The red and white aftermath: Match Day 15

Falcao obliterates lowly Deportivo with a performance for the history books


Falcao poses with the game ball

Atlético kept their perfect home record intact by taking out all their anger from their impotent derby performance of a week ago on a very poor Deportivo, absolutely destroying a side that had already arrived in Madrid in tatters.

6-0 was the final scoreline on Sunday–the type usually displayed on the scoreboards at the Bernabéu or the Camp Nou.

This time, the grossly lopsided affair took place at the Vicente Calderón.

It was Atleti’s biggest league win since the 1994/95 season, when they hammered Valladolid 6-0 as well.

That’s about it. There’s really not much else to take from this game.

What’s that? He did what?

Oh yeah, that’s right. But we’ll get to that later.

Getafe’s next on the slate for Atleti. Los Azulones will be coming over to the Calderón for the first leg of our Copa del Rey Round of 16 match-up on Wednesday.

Another Colchonero record can be broken should we come out of that clash victorious, as a triumph would be our 14th in a row at our home stadium. We tied our record of 13 straight wins at our ground on Sunday, previously achieved on two occasions (1970/71 and in 1983), reports COPE‘s Pedro Martín.

Then, this upcoming Sunday, it’s off to Barcelona to take on our direct rivals at the top of the table.

Post-game notes and quotes:

Simeone keeps things simple when it comes to the team’s objectives

“I’m very happy with the team’s reaction and how they interpreted the encounter that was even in the beginning,” Atleti boss Diego Simeone said post-match.

“As time went on, Atleti’s potential got stronger. In the first half, after the first 25 or 30 minutes, the team found the path to winning the match and made things even better in a very good second half that left us with 37 points.”

Regarding his men’s chances of competing for the league title — they currently trail Barcelona by six points — the former Atlético midfielder said:

“When there are five or six games left to finish the domestic competition, we’ll see if we are or aren’t capable of achieving that.”

He continued: “La Liga is very long and difficult. We don’t have to stray from this path. Our objective is to surpass what we did last season.”

In case you missed it: Falcao scored five goals!

Entering proceedings on Sunday, Radamel Falcao hadn’t scored from open play in five games. In fact, he had only found the back of the net once since October, a converted penalty kick against Sevilla.

Our tiger was clearly starving and a patchwork Depor defence was an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Sumptuously, he ate. Unleashing his fangs, he chomped down on the no-name Blanquiazul defenders that had apparently been bred and nurtured for years simply to serve as his meal.

Falcao was a surgeon, putting all five of his shots — one from the spot — past Aranzubia, becoming only the second Rojiblanco player ever to score five goals in a single game in the Spanish top flight. Former Atlético striker Vavá achieved the same feat 54 years ago.

“I’m happy about everything that happens for him,” Simeone said of his squad’s top scorer (19 goals, 16 in La Liga).

“Atlético Madrid are enjoying him, his people love him, his team-mates respect him a lot and they follow him on the pitch. Today is a historic day for him. I don’t know if another Atlético Madrid player will ever score five goals in one game.”

‘El Cholo’ continued: “Falcao is ambition, hope, always wanting more. When the match permits and he has chances, the truth is, it’s very difficult to mark him.”

The deadly 26-year-old took home the match ball, telling reporters in the press area he’s “very happy for the great game we played, the way we played it, and also because of the goals”.

“I thank God for this. It’s unforgettable.”

Asked how he felt about entering the Colchonero record books for his mind-blowing performance, he responded:

“I just found out. I was very excited when I came to Atlético Madrid. It was a personal challenge to play in this great league with so many good players. I’m enjoying it. I have a great squad that is supporting me and helping me so much in evolving as a professional.”

He continued: “I had never scored five goals. I was able to score four with Porto against Villarreal but never five at the professional level. I did as a kid in Bogotá.”

Falcao then joked that if he had scored just one more, he’d have taken home two match balls.

“I was thinking about that, but I’ll leave it for next time.”

Those of us relieved after the Colombian’s quiet showing against Real Madrid last weekend thinking that perhaps the rumours about his possible exit would dissipate for a little while will have to brace for the avalanche of suitors in the coming days. Thanks a lot Falcao.

