La Liga: Atlético 4 – 3 Rayo Vallecano

Atleti come out on top in spectacular seven-goal derby

Atletico Madrid players Mario Suarez and Diego Costa celebrate against Rayo Vallecano

Mario and Diego Costa key
against Rayo (AS)

It had been 3 weeks since our last La Liga game and this was going to be our third match of the season.

It seemed Atleti’s quick three goals after the break sealed the deal, but Rayo scored a triple themselves and left us sweating in the last three minutes of the game.

But in the end Atlético got away with the three points.

The battle between Madrid’s two best teams long seemed a balanced affair, but a rampage of goals on either side made for a spectacular finish to a seven-goal thriller at the Vicente Calderón, with the Super Cup-winners eventually coming out on top.

Rayo daringly played with just three men at the back when in possession, which helped them clot the midfield and interrupt Atleti’s passing lanes. This led to a messy clash with hardly any passing combinations and few opportunities for either side.

However, Paco Jémez’ tactics also left Rayo vulnerable in transition and Atleti looked to profit from the spaces that the visitors left on the right side of their defence. On quick breaks Arda Turan and Diego Costa took advantage of the freedom they were allowed and the duo combined for our first attempt on goal.

It was Diego Costa who tested Rayo ‘keeper Dani with a low drive from the edge of the box.

After half an hour Diego Costa again moved down the left wing and he made it all the way to the back line, where he pulled the ball back across goal. Mario Suárez was waiting near the second post and had no problems putting the ball into the back of the empty net to give Atleti the lead.

In the last seconds of the first half Arda Turan should have doubled our lead after an immaculate pass by Mario, but the Turk’s chip over the goalkeeper was cleared from the goal line by a defender and the his second attempt went off target.

The first half of the game had been even, but Atleti really seemed to have decided the game after the break. The Rojiblancos came out all-guns-blazing and separated themselves from their opposition with three quick goals in just seven minutes.

This time Diego Costa showed up on the right side of the box and from there he delivered a perfect assist for Koke, who comfortably scored Atlético’s second goal.

It seems the young canterano wasn’t kidding when he said players other than Falcao should take over some of the goalscoring responsibilities.

Fans back at home thought the director was still playing replays of the goal, when less than a minute later Atleti scored again. From exactly the same position as Koke, it was now Arda Turan who put the ball into the back of the net after a cross from the right side. This time it was Juanfran with the assist, but it was again Costa who had set up the attack.

And before the fans could blink Atleti were again on their way to the Rayo goal. Diego Costa was tripped inside the box and earned a penalty. Although he was later substituted, the Brazilian left a fantastic impression with two assists, a hand in the third goal and won a penalty – all in his first start for Atlético since May 2011.

The penalty, of course, was converted by Radamel Falcao.

Atleti nearly scored a fifth when Arda shot just wide after a long exchange of short passes down Atleti’s left side.

Rayo, who had been more than capable to keep up with Atleti in the first half, were unlucky not to score when Leo’s header smashed against the crossbar.

The Vallecanos did get their first of what would eventually be three consolation goals in the 82nd minute. After a cross from Chori Castro it was Delibasic who beat the entire Atleti defence to the ball to make it 4-1.

Delibasic scored again just a handful of minutes later, when the Atleti defence again seemed to have lost attention. Rayo’s goal was almost identical, only this time the cross by Lass Bangoura came from the left side, with Delibasic popping up behind our defensive line for a second time.

Still nothing seemed wrong for Atleti, who had enjoyed such a comfortable lead. However, nerves seemed to get the better of Diego Godín & Co., because Atleti failed to clear the ball and after a messy skirmish Leo Baptistão profited to make it 4-3 with a few minutes still left to play.

Rayo scored three goals nearly as quickly as Atleti had, but in the end Mario’s first half goal proved to be decisive as Atleti managed to just hang on.

Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Koke, Gabi, Mario (“64 Tiago), Arda (“66 Adrián); Diego Costa (“56 Rodríguez) and Falcao.

Goals: 1-0 Mario (“29); 2-0 Koke (“50); 3-0 Arda (“51); 4-0 Falcao p.k. (“56); 4-1 Delibasic (“82); 4-2 Delibasic (“85); 4-3 Leo Baptistão (“89)

  • I…need…oxygen!!! What poor 10 minutes seriously?!

  • DJ_ZA

    Shouldn’t have been that close! The 3 goals conceded was a reminder of the ‘old’ Atleti. If this was more of a rival for CL spots, we could have regretted it more come end of season.

    … But we got the 3 points in the bag!

    Hopefully lesson learnt.

  • Javi Lozoya

    It was a hell of a match!. Cracking match for both fans.
    Diego Costa man of the match maybe?. Assisted 2 goals, was involved in the 3rd one and earned the PK. Sure it was a team effort obviously, everybody played superb, except those 10 last minutes where Rayo almost ties the match, but anyways, DC19 not 22 was brilliant, probably his best match with Atleti along with his hat-trick against Osasuna once, and it’s worth mentioning DC19 was not playing in his prefer position as a CF but as winger in place of Adri, and Costa played like a boss. He deserved to score. I think Cholo has found another winger in Costa, plus he can cover for Falcao.
    Koke, Gabi and Mario were kicking ass in midfield, Arda great as always although he rushed at moments, the defense was very solid except for those last 10 minutes.
    Like I said, great match, next stop Tel Aviv. Hopefully we start defending our Europa League crown with the right foot.
    Aupa Atleti!!!

  • FancyFartPants

    i did not see the match, only goals, so i cannot say how the game was, but it looked like asy goals for both sides, very weak defending, that looked not nice,

  • Sam

    Gosh, I am striking out in Prediction league with these wild matches.

  • Shlomgar

    Very alarming. Hope it was Chili’s mistake on the last minutes and not the defenses. It is a very good match to learn about your true abilities and vulnerabilities.
    I’m all so worried about Adrian’s status at the team. He’s clearly lost focus and I hope there’s a member of the club working with him on his mental state. I don’t want to see Simeone giving up on him, even if Costa is having some good performances.

  • Dircil

    @shlomgar: cant agree more!!!

  • Shlomgar

    Wrote Chili’s, ment Cholo’s, damn you auto correct

  • aikon

    okey after arda left the game everything changed. This is the second match this happens. I think he should let arda play a little more time otherwise there can enough time for the opposition to score.

  • Andres

    “After a cross from Chori Castro…” It was Chori Domínguez 🙂