La Liga: Atlético 2 – 0 Real Zaragoza
Atlético Madrid have concluded the first round of the 2012-2013 Liga BBVA season with a 2-0 victory over Real Zaragoza.
The win not only increases our lead over Real Madrid to 7 points, but our total of 44 points from the first 19 games also marks the best opening half of a season in the entire 110 years of the club.
Through goals by Tiago and Falcao, Atleti stayed a perfect 10 for 10 at the Vicente Calderón in league play.
In the early goings former Atlético ‘keeper Roberto was immediately forced to save Diego Godín’s header, as the home team pinned down their opponents from minute one. Just a few minutes later Tiago put Falcao through on goal, but Roberto did well to force the striker wide and was then able to save the Colombian’s attempted chip.
After half an hour of play, Tiago scored the opening goal. He headed in a corner kick taken by Gabi to give his team a deserved lead. The Portuguese midfielder has started our last three league matches and left a great impression on Sunday night with his interceptions and passes from midfield.
Atleti again looked dangerous from a corner kick when Miranda volleyed just wide and a few moments later the Rojiblancos were rewarded the biggest of opportunities when Arda Turan was brought down by Sapunaru inside the box. Radamel Falcao stepped up and converted the ensuing spot kick and has now scored more penalties (7) this season than anyone else in Europe’s major leagues.
Prior to the game, Falcao had presented his Globe Soccer award and thanked his team-mates and the fans for helping him get into FifPro’s Team of the Year 2012.
In the second half Arda, who made his 50th league appearance for Atlético, saw his shot blocked by Roberto and Thibaut Courtois did the same at the other end when he was finally called to action after more than an hour of play.
Atlético wasted opportunities to extend their lead as Falcao and Arda Turan both weren’t able to finish their chances. While Atleti wasn’t able to beat Roberto in the second half, his own defender Glenn Loovens nearly lent us a helping hand. A miscommunication with his teammate nearly saw the centre-back score in his own goal, but the ball went just past the post and the score remained 2-0.
Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Tiago (“65 Mario), Gabi, Koke, Arda (“85 Raúl García); Diego Costa (“75 Cebolla Rodríguez) and Falcao.
Goals: 1-0 Tiago (“31); 2-0 Falcao p.k. (“38)