The red and white aftermath: Match Day 13

Two own goals resulted in a 1-1 tie between Atleti and the Yellow Submarine

Villarreal and Atleti gave each other a hand  (Eurosport)

Villarreal and Atleti gave each other a hand

It was always going to be a tall order to come out of the Madrigal with the three points on Sunday.

Without several key starters and visiting one of the league’s top clubs, Atlético were lucky to even come away with anything at all against a very strong Villarreal side.

Given the circumstances and the opponent, a 1-1 draw is by no means a huge disappointment. But, because of the way the encounter began for Atleti, the end result probably didn’t produce many high-fives among the Rojiblanco faithful.

Atleti were woefully inaccurate with their passing, and only managed one shot on target. Diego Costa, very uncharacteristically, hardly factored at all on the evening and was even taken out with seven minutes left on the clock. It was a commendable effort nonetheless by our star striker, who was battling illness to take part in the game.

For all the talk about the heated rivalry between the two sides ahead of the fixture, it was interesting that they both lent each other a helping hand–splitting the spoils by scoring goals in their own nets.

Following the game, Barcelona proceeded to rub a little salt in our wounds with an easy drubbing of Betis in Sevilla.

It’s okay to get upset though. It’s good to be reminded of why we can’t take any of our wins for granted.

After the events of the match day, we now trail Barça by three, the same amount by which we lead third-place Real Madrid.

Our opponents, Villarreal, remain in fourth with a full 10 points less than us.

The World Cup playoffs, which will include our trio of Uruguayans–fighting for a spot in the tournament against Jordan, will interrupt La Liga next weekend.

Atleti’s next match won’t be for close to two weeks, when we host Getafe for a derby of sorts.

Post-game notes and quotes:

Simeone commended his men in spite of tie

“We lacked creativity in this game, not ambition, because our opponents played very well,” Diego Simeone said after the draw.

“Villarreal held onto the ball and backed us into our own goal. From a creative standpoint, we couldn’t go on the attack because we lacked strength.

“The players deserve a 10.”

He continued: “It’s an important point against a direct rival. I can only congratulate the players for the effort they made on the pitch.”

“We faced off against opponents that are experiencing a great moment and that made things very difficult for us. We made a great effort defensively, but we couldn’t go out on the attack like we would’ve wanted to. We’ve surely been able to in other games, but not in this one.”

Tiago satisfied with the point

Veteran Atleti midfielder Tiago, who appeared in his fifth straight game and made his third consecutive start, wasn’t displeased with the final score.

“Without a doubt it’s one more point in our fight, against a Villarreal that played really well with the ball,” the Portuguese said.

“We came into the game strongly, were able to score a goal at the beginning, but Villarreal equalised. The tying goal was a result of Villarreal’s efforts. They put us in a tough situation, forcing us to play more deeply.

“The tie isn’t a bad thing,” the 32-year-old concluded.

Other notes:

  • Diego Costa had been neck-and-neck with Cristiano Ronaldo in the Pichichi standings as the league’s top goalscorer, both entering the weekend with 13 apiece. But the Portuguese’s hat trick and the Brazilian-born Spaniard’s failure to find the back of the net created some real separation between the two, with Cristiano now at 16 and leading Costa by 3. It had been reported that the ‘Beast’ would fight through illness to be able to take part in this clash, which was his 100th as a member of Atleti.
  • Turkish wonder Arda Turan returned from his long injury layoff, replacing Raúl García in the 61st minute.
  • Gabi’s yellow card on Sunday takes our captain up to four bookings on the season, one away from automatic suspension.
  • Juanfran moved into a tie with former Rojiblanco defender Luis Amaranto Perea in the dubious own goals category with Atleti. Sunday’s accidental equaliser was the former Osasuna man’s third in red and white. While Juanfran ultimately pushed the ball past Courtois, Tiago and Godín replacement Toby Alderweireld perhaps should’ve done more to prevent Villarreal from scoring. Toby will get most of the blame, but to pin it all on the Belgian wouldn’t be fair.

  • Robel

    I couldn’t watch, but I knew Alderweireld would cost us points again. He’s our worst buy.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I disagree with you Robel, Toby is a good player, if not he wouldn’t play for 6 years for Ajax, and he wouldn’t play for Belgium, who are one of the best 10 national teams in the world right now or (according to FIFA rankings) one of the best 5
    he did make a mistake, but who doesn’t ?!
    just like Martin mentioned above : this was Juanfran’s 3rd own goal with Atleti, but no one can say he is a bad player

    you didn’t watch the game, but I did, and I can say without any doubt that Toby played a good game

  • kris

    Nope. Toby did good covering for Insua’s mistakes on the left flank. He could have done better for the goal but he is not our worst buy, actually he is a very good buy for the future and the present. Yesterday it hurt us, cause they had never played together before and they didn’t have that understanding that our initial back four has, so we need to change that, cause if it comes a time again where we have to play them together in a big game, how is it gonna work out? We need for them to be rotated so they have that understanding between each other too.

