On Sunday night it was the colíder against the colista. La Liga’s top vs. bottom.
And although a goal by Roland Lamah narrowed the gap to one shortly before half time, there was never any doubt about the result between Atlético Madrid and Osasuna.
The home side controlled the game from start to finish and won through goals by centre back Miranda, former Rojillo Raúl García and top scorer Radamel Falcao.
The man who swapped his colours (again) this summer after scoring so many goals for Osasuna, had the first opportunity of the match on Sunday night. Raúl García beat his defender to a cross by Filipe, but hit the ball straight at goalkeeper Andrés Fernández.
Maybe it was out of long-lasting loyalty that he didn’t want to score against his former club, but ‘RG8′ wasted another incredible opportunity a few minutes later after a majestic long pass by Gabi.
We don’t know whether it was an invisible defender, some uncut grass or an untied shoelace, but Raúl García wasn’t able to stay on his feet and fell flat on his face when he was clean through towards Andrés’ goal.
Exactly half an hour had been played when Atlético scored the opener. João Miranda got a touch on Gabi’s free kick and headed the ball past Fernández.
Cristian Rodríguez, who was a constant threat down the left, saw his swerving shot stopped by the goalkeeper.
Just four minutes after Miranda scored his second goal of the season, Atleti doubled their lead. Raúl García capitalised on poor defending by Arribas, who headed the ball straight into his former team-mate’s path, with a low drive from near the penalty spot to eliminate any lingering doubts about his loyalty.
It was García’s fourth goal this season, which makes him Atlético’s highest scorer after Radamel Falcao.
The Rojiblancos continued and nearly got a third, but Falcao’s and then Gabi’s shots were blocked. At the other end Kike Sola recorded Osasuna’s first attempt on goal with a weak header straight into Courtois’ hands.
The Belgian ‘keeper had no chance when Osasuna struck more powerfully just before the break. Atleti seemed to lose concentration as the first half came to an end and Roland Lamah was allowed all the time for an unchallenged shot on the edge of the area. The 24-year-old Belgian beautifully placed the ball in the far corner, far out of his countryman’s reach.
The second half started with chances on both ends. First Diego Godín headed just wide, before Courtois denied Armenteros a minute later.
If you’re reading a match report on AtléticoFans.com, then inevitably you’re going to read about a goal scored by the man who, according to the club’s marketing department, is a tiger made out of gold. This week Atlético released a video of Radamel Falcao, El Tigre de Oro who hunts his prey at the Vicente Calderón.
After the Colombian had not been able to connect with crosses by Filipe and Adrián, he finally got his goal in the 73rd minute when he did successfully link-up with Juanfran. The wing-back beautifully swung in a cross from the right and Falcao unforgivingly volleyed it past Andrés.
It was Falcao’s 22nd league goal at the Vicente Calderón in as many matches.
There were chances late on for Adrián – who is still looking to score his first goal of the campaign – and Osasuna’s Kike Sola and Armenteros, but no more goals were scored.
Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Gabi, Mario; Raúl García (“62 Arda), Emre (“57 Adrián), Cristian Rodríguez (“79 Tiago); and Falcao.
Goals: 1-0 Miranda (“31); 2-0 Raúl García (“35); 2-1 Lamah (“43); 3-1 Falcao (“73)