Match preview: Atlético vs. Real Sociedad

A mourning Atleti granted yet another perfect chance to become leaders of the pack

Gabi fends off Xabi Prieto  (

Gabi fends off Xabi Prieto

Atlético enter Sunday’s league encounter versus Real Sociedad having experienced a panoply of emotions in the days and hours leading up to the match (19:00 CET).

To the elation of the Rojiblanco faithful, qualification to the semifinals of the Copa del Rey was secured after a spirited comeback effort in San Mamés on Tuesday. The triumph set up a massive rematch against Real Madrid which gets underway this upcoming Wednesday.

Days later, on the winter transfer deadline day, fans were treated to quite-the-unexpected yet ever-so-delightful surprise.

Previously gone-but-never-forgotten Colchonero idol Diego Ribas, whose return to Atleti had been the subject of volumes of gossip since the day he left, finally came back to the place where he feels “at home”.

Atleti supporters were thrilled when the news was finally confirmed.

But, the joy didn’t last too long.

Early Saturday, breaking news reports in Madrid announced the death of former Atleti player and coach Luis Aragonés, sending Atlético fans into a collective state of melancholy.

Hours later, the all-around good cheer snuck its way back in by virtue of a shock win at the Camp Nou by a Valencia in shambles.

Barcelona’s 3-2 defeat to los Che has offered Atleti another excellent chance to take over the top spot in Spain.

The players are unquestionably super-motivated ahead of the bout, and will want to pay tribute to Mr. Aragonés with a thumping win.

This fixture, which took place on the 27th match day last season, was won by the Txuri-Urdin–the first defeat at home in La Liga suffered by Atleti in the 2012-13 campaign.

Simeone immediately called-upon Diego, who will don the red and white shirt for the first time since 13 May 2012, the day of the game that sent Villarreal down to Segunda División.

Defender José Giménez, through technical decision, and Filipe Luís, Arda and Tiago, because of injuries, will be unavailable, while Mario Suárez has apparently fully recovered and is back in the selection.

Will Atleti finally take advantage of a gift placed on their laps by the gods of football?

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Aranzubia, Courtois
Defenders: Godín, Alderweireld, Manquillo, Juanfran, Insúa, Miranda
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Koke, Raúl García, Cebolla, Gabi, DIEGO, Sosa
Forwards: Adrián, Villa, Costa

Real Sociedad match selection:
Goalkeepers: Bravo, Zubikarai
Defenders: Carlos Martínez, Mikel, Íñigo, Ansotegui, José Ángel, Zaldua
Midfielders: Xabi Prieto, Pardo, Zurutuza, Ros, Gaztañaga,
Forwards: Griezmann, Seferovic, Agirretxe, Vela, Chory Castro

  • kris

    Exciting match this is with lots of emotions. My prediction for this match: Club Atletico de Madrid 2-0 Real Sociedad. Let’s do it for Zapatones lads. Aupa Atleti!

  • Pantic#10


    Or Sosa as starter and Diego subs.
    Mario for koke in the 2nd half

    Let’s win this Liga to commemorate la Leyenda Aragones.

  • Dirceu

    Go Go Diego! I’m looking forward to seeing him scoring in this match. We’re gonna smash Sociedad into pieces with the presence of Diego the Maestro !!!!

  • Jeronamo

    Sigh I won’t get to see the game but I believe we’re going to put on quite a show

  • Zakaria

    I am so excited for today’s game, its a perfect chance for us to top La Liga. RS are a strong team, but we are stronger and playing in our stronghold. No one can breach us there. I cant wait to see Diego play, I love that dude. Watching youtube clips all days about this man, he is a genius.

    I hope Real slip in San Mames, and we can soar 4 points ahead of all, that would a perfect night.

    Aupa Atleti

  • sajedeh

    i dont like to lose this golden oppertunity again at all. godddd… help

  • kris


  • Ahmad Hossainy

    The exact XI I anticipated last night :

    Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Insua
    Gabi, Mario
    Sosa, Koke
    Costa, Villa

    let’s go to the leadership .. for Aragones

  • kris


  • kris

    The scenery at the Calderon is beautiful for the tribute of Zapatones.