  • kris

    Diego Costa is dropped from La Roja after his injury. Llorente replaces him.

  • pantic#10

    The next friendly for La Roja is 5 March against Italy. only 4 months before the World Cup Tournament.
    Are we really sure that Diego Costa will be part of the world cup team? in the starter 11 or a subs?
    Or Llorente wil take his place?
    Llorente has a good curriculum with la Roja (22 caps and 7 goals).
    What do you guys think?

  • Robel

    Ahmad, you don’t sound like you ever watch Ajax or talk to Ajax fans. I do. They all say Alderweireld isn’t a good defender. By the way, I have seen the goal we conceded. Alderweireld didn’t read that situation well. He makes the same mistakes everywhere he plays.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    honestly Robel, I don’t watch Ajax games, except when they play against PSV, Feyenoord or Twente, or when they play in the champions league

    but I do have some friends who are Ajax fans, and none of them was so critical about Toby like you,
    in fact some of them was upset after he left to Atleti

    and I did watch many games for Belgium (because of Courtois of course) .. and Alderweireld was very good, and the numbers say it : they only conceded 4 goals in 10 games, although he mostly plays as a right back with Belgium, but the right back is a part of the defense

    does he make mistakes ?! yes, but can he improve ?! of course he can .. he has the potential
    after all, he only played 3 games with Atleti

    I still remember the start of Miranda with Atleti, especially the 5-0 defeat against Barca, it was his 5th game with us, and it was a very bad one, he scored an own goal and was responsible for another 3
    that day I said to myself : who the hell is that, and why did we sign him ?!
    now he is the best defender in Spain !!

    just be patient

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Simeone was on an interview last night with Radio COPE
    could you please post a translated summary for it here .. if any of you have caught it

    Thank You

  • pantic#10

    @ Ahmad: exactly! Miranda and Godin before Simeone arrive, did some stupid and silly mistakes…we all remember how fragile our defensive team was.
    and now…best defensive duo ever! (well maybe not ever… 🙂 but you get the point!).

    Give some time to Toby to improve…or do we want Cata back? ehehhe

  • piserakos

    about toby situation… to say the truth i didn’t knew him before he come to atleti, that’s the truth. but from what i’ve seen at our games he is not that bad you say. it’s obvius that he hasn’t that chemistry with his teamates that he should have and that’s the problem… I’m sure that after some games this problem will get fixed. Of course he is not Nesta or Maldini but he is a great defender who will be a good back-up. I don’t think he is worst that Raul Albiol or Carvalho so for me that’s ok. As pantic said thank god Cata left:P

  • Dircil

    Toby wasnt bought as a backup for miranda or godin, I believe. Perhaps, he would feature more often in the next 2 or years after miranda gets too old. Just like Perea!

  • palc

    Atletico defenders these past 10 years have been weird. At one point Perea and Pablo were considered La Liga’s best duo. Hell Barca even offered Iniesta for Perea, and Pablo was a regular for La Roja. Then a few years later they were the laughing stock of Spanish football eventually ruining Pablo’s career ( a free agent now )

    Same thing with Miranda/Godin. Bad a couple of years ago. Even Atleti-fans complained about them. Heck, even I desperately wanted Godin out. But now they’re La Ligas best defensive duo. It’s all about patience.

    I think Toby will be a very good defender for us. He’s fast, strong, young and not too bad with the ball. He resembles Miranda in many ways.

  • Chewie

    Miranda is like a rubber – you think you’ve pushed through him and yet he bounces back like nothing happened. Toby has a more solid build, I think he’s stronger phycically, but not sure if it’s a good thing. Anyway, he has some variety to offer, which is certainly good.

  • Pantic#10

    Cebolla just scored in the 5-0 against Giordania. Go Cebolla!!

  • Arjit

    I think Miranda is the best defender I’ve seen play for Atletico and I used to complain about Godin because he just seemed clumsy. The mistakes he used to make were easily preventable. Godin has improved immensely but Miranda for me is king, best CB in La Liga IMO. Back to the topic, Toby would have walked into the starting 11 prior to Simeone’s arrival, but I think he’s a great purchase. It would be unfair to blame him for to goal as Villareal’s performance merited at the very least a tie game, we could have had a heavy defeat on our hands.

