced occurred under the watch of Simeone. I think he’s a great manager and an even better fit for this team, and I think Manzano was a bad manager for this team. But despite Manzano leaving the team in a bad spot, Simeone’s squad had its fair share of mistakes and lost chances.

  • Dircil

    hey Villareal has relegated, why dont we think of stealing some of their good players like Borja, Rossi ?

  • DJ_ZA

    Someone please help – So what happens to Villarreal B in currently segunda?

  • Arjit

    I was just about to say that Dircil! Take diego lopez if cortouis doesn’t stay, take rossi and/or borja if diego can’t stay. and Atletifan, yes simeone wasn’t perfect, however, i really hope you didn’t expect him to mastermind every game and lead us to victory. The stats say it all, with manzano in charge, we won 5 games in the league, with simeone, we won 10, simple as that. A lot of different senarios were possible no? Manzano could have been sacked two weeks earlier and we could have been in champions league. My point being, no need to point fingers at him and regretting opportunities, we must learn from these mistakes.

  • Derek Maaijen

    @DJZA, Villarreal B are also relegated. A shame for them, a fortune for the teams underneath them.

  • DJ_ZA

    Dank u Derek – that’s a bit crappy for Villarreal B – their season is pointless. Talk about your fate not being in your own hands – their fate wasn’t even in their own league!

  • Mais

    What happened when falcao went off? The stream I was watching sucked

  • Can ANyine beleive. This team played in the Champions league this seaosn and also got relegated. So sorry for them and we didnt even get cl football. We should have let villarreal win cuz it ddnt do any good for us nor them 🙁
    But lets buy some of their big players. 😀

  • atletifanInSanFrancisco

    I’m surprised I haven’t come across too many headlines “yellow submarined.” I can’t say I feel too bad about Villarreal as they failed to really replace some key departures: Capdevilla, Cazorla. With the money from Cazorla they bought some terrible players.

  • DJ_ZA

    Some exciting Europa League opposition next season :
    Chelsea, Napoli, Inter Milan(minus Forlan????) ….

  • Will

    Forlan is negotiating a move to a Brazilian mid-table team called “Atletico Mineiro”. Hope they don’t sign him, but if so, it won’t make much difference for both of them.

  • Dircil

    people, who should we take from Villarreal, I’m thinking of Rossi, Musacchio and Valero

  • Dircil
  • seamonkey

    Nope, Philly, it all came down to beating either Sociedad OR Betis. We were leading late in both until horror struck. Those team could get relegated in a heartbeat and we failed to finish them.

  • Javi Lozoya

    We did everything we could unfortunately we didn’t do enough to qualify for Champions League and we had a lot of ups and downs the season, but I’m still very proud of Atleti, Cholo and the players. After all we are Europa League champions once again.
    Simeone came when things we’rent going too good and made an impact instantly. In 6 months he won a international trophy and finish 5th. He did a lot. I’m very proud of Simeone and the players. Just hope the board gives Cholo confidence and let him build the team his own way.
    He’ll lead us to glory once again.
    Grande Cholo!, Grande all the players! and Aupa Club Atletico de Madrid!. We are Atleti and we the best!.
    We are Europa League champions and will defeat Bayern or Chelsea at Monaco and we will be champions of Europe once again!. Aupa Atleti Siempre!.

  • Javi Lozoya

    I feel bad for Villarreal too. As Randy said, from being a team that played in Champions League and now to play in Segunda. That sucks. I like Villarreal, I feel bad because they’re a great club, they have a style and they give their young players opportunities to play. They’re a humble team and some of their players have become important for Atleti like Forlan and Godin. Sucks that we sent them to the Segunda. I hope they return as soon as possible.
    Endavant Villarreal.

  • Javi Lozoya

    @Dircil, yea, some of Villarreal players are good players and could really help us next season.
    Rossi was linked with us previously, but as you might now he is injured and won’t play in about 6 months so I don’t know, but obviously he is a great player. We’ll see how he performs once he is recovered because those injuries are the worst and the player might not be the same.
    Valero is good obviously, Musacchio as well but I think we are good with the current defense and we might sign Botia.
    I’m thinking of Jeff Montero and Hernan Perez. Promising young players and both wingers. I think we need a winger to have more depth and these guys could help us.
    Also, Bruno Soriano is quite good and could be the DM we desperately need.
    Overall Villarreal has good players that could help us a lot next season.

  • starvs

    We really don’t even have room for Rossi really, which is a nice problem to have.

    Borja would be a pretty good (and likely) replacement for Diego though, no? I honestly haven’t seen him play all that much but he has a good reputation.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Do you guys really think Villarreal is gonna sell us their players considering we sent them to the Segunda?.
    I don’t know. What if they don’t want to sell us their players because of that?. That’ll suck but I guess they have their right.
    We didn’t exactly sent them to the Segunda, they didn’t did enough merits to stay in the Primera but they’ll be like is we Atleti who defeated them in the last match of the season and sent them to the Segunda.

  • Javi Lozoya

    There’s also Diego López. He is a very experienced GK. And I also think Cani would be good signing. He is inconsistent at times but he is versatile and is very experienced as well.

  • palc

    If Falcao leaves, I would like Rossi (yes I know he’s injury proned), Valero if Diego leaves, and Cani (huge fan of his).

  • AaX

    BE GRATEFUL AND REALISTICALLY APPRECIATIVE. ATLETICO WAS THE TEAM OF THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON. WE MUST NOT NEGATE THIS AUSPICIOUS DEVELOPMENT WITH IRRESPONSIBLY GREEDILY EXPECTATIONS WITHOUT THE GIVING OUT NECESSARY SUPPORT AND PATIENCE IN RETURN, ALTHOUGH I AM A BIT DISAPOINTED ON THE MISSED OUT C LEAGUE SPOT, BUT DESPITE OF THIS WE MUST ADOPT REALISTIC OPTIMISM. THIS IS BECAUSE THE SUPPORTERS WHO WENT AGAINST ADVERSITIES ARE LEGENDARY AND ATLETICO IS A TEAM OF TRUE LEGENDS.

  • AaX

    I AM APPALLED WITH THE BACK-BONELESS SUGGESTIONS OF BUYING AND GETTING PLAYERS FROM HERE AND THERE AS THE ATLETICO’S MAIN CONCERN. WE ARE A TEAM (NO REASONS FOR PLAYERS TO LEAVE IF THERE A STRONG TEAM PRESENCE) AND TRUE SUCCESS IS ACHIEVED BY A TEAM MADE UP OF LOYALTY, SACRIFICE AND HONOUR. NOT AT ALL BOUGHT UP LIKE REAL MADRID AND THE LIKES.

  • Scott

    Too bad for Villarreal.. If we drew the match, we would still be in the Europa League next season and Granada would have relegated.. They deserved to be in La Liga.. Too bad, too bad..

    Granada is a club that (as far as I know) has the same owner as Udinese from Serie A. Udinese loan their playes to Granada if they need match fitness or first team experience.. Such a club shouldn’t be in La Liga..

  • starvs

    Yeah no reason for players to leave if there is a strong team presence….unless the board is corrupt as fuck, only looking to line it’s own pockets, and owes 200+ million in back taxes…

    Not sure what you really want to happen AaX, should we conjure players out of thin air instead of buying when needed?

  • Mais

    I think blaming atleti for relegation wud be like us blaming malaga for not qualifying to cl ourselves..