The red and white aftermath: Match Day 36

Atlético cough up lead against 10-man Barcelona ahead of Copa del Rey final

Diego Simeone against Barcelona

Cholo wipes gallon of testosterone off forehead (AP)

Atlético will hope they used up the very last bit of their allotted bad luck for the season on Sunday, as los Rojiblancos were unfortunate to fall to the newly-crowned champions of La Liga.

An own goal by captain Gabi handed Barcelona a, perhaps, undeserved 2-1 comeback victory.

The stronger side for the vast majority of a mellow encounter, Atleti let their one-goal lead — courtesy of Falcao — slip late when circumstances to pull off the upset seemed most favourable.

Having shut down the Blaugrana’s daunted, Messi-led attack for most of the night, it was when our foes seemed most vulnerable that we let our guard down.

With a little over 20 minutes left on the clock, the four-time winner of the FIFA Player of the Year award limped off the pitch with a hamstring injury, leaving Tito Villanova’s men with 10 players and no substitutions left.

Belying their supposed Messidependencia, Barcelona struck back almost immediately after their megastar had hit the showers–beleaguered forward Alexis Sánchez netting the equaliser moments later.

Atleti maintained their advantage in numbers though, but caught a bad break when Gabi redirected a well-off-target shot into his own goal in the 80th minute.

The self-inflicted wound proved to be a decisive one, as Diego Simeone’s men failed to recover–handing Barça a token three points to embellish their total.

But thousands of Atlético fans stuck around at the Vicente Calderón for over half an hour after the defeat in a spirited sending-off of our idols ahead of Friday’s Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid.

Nothing can shake our resolve.

Post-game notes and quotes:

Simeone frustrated with the loss

“It was a slow-paced match in which possession was sought after more than attacking was,” Atleti boss Diego Simeone began in his post-game press conference.

“Up until the goal, I think the team did well. We managed the game, worked hard, doing well on the pitch. After the goal we were unable to finish two chances.

“You leave angry because we should’ve won.”

On Gabi’s own goal that ended up deciding the game, Simeone said: “It’s a game-play situation. Gabi is our captain and is having a marvelous season. Let’s see if he scores one in the opposing goal on Friday.”

‘El Cholo’ voiced his appreciation for the Rojiblanco faithful that stuck around well after the final whistle had blown.

“The fans are marvelous,” he said.

“The stadium was packed and was very colourful, but what counts is what we do on the field. The match in itself invites the players’ self-motivation. We’ll focus, in the best way possible, on a different game, a special game.”

Falcao keeps banging them in amid rampant speculation about his future

For the second time this season, a Radamel Falcao strike to break the deadlock against Barcelona gave way to a Culé comeback.

‘El Tigre’ pounced on a plucky pass by Gabi inside the box, toe-poking the ball past Pinto in the 51st minute.

It was the Colombian’s 34th goal of the campaign (28th in La Liga), giving him six in the last six games.

The goal happened to be the 1,000th of the present edition of La Liga.

It looks increasingly more likely that we are witnessing the prolific striker’s final days in red and white, with Sky Sports Italy reporter Gianluca Di Marzio claiming, on Sunday night, that Falcao will travel to Monte Carlo on Monday to put pen to paper on his new contract with Monaco.

That news comes on the heels of multiple reports in Spain suggesting the lethal attacker had indeed agreed to join the Principality outfit.

Tiago is the number one fan of the number one fans

Famous for having shed some tears at the Camp Nou following Atleti’s 2-0 defeat to Sevilla in the 2009/10 edition of the King’s Cup final — and no, not because we lost but, rather, because the Rojiblanco faithful remained in their seats chanting in full force throughout the award ceremony, Tiago was once again impressed by the loyalty of Atleti supporters.

“This only happens here,” he said.

“This fan base is spectacular and we appreciate that strength they transmit to us for the final. The truth is, it touches our hearts and we’ll see on Friday if we can give them something to be happy about.”

The former Juventus man replaced Mario Suárez in the starting XI, and felt that “Barcelona didn’t do much to win this game”.

The midfielder continued: “In the end, you leave sad because we’ve lost and we know we could have won given that Barcelona did very little to take the three points.

“We’ve given it our best. The team played well and created chances. I think we had a chance to make it 2-0, but we failed to capitalise.

“We ended up paying too high of a price in this game,” the former Portugal international concluded.

