Atlético de Madrid put out a real statement on Sunday evening, producing a fabulous performance as goals from Falcao, Spahic (og), Koke and Miranda secured a 4-0 win over Sevilla.
The visitors ended up having three players sent off in what was a memorable night at the Vicente Calderón.
After thumping Betis in the derby last weekend, Sevilla came into the game full of confidence but could do nothing to prevent a rampant Atlético, who had the win all but wrapped up before half-time.
The home side lined-up as expected, with Simeone bringing Koke and Diego Costa into the line-up following their impressive appearances from the bench at Granada last week. Tiago also came into midfield for the suspended Mario Suárez.
Proceedings started in a fairly even manner, but from the off it was Atleti who looked to take control. José Antonio Reyes, who didn’t get the best reception on his return to his previous club, had the game’s first effort but couldn’t trouble Courtois.
Referee Iglesias Villanueva made the decision that changed the game after 20 minutes, one that would perhaps have been a lot more controversial had the result not been so emphatic.
With the ball bouncing inside the area, both Falcao and Koke were hauled to the ground, leaving Villanueva with no choice but to point to spot, and also send off defender Federico Fazio for his troubles.
After a delay, Radamel Falcao composed himself and fired straight down the middle to put his team in front, and finally claimed his long awaited 50th goal as an Atlético player.
Míchel will have been hoping to get his team in at half-time just the one goal behind, but five minutes before half-time saw his defence capitulate as our forward players ran riot.
With gaps now appearing, it was Falcao again who instigated the second goal, charging forward on a counter attack before playing in Arda Turan to beat Palop via an Emir Spahić deflection.
Then, on 44 minutes, it was Diego Costa’s turn to make his mark on the game, capitalising on further sloppy defending to find Koke, who finished with a clever scissor kick to make it 3-0 and send the home fans into raptures.
There was no way back for 10-man Sevilla, and although Simeone’s team were able to take their foot off the gas in the second half, the game pattern was more of the same.
Costa nearly added his name to the scoresheet after the break, but his deflected effort came back off the bar. He was withdrawn just past the hour mark to great applause, suggesting he could be a starter in the derby next week.
Before the end, the visitors saw two more players sent off, substitute Antonio Luna was dismissed for protesting a decision, and midfield man Ivan Rakitić was also given his marching orders for a second yellow card.
There was time for one more Atleti goal though, and after Filipe’s long range effort was repelled by Palop in injury time, Arda Turan was on hand to square the ball for Miranda to tap home from close range and put the gloss on an excellent performance.
In truth, the scoreline did not flatter the Colchoneros, and although the first red card did change the course of the game, they were still more than good value for the win.
Sevilla could only manage one effort at goal across the entire 90 minutes, being brought back down to earth with a bang after their derby demolition of Betis.
Atlético on the other hand will go into next week’s Madrid derby with plenty of belief and momentum, as well as a full squad to pick from as none of our players in danger of suspension (Gabi, Filipe, Miranda) were cautioned today.
However, before then we host Real Jaén in the cup on Wednesday evening, with just the formalities to deal with after a comfortable 3-0 first leg win.
Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Gabi (“74 Emre), Tiago; Arda, Koke (“78 Raúl García), Diego Costa (“65 Cebolla); and Falcao.
Goals: 1-0 Falcao p.k. (“22); 2-0 Spahic o.g. (“40); 3-0 Koke (“44); 4-0 Miranda (“90+1)