  • Dircil

    Any thought abour our transfer targets for the upcoming summer transfer period? I suggest we buy Tim Krull or Ter Stegen for the GK position and a good CAM.

  • piserakos

    DIrcil. I agree with you. Let’s see.
    1) We are looking a lot a CAM and maybe we will buy one from the winter transfer window. Diego, Firminho, de Bruyn e.t.c. are in our target. But I don’t know why maybe a good buy would be Mata(Chelsea want to sell him and maybe his price will be a good one).
    2) We will buy for sure one GK, if and when Courtois will leave. He wants to stay and this makes the roal a little less harder cause maybe Chelsea will sell him and let’s hope the price will be a reasonable one. Anyway Roberto will probably be our next n’1 and probably we will buy another decent goalkeeper(Moya, Navas, Reina or some others options) in order to compete each other for this spot(by the way we probably won’t renew Aranzubia’s contract) or the other option is to buy a goalkeeper as you mentioned(Ter Stegen, Krull, Petkovic and other great goalkeepers) but most of them won’t be cheap so I don’t think this option is something we will go with cause no money and Roberto is already a good one.
    3) Maybe we will buy another forward cause maybe we will sell Adrian

  • Lubo

    I don’t think we’ll be buying new GK, cause we have Roberto, who is currently the best one in Champions League, and who alone earned 6 points for Olympiacos until now. He wasn’t that convincing in our 1st team, but that was 4 or even 5 years ago and it seems he developed well.
    But we need a trequartista-typed player and Cholo wants Diego so badly to this position. And I fully agree with that. Diego is an underrated world class player, who really can make a difference. Since we don’t have anyone like him on the squad, he could offer something that’s our team missing right now.

  • Kulan

    I don’t think Roberto is the right choice for Atleti. I believe he needs to play in an inferior team to be able to shine. Atleti only has like three or four shots against them each game and Roberto is much to inconsistent to be able to do an excellent job under those circumstances. He has also poor aireal abilities which makes him less suitable as an Atleti goalie. No, put all funds on buying out Courtois. The roumours says that Atleti has a 20-million buy-out clause with Chelsea. That would be a good deal according to me.
    Courtois+Diego as free transfer next summer and the squad would be perfect!

  • marcelo

    Joe Hart anyone? 😛

  • kris

    Joe Hart can kiss my ass. He’s getting replaced by Froster in the Overrated English Team. That guy has to be one of the most overrated gk along with Casillas. Hart makes way too many errors.

  • Dircil

    @Kris: I think you’re too harsh on Casillas. Even though he’s playing for our rival but that man should receive respect from us to a certain extent. Many consider him as a living football legend! By the way, I don’t think Chelsea will release Courtois at any cheap price unless there is some impact from Courtois himself. I’ve learnt that Barca considers him as a replacement for Valdes and they’re really serious about the purchase of him. So, there’s no way we could keep him at our club unless we magically win the CL this year (that seems impossible for me in this season, I’m oversatisfied if we can qualify to the quarter final or semi final)

  • Atletico9

    Khedira is injured for the next 6 months. 😀
    hahahahahaha. PUTA REAL MADRID!

  • kris

    Dircil I just find him somewhat overrated than what some Madrid and Spanish fans say about him, he’s nowhere as good as they describe him. Atletico9 I don’t think we should laugh about that remember how many players they have in that same position? Illara , Alonso, Modric, Casemiro.

  • kris

    Dircil, I just find him slightly more overrated than what Madrid and Spain fans claim him to be like. He is nowhere near the level as they describe him to be.
    Atletico9, I don’t think we should laugh of that matter. They have quite a few replacements for him, including Xabi Alonso, Illaramendi, Modric, and Casemiro.

    Oh, in another matter, people say that Oliver has no eye for goal?? Really? Oliver scored a brace against Bosnia’s U-21 side in a 1-6 victory… Oliver has got everything. This guy is a real gem. ATLETICO SHALL NEVER LET HIM GO!.

