Atlético Madrid’s impressive defensive streak continued against Deportivo la Coruña, as Courtois & co. collected their sixth consecutive clean sheet on the road.
At the Riazor the teams played to a goalless draw, but in the added time of the game, both teams could have claimed the win if it wasn’t for two mishaps by referee Ayza Gámez.
Arda Turan, who returned from injury after missing all our April games, had a goal incorrectly ruled offside in the 90th minute. Even later in the stoppage time, Deportivo were denied a penalty when the referee missed Juanfran’s hand ball to block Evaldo’s shot.
Depor were denied a first penalty in the first half when Miranda tripped Bruno Gama inside the area, but Ayza Gámez missed that call, too. It was one of the few opportunities of the relegation-fighting home side, who only tested Thibaut Courtois with attempts from outside the box.
Still, that was more than what Atleti produced, because during the entire 90 minutes of the game, we failed to record a single shot on target. That’s not to say Atleti didn’t produce any opportunities, because the Rojiblancos came close to scoring on several occasions. Atlético had started strongly with opportunities for Raúl García and Cebolla Rodríguez, while midway through the first half, our centre backs Miranda and Godín missed huge opportunities to score.
Radamel Falcao profited from the hard work of Adrián, but both the Colombian’s header and his shot from distance in the first half were off target.
After an uneventful start to the second half, Diego Simeone introduced Arda Turan and Óliver Torres to provide the team with some more creativity, and after his double change Atleti drastically improved. They combined in Deportivo’s half and strung together long series of passes, which led to chances for Adrián and later for Falcao after a magnificent through ball by Gabi.
Gabi himself nearly broke the deadlock with a cannonball from 25 metres out, which smashed against the crossbar just five minutes before the final whistle.
While the goalless draw was frustrating for fans to sit through, the point did secure Atleti a Champions League spot as we’re now out of reach for the teams in 5th place.
Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Raúl García (“73 Óliver Torres), Gabi, Mario, C. Rodríguez (“66 Arda); Adrián (“82 Saúl) and Falcao.