A game between La Liga’s two strongest defensive teams went as could’ve been expected: 0-0.
Despite the lack of goals, Atlético impressed in their road performance against their rivals for a Champions League spot and arguably had the better chances to break the deadlock.
Atlético controlled the game in the first half and impressed during the first half hour. In the opening minutes Radamel Falcao created a good opportunity for Diego Costa, but the Brazilian completely mishit the strike.
The visitors dominated possession but this led to few opportunities other than a series of shots from outside the box. Málaga was dangerous on two occasions, but first Lucas Piazon’s header was aimed straight at Courtois while Demichelis headed just wide of the post.
With 24 and 23 goals, respectively, Málaga and Atlético are the two teams with the fewest goals conceded in La Liga and goalkeepers Courtois (13) and Willy Caballero (10) have also managed the most shutouts. And so developed a game which took place in midfield where Atleti did extremely well to pressure Málaga and keep passers like Isco, Lucas and Joaquín out of the game.
In the first it was Demichelis and in the second half his partner in the heart of Málaga’s defence Weligton was the one who had the home side’s best opportunity. Weligton missed the target by a hair when he connected with a cross from a corner.
Few opportunities were created in the second half, only our midfield duo of Koke and Mario threatened through shots from distance. The two replaced our injured captains Gabi (suspension) and Tiago (injury).
Just when both teams seemed to have settled on a goalless tie, Atleti came incredibly close to nicking all three points. A corner in the 93rd minute led to chances for Falcao, Miranda and Godín, but none of them was able to pull the trigger.
Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Arda, Koke, Mario, C. Rodríguez (“67 Raúl García); Diego Costa (“62 Adrián) and Falcao.