  • piserakos

    kris… look at the goals.. they are not a scorers goals… he is not scorer and he would never be but he does many other things… Hope for the bests

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Casillas is a good GK, no argument here
    But is he -right now- the best in the world ?! or at least one of the best 3 ?!
    Absolutely Not

    The best 3 GKs are among these 6 : Buffon, Cech, Neuer, Handanovič, Courtois & De Gea

    but even after Iker stopped playing for almost a year -except few games with Spain & with Real in CL- many people still believe he is the best, or among the best 3 or best 5
    That what makes him overrated, at least (slightly) just like Kris said

    The opposite thing is happening with Valdes, many people believe he is a bad GK, but this is not true
    yes he sometimes makes silly mistakes, but he also sometimes makes magnificent saves
    in fact he gave Barca many points this season, with his great saves in the games that Barca won by only one goal difference, against :
    Malaga, Sevilla, Valencia, Real Madrid & Espanyol, and in their only draw vs Osasuna

    So, in my opinion : Casillas is slightly overrated and Valdes is slightly underrated
    I think that the difference between the two of them is very small
    Casillas is just slightly better than Valdes

  • kris

    My point exactly, Ahmad! Thank you! Valdes has been doing quite well ever since he was humiliated by DiMaria and seems like he is leaving, so without him it may cost Barca to drop some points as well but they probably will find a well enough replacement, God forbid it’s not Courtois. I would actually like for us to lure Courtois, for his well being and ours as well. I don’t see Mourinho benching Cech to play Courtois unless it’s in Domestic Cup games and the guy has great potential to become one of the best in the world(not that he isn’t already, but better). Roberto is doing fantastic at Olympiakos but it may still be the same ol’, same ol’, inconsistent Roberto, but I know under Simeone he will do fantastic just like any other player from our initial starting XI but still it would be a GREAT deal if we can keep Courtois and get Diego..

  • kris

    I saw the goals, the first one may have been unintentional but the second one Oliver took really well.

  • Shai

    Ahmed, you forgot Mignolet.. (atleast for now..)

    And I don’t think De Gea is on the top 10 list

  • kris

    Juanfran just scored for La Rojita..

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    if Del Bosque forget that he is a Madridista, Juanfran will be the one who plays in Brasil
    and his replacement could even NOT be Albiol

    @SHAI : Mignolet is a good goalie, but I don’t think he is one of the best 5 .. maybe the best 10

    But De Gea is not in the top 10 list ?!! .. man, I think you still mad because he left Atleti !
    yes he suffers a lot in air balls, he usually bunch the ball instead of catching it, but it’s working with him, so that dose not get him out of the 10 list in my opinion

  • marcelo

    haha Kris I was obviously joking :p I would prefer someone like Krul or Mandanda.

  • marcelo

    I think Courtois won’t stay. Mourinho’s been in that situation before with Cudicini when a young Cech came to Chelsea and Mourinho handled it PERFECTLY. We need to find a replacement for Courtois. I’d love it if we somehow pry away Adler from Hamburg. That guy is brilliant!

  • kris

    LOL I know Marcelo. Adler is great. Is he injured at the moment or what?

  • piserakos

    If Courtois leave we have Roberto… If we don’t think Roberto is at the class we want then we have to look something like…
    Mannone, Ter-Stegen, Krul, Adler, Leno, De Gea again, Handanovic, Mignolet and 2-3 others that I don’t remember them now.
    So what do I mean with this… Is any of them gonna be cheap?? I don’t think so… If yes then ok but I don’t think so, maybe Krul and Mannone would be at our abilities… But how much better they are from Roberto? And buy one like Moya or Navas for 1st choice?? I dissagree so if Courtois leave then go with Roberto and trust him and buy one great GK for back-up for a little or no money (Navas) and let them compete. IF things go bad(i give a small chance) then sell one of them and give money to buy a top top class gk

  • marcelo

    Wouldn’t mind Asmir Begovic either. We could definitely lure him to the Calderon.

  • dircil

    @piserakos: ok, ur plan sounds great. However, if we hesitate buying those alrealdy mentioned GK, other clubs will get them soon, especially Krul, Stegen and Bergovic. Ok, let’s say, we first focus our money on buying a class CAM and then see how much is left for the GK. If the budget after the purchase of an AM is low then I say we should hold onto Roberto. If the budget is sufficiently available for Stegen or Krul or etc., then buy any of them. It’s a good investment with a very low risk as they have already established themselves as outstanding goalies. Surely their market value will grow up and we can sell our GK for profit if neccessary.

  • marcelo

    If we get Diego + Begovic for a combined 12-13 mil, I’ll be over the moon!

  • kris

    12-13 million, Begovic AND Diego? I will cry.. what a deal that would be..

  • piserakos

    13 million Begovic and DIego isn’t so far from truth… At that case we buy Diego as a free agent at the summer and we give 12-13million for Begovic.. Only at that case this can happen.
    Any way I think we will try to get Diego from the winter so we will need some million

  • Zakaria

    Anyone heard that Hugo Almeida might join us?