“Congratulations for those five goals in the game tonight Falcao! Keep it up champ! Manita.” Pau Gasol

A tamed Costa breaks the deadlock

With his strike partner stealing the show, Diego Costa’s solid first half performance ended up going somewhat under the radar. But Cholo, who had defended the born-to-be-wild forward with some very affectionate words on Saturday, remembered his bright start and once again lavished praise on the 24-year-old.

“Diego Costa is a player we need in order to be competitive,” Simeone said.

“He’s a potent, vicious forward that instills fear in his opponents because of his aggressiveness and intensity.”

Costa broke the deadlock with a nice header in the 23rd minute, his fifth goal in the present term. It must have been a very redeeming goal for the Brazilian after his rough week.

The starting job as our second forward now appears his to lose, as Adrián remains a shadow of his former self from last season.

Koke is growing into a leader

Before a half hour of play had even elapsed, Koke had already tallied two assists to his account, which now stands at five for the season.

Displaying great poise and vision throughout the match, the youngster (hard to believe he’s only 20) stated his case for filling the void left by the unforgettable Diego.

The beloved Atleti youth product can also serve as a great role model to all the up-and-coming canteranos getting their feet wet on the first team.

Other notes:

  • Arda picked up his 4th assist of the season with the throw-in that Falcao smashed home on the volley.
  • Thibaut Courtois, who was helped by the post when he was unable to reach a shot by Juan Carlos Valerón, ended the match with his seventh clean sheet in the present league campaign and 32nd overall shutout since joining Atleti.
  • Filipe has been crucial in creating danger in our attack but, surprisingly, only picked up his 2nd assist of the season on Falcao’s fifth goal.
  • Atlético B member Javi Manquillo made his Primera División debut at the Vicente Calderón when he replaced Filipe in the 74th minute. “I’m very happy about my debut and about the team’s great victory,” he wrote after the game on his Twitter account.
  • Our four players in danger of facing suspension, Arda, Falcao, Filipe and Gabi, all avoided a fifth yellow and will be available next weekend for our visit to the Camp Nou. In fact, no Atlético player was booked in this match.
  • Juanfran’s season has been a bit quiet compared to his breakthrough second half in the previous term as a revelation right-back. Why is he being included in the notes for this game you ask? Well, AtléticoFans Forum member ‘JaviMBK‘, who attended the game on Sunday, informs us that, for one more game, the former Osasuna man was the last player to leave the pitch applauding the fans in appreciation for going to the Calderón on a very chilly night. Javi rightfully points out that those little details go a long way with the Rojiblanco faithful.

  • Dircil

    We will probably lose in the next Liga match against Barca, but I dont care cus we’re gonna be back to our winning streak againt. We are resilient man :)).

  • Urban

    Yeah I guess we should play the first team against Geta. This result actually matters (not very much but still)

  • greece3

    why to lose from barcelona??? when we have a good team we always win them… so why not now??? i think we should go and beat them and race for la liga title…. even if we don’t we will give them a really hard time

  • Ringo

    When we won it was because of Aguero’s and Torres’ pace, Adrian got quite some pace, too, so hopefully he is ready to step it up next week… We shall see.
    The central defenders at Barca aren’t usually the fastest, so that’s probably a main reason.
    Or maybe Falcao should play as a shadow striker and try from respectable distances, with Costa annoying the defenders with his aggression, intensity and physique and just plain annoying behaviour, ha.

  • Shlomgar

    This game was awesome for few more reasons. Godin breakthrough in the first half was amazing and unexpected. It wasn’t his first but if he does it more he would be considered a threat and would strike fear on opposite teams.
    Cata showed he can be paired in defense well and saved us once or twice and on his third try Manquillo finally showed he is capable of first team pressure.
    About Barca, I believe It’s an open game. Simeone is a genius. He proved that the cure for a loss is actually not a win but another loss. In Cholo we trust!

  • sweden

    I have loved atleti for many years, but the only reason why it is not going to be a good match for us is Messi, as simple as dat. Messi and Ronaldo always score against us, no matter how good we play!

    But we should give them one hell of a match, and who knows!?