AtléticoFans writers Derek Maaijen and Martin Rosenow were lucky enough to witness Atleti’s 4-0 thrashing of Sevilla in the flesh Sunday night. Derek had previously attended three matches at the Vicente Calderón, while Martin was in Madrid for the very first time ever.
Martin went to our midweek Europa League match against Hapoel Tel Aviv with a press pass, participating in Diego Simeone’s post-game press conference and later, he was able to interview Jorge Pulido and Raúl García in the press area.
On Friday, Martin attended the team’s training session in preparation for the Sevilla bout.
Derek and Martin met up with several members of Atlético peñas from Spain, Belgium, Germany and Sweden a couple of hours before kick-off on Sunday. The group then made their way over to the Rojiblanco stronghold, where they watched the game nestled closely to, but just outside of, the ‘Frente Atlético’ ultra fan section.
We introduce this special edition of our match recap with a clip we took from our seats, which includes some of the typical chants heard at the stadium and Miranda’s goal that capped off a magical night at the bank of the Manzanares River.
Sunday’s drubbing of Sevilla snapped Atlético’s streak of six straight matches without a win against their Andalusian foes.
It gets better.
Real Madrid’s away loss at Betis on Saturday left us a stunning eight points clear of our eternal rivals, who sit farther behind us now in third place in the Primera División table.
Diego Simeone’s men have now won all 10 of their homes games in all competitions so far in the 2012/13 campaign, and for the first time in Atlético’s long and storied history, they have won their first 7 league games in their own stadium.
No other second place team in league history had finished the 13th match day with 34 points (Atleti’s current total) or more, reports COPE‘s stat geek Pedro Martín.
We can thank pesky Barcelona for that new record, as Tito Vilanova’s men also hit their opponents for four, crushing Levante at the Ciutat de València in a monkey-see-monkey-do copycatting of our 4-0 scoreline versus los Nervionenses from earlier in the night.
On Wednesday, Atleti host Real Jaén in the second leg of our Copa del Rey matchup with the Segunda División B club we hold a 3-0 lead over.
Then there’s Saturday’s little trip over to the Bernabéu for the first Madrid derby of the campaign.
The highly-anticipated clash will offer us a chance to show that there’s a new sheriff in town in the Spanish capital–especially if we heed the advice of what should be done to Real given to us by this precocious young Atlético supporter in Majadahonda.
- Falcao opened up the scoring by converting his fifth penalty kick of the season, ending a rare three-game goalless drought. ‘El Tigre’ has converted all of our awarded spot kicks this season. The goal was the Colombian’s 14th of the present term and 11th in La Liga action. With the strike, the 26-year-old reached the 50-goal milestone in red and white (63 appearances) quicker than anyone else since the end of the Spanish Civil War. According to Pedro Martín, Only three Rojiblancos have scored 50 goals at Atleti faster than our insatiable tiger: Cosme, Elícegui and Losada. (Click here to watch Falcao’s goal from our point of view in the stands)
- Diego Costa was given the nod in place of Adrián on Sunday. He picked up his fourth assist this season with his fantastic effort leading up to Koke’s goal, in which he muscled his way past two defenders before lobbing a ball into the box that the Atleti youth product skillfully smacked home. Adrián’s selection for our Copa game on Wednesday and Costa’s exclusion from the list suggests ‘El Cholo’ will hand the big guy another start at the Bernabéu.
- Koke’s goal, his second of the season and our third before half time, was the most spellbinding of the four Atleti put past Andrés Palop because of the combined work between the midfielder and Costa and the canterano’s quality finishing technique.
- Though it was unspectacular, Miranda’s late goal (seen above in the intro video) helped liven up the atmosphere at the Calderón, which had progressively fizzled out after a dull second half. It sent the Rojiblanco faithful back home galvanised, and sent us walking back to ‘La Esquina del Calderón’ — the bar just outside the stadium where we met up with other Atleti fans before the game — with a huge smile on our faces. It was the Brazilian defender’s third of the season and second goal in La Liga.
- Arda, whose attempted pass at the 40th minute mark ended up in the back of the net courtesy of a deflection by Sevilla centre-back Emir Spahić, bagged his third assist on the year when he served as provider for Miranda.
- Thibaut Courtois picked up his third consecutive shutout, though, a Negredo-less Sevilla side quickly reduced to 10-men were hardly a threat in the attack. One of three finalists for Italian sports paper Tuttosport‘s Golden Boy 2012 prize along with Málaga’s Isco and AC Milan’s Stephan El Shaarawy, the Belgian now has six clean sheets on the year. While it had initially been reported that the goalkeeper’s loan spell at Atleti would not be extended for a third campaign, as Chelsea officials were said to have been set on sending Courtois on loan to a Premier League outfit after the summer, the latest rumours in the Spanish press suggest the 20-year-old may just stick around for another term, especially if the Colchoneros qualify for Champions League play as the competition would offer the youngster invaluable experience.
- Gabi, Miranda and Filipe Luís all successfully avoided a fifth booking and will be available to take part in the derby. Mario Suárez will also be back at Simeone’s disposal having served his one-match ban.
Martin would like to especially thank great friends Dani Hidalgo of Diario AS, Ricardo Menéndez of This is Atleti, and Susanne Offermann and Garreth Nunn of MadridAtléticos for all their help and support during his stay in Madrid.
We at AtléticoFans would also like to thank the Belgian Atlético Peña’s vice president Kevin, who helped Derek and Martin get their tickets to the match and was kind enough to set up this plug for our website with Thibaut Courtois, our colleagues Billy Edwards and Nick Poskitt who held down the fort while we partied it up, and all the fans that joined us for an incredible red and white weekend in the Spanish capital including our Courtois specialist Gert Jacobs!