Other notes:

  • Gabi picked up his fourth assist of the campaign (third in La Liga) on Falcao’s goal, but will likely never forget the assist he provided Barcelona. ‘El Capi’s’ own goal was too harsh a blow for him given his otherwise stellar performance.
  • Back-up left-back Emiliano Insúa took the place of a rested Filipe Luís to make his first start ever at Atlético, and completed his first full-game with his new club. “The truth is, I felt very good, a little tired at the end, but I was okay,” the Argentine-born defender said. “What I wanted was to have some minutes again and I was able to enjoy them today.
  • With two league games left on the schedule, Gabi (nine), Diego Godín (nine), Tiago (four) and Raúl García (four), are all one yellow card away from a one-match suspension.
  • Possibly in a bid to mitigate some of the negative press regarding Falcao’s seemingly likely exit, club president Enrique Cerezo told Canal Plus Liga on Sunday: “We’re negotiating [for Diego Ribas], but there’s no agreement yet.
  • Los Colchoneros have lost 10 straight games to Real Madrid and, now, 6 straight to Barça–their worst streaks ever against both of Spain’s giants.
  • Atlético goalkeeper Joel, on loan at Wigan, picked up his first major title as a starter in an epic upset of Manchester City on Saturday in the FA Cup final. The Atleti youth product made eight saves, one against former teammate Sergio ‘Kun’ Agüero, as his English club won the tournament for the first time in their history.

  • Gert

    Too bad Courtois wasn’t able to head in the equalizer…

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    For me, the most important incident last night was what Courtois did at the last minutes of the game, when he went up for the last corner then did it again in the free kick..
    even if we have won last night and won the next 2 games we will still finish 3rd
    De Gea did not do it 2 years ago when we also lost 1-2 and at that time we desperately needed that point
    and despite his records and his upcoming Zamora and the mutual love between him and the fans, this is not Courtois club .. he is a loanee who probably will leave us for good after 3 games

    so I tried to find a reason why did he do that ?! .. and I could only find one reason : Simeone

    This is El Cholo Spirit .. This is The Simeone Effect
    This is what Atleti lacked for many years

    when I remember the day when we lost 0-6 to Barca at Calderon 2007 and how no single player couldn’t care less and compare that to what Courtois did last night there is only one phrase that comes up to my mind :


  • Jorge

    Ahmad, the decision for a goalkeeper to push forward on a corner is usually the coach’s.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    @Jorge : That’s exactly my point :))

  • loco

    very interesting story about falcao and monaco, take a look:

  • Chalet

    Thanks for posting that story.

    I think that this article about the possible move of Falcao to AS Monaco sums it up pretty well.
    So for a couple of years Falcao is nothing but a marionette of the Mendes-Company.
    Obviously it is almost all about money – for either side.

  • Alex21


  • Kaminero

    The problem is that there are a lot of different stories about how the third party investors were involved in the Falcao deal.

    Many sources claim that the Doyen group is the actual owner (or at least a partial owner) of his rights. Others, for instance the Spanish paper El Confidencial, say that Atlético are the sole owners, but the money was loaned from Creative Artists Agency (another company related to Mendes) and if they are not able to pay it back in time the player will be sold in order to settle the debt.

  • Chalet


    Glad to have you here, mate!
    I always appreciated the great work you did for Peña Atlética Centuria Germana!
    But all of a sudden it was all gone…..

  • JohnGreece

    According to this
    and some other sites Atletico do not own the 100% of Falcao,just a small percentage of his value.Thus,the money we receive will be around 12M.Is it true or false alarm?Feeling a little devastated right now…

  • Andres (Lolaya)

    Yeah I wish more people would report on these types of things. Rumor sites don’t explain anything and just turn into tabloids (Like

    This site is great at explaining things and really showing readers how everything works.

  • piserakos

    john i don’t think so… 12mill?? come one this thing says we gave 4mill to buy him and that we don’t even pay him(we give the half of his contract) i don’t think this is true… ρε γιαννη απο που εισαι ρε μεγαλε?

  • Kaminero

    Thanks very much, Chalet! It’s a pity the old forum was closed but I suppose it had run its course.

  • JohnGreece

    Απο Κρήτη..κοίτα να δεις που βρήκα και δεύτερο οπαδό της Ατλέτικο από Ελλάδα..χαχα

  • piserakos

    χαχαχα… εγω απο Αθήνα..