  • Özgün

    @Zakaria: according to the Turkish source dha, Gestifute agency which had 50% of Almeida’s transfer rights have sold these rights to Atletico and Atletico&Besiktas are negotiating on the remaining half

    Turkish sources are proven to be highly unreliable in transfer issues but in this case dha says that this rumour is based on an article in Marca, however i couldn’t find this one in the web 🙂

    i hope this rumour is not true btw, i think Almeida is only as reliable as Turkish news sources in the box 🙂
    if this is true we’ll probably sign him as a sub but i still doubt the efficiency of this move

  • marcelo

    Almeida? No thanks. If we really want another striker we should get someone like Mitroglou. I hope this isn’t true though. We need to strengthen other positions like CAM, GK, RW.

  • kris

    So,, a replacement for Adrian? Why don’t we keep Adrian and just sign Diego for whatever the price this guy is coming for.. I don’t want no more of Jorge Mendes.. It’s enough that he still holds Costa’s rights.. I dislike this man Jorge Mendes.

  • pantic#10

    Unfortunately i think that we will deal with Jorge Mendes for long time….
    Adrian out on January and Almeida in?…mmmmhhh i like it.
    Adrian played some good matches in the last weeks (after a ghostly season) but he doesn’t score (at least a few assists…).
    Almeida is strong, and knows how to score. very good subs for Costa.
    Also Besiktas is one of our business partners…so i think it’ll happen.

  • Atletico9

    Hello guys.

    Do you know when the match against Sevilla is confirmed, day and time?

  • Silchas

    the problem with a striker ist that all new signings must be aware that they cant get a regular starter with Diego costa and David Villa in front. Diego Costa is in the form of his live and Villa is too expensive(wages) to send to the bench. So you must find a striker who is better than Leo and is willing to play only every 3th or 4th.

  • piserakos

    Almeida will join atleti on free(according to Marca) with Mendes holding his 50% of his rights. Adrian will probably get seld for about 10mil. So with those money we can bring Almeida(an ok back-up) and Diego. But somewhere I heard Koke will be available with ONLY 20mil?? If this is truth that’s bad business. Also from the summer 25mil for Costa will be the price?? Hope those rumors are not truth

  • Zakaria

    I don’t like to see Adrian Sold, the guy is talented and has lots of potential. He just needs to score and he will be back.
    As for Almeida, I am so against it, we have Adrian and Leo for backup, what we really need to focus about is a creative midfielder, Diego, Kagawa, or someone at the same level. I would love it if we can get Greizman, that kid always wanted to play for us and he is doing great this season.

    Lets see how things role in the near future, but for now we have an upcoming game that we need to win and hopefully Barca and RM lose

    Aupa Atleti

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Jorge Mendes is like the 3rd man at Atleti, after Cerezo & Gil .. maybe even before them
    I hate that .. and I hate him very much
    yes, he maybe brought us great players like Falcao, but he made much more financial profit from him than us
    and you must be sure that any player he brings to us will not stay long,
    Mendes is a parasite, and Atleti is one of his intermediate hosts, actually it’s his favorite one
    (career metaphor, sorry .. I had to use it !)
    he puts his players there so they will be under the spotlight, then when their prices significantly increase he sells them and takes most of the money, and left us only the sporting success, if we were lucky and had any

    I say stop dealing with that son of a b*** and let’s make signings in our own
    But they will not, because I think that the board of Atleti have some “under the table business” with Mendes

  • Adnan Khan

    Griezmann is a great player. Would have been nice to have him in atletico. And about Almeida, we should first get our creative midfielder and then think about almeida
    P.s almeida isnt that bad if you look at his statistics

  • kris

    Yehh, and English media report that we have also been linked with De Bruyne.

  • starvs

    Pretty spot on about Mendes Ahmad, but he may unfortunately be a necessary evil due to the shit financial situation of Aleti (and consequently the budget/wage restrictions). But it is certainly not a recipe for long term success and something we must extricate ourselves from to make the jump to the next level.

    Adnan, you’re right, I was surprised to see how good his goal scoring rate in Germany was when I looked a few days ago.

  • Atletico9

    If we beat Sant Andreu in the copa, are we then playing at home the 7th or the 15th january?

    because I mean that it’s best rank at home ind the last game until the quarterfinals?

    Hope you can help me 🙂 Thanks..

  • piserakos

    de Bruyn on load from Chelsea if we trust the English