Atlético Madrid have qualified for the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey after beating Real Jaén 4-0 over two games.
Two weeks ago the Rojiblancos had already secured their passage with a 3-0 away win, and on Wednesday night they sealed the deal with a minimal victory at the Vicente Calderón.
Next up in the knock-out tournament is a Madrid derby. We’ll take on Getafe on the 12th of December, after they bested Segunda División-side Ponferradina 4-0 over two legs.
Looking ahead at that other local clash, this Saturday against Real Madrid, Diego Simeone again used a cup competition to rest his key players and give others a run out. In the early goings the backup defence showed to be missing chemistry, but Atleti remained unscathed and actually finished off the double encounter early on in this return leg.
After just fifteen minutes Raúl García picked up the ball and blasted the leather towards the far corner to score his seventh goal of the campaign, as he left goalkeeper Manu without a chance. The midfielder, who seems to play a part at some point in all of our games, is Atlético’s highest scorer this season behind Radamel Falcao.
With the Copa tie decided and the upcoming game in the back of their minds, it seemed the Atleti players allowed themselves to get comfortable and save some energy. The only moments of danger in front of Manu’s area were provided by the home team’s set pieces, all taken by Emre Belözöglü.
At the other end Sergio Asenjo pulled off a magnificent save to keep Atleti’s ongoing streak of five consecutive clean sheets intact. Besides the defensive effort, Atleti also continued their impressive run of 11 straight victories at home this season, where we’re yet to drop a point.
Unfortunately, a few minutes before the end Cebolla Rodríguez suffered what appeared to be a hamstring injury, and had to be replaced by Saúl Ñíguez, who along with starter Javi Manquillo and substitute Óliver Torres was one of three B-players to feature on the night. The extent of the injury is still unknown, but the Uruguayan is a major doubt for Atleti’s upcoming derbies.
Line-up: Asenjo; Sílvio, Cata Díaz, Pulido, Cisma; Manquillo (“63 Óliver Torres), Tiago, Emre, Rodríguez (“85 Saúl Ñíguez); Raúl García and Adrían.
Goals: 1-0 Raúl García (“15)