  • Brad

    Atleti vs. Real Sociedad will always have a special place in my heart. Last year, I went to the match at Vicente Calderon with my girlfriend’s father. Atleti may have lost, but it’s where I started following them.

  • kris

    David Villa needs to increase his work rate. He needs to look to get more involved in the game.

  • kris


  • Brad


  • kris

    Damn. Villa seems hurt. Raul Garcia about to come in for him.

  • Colchonero in SF

    El Guaje!!!

    Loved the tribute paid for his national team manager when El Guaje was just coming coming into this own!!

  • Brad

    What happened? My stream cut and came back with Villa on the ground

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    did Villa injure himself while he was celebrating his goal ?!

  • kris

    I think he did, Ahmad. And this is why I love Diego. That vision to find Raul Garcia’s run is incredible!! He is what we have been missing!!

  • kris

    Make no mistake. There’s no way in hell Costa is going to stop scoring.

  • Brad

    DIEGO COSTA!!!!!

  • Brad


  • kris

    Miranda does it again!! This 4-2-3-1 formation is the perfect system for the set of players we have. It suits us perfectly!! Diego is the missing piece and we have found him!! 3-0.

  • Ash

    anyone know who assisted DC?

  • kris

    It was Raul Garcia that assisted Costa.

  • kris

    Koke out for CR11. Koke played good as well, not his brightest because Filipe was missing to link up with him on the sides, but he did good. Assisted Miranda for that header.

  • Ash

    thx Kris superb assist wasn’t it 🙂

  • kris

    Brilliant save by Bravo.

  • kris

    It was wonderful! RG8 always tries those dangerous balls to the attackers, but they don’t work at a lot of times. This time it did, wonderfully.!

  • Gerard Piqué the great

    You lot will not win the league, I promise you that now. If we have to, we’ll absolutely annihilate you on the last day of the season. And then your squad will be torn apart in the summer. Pathetic effort by Real Sociedad today, but don’t worry, we needed the defeat yesterday to focus our minds on the prize.

    Most of you were probably Dortmund fans last season anyway or started ‘supporting’ Atletico within the past year due to them doing well. Flavor of the month fake fans. Plastic club who doesn’t pay it’s taxes and will finish 2nd at best.

    Visca el Barça i visca Catalunya

  • Brad


  • kris

    AND DIEGO DOES IT TOO!! 4-0. First game for Atleti, and scores wonderfully! Good work by Insua too!! This is a wonderful message to all.

  • Ash

    Diego! Return of the KING!!!

  • Brad

    Let’s save up some scoring for this week’s game against RM

  • Ash

    Friendly tip to our fans: pls just ignore any troll you may encounter in our forum.

  • Brad

    Now let’s just hope Athletic Bilbao can get back to their winning ways and keep Real off our tail!

  • pantic#10

    This is for you Luis. This is for you.

    What a fantastic 2nd half.
    Diego changed the match.
    Costa was absolutely amazing.
    Villa very unlucky 🙁 hope he recover soon.

    How many feelings tonight.
    happy and sad at the same time.
    Atleti is life.

    Seedorf was at the Vicente Calderon 🙂

  • Dirceu

    I noticed that after Diego being sent to the field, our play has improved a lot. Hope to see such performance in the next rounds. Keep it up Atletico’s fans!!!!!!!!

  • palestine-atletico

    Greaaaaaaat 🙂
    I am the happiest in the world…we are the leaders!!!
    Any one knows how much arda and villa are injured??

  • Adnan Khan

    have any of you pictures of Diego Ribas of today’s game? I need to change my front cover on Facebook 😛

  • starvs

    HAHA I love the trolls, we made it mother fuckers!!


  • colchonero in sf

    Pantic, I am totally with you. I started following every single Atletico game here in United States since I met a girl from Chamartin Madrid who supported Atleti.

    She bought me an atleti scarf and hat and i have been through the roller coaster that is Atleti since.

    The game that won my heart 2009 vs. Espanyol. We were down to 10 men and down 2-1 in 2nd half.

    Kun scores to level it up and Simao with a magical through ball to Forlan that fired Atleti into Champions League and the Calderon into oblivion.

    Atleti is life!!! Rip Luis!

    David in San Francisco

  • Arjit

    Haha colchonero in sf, I still have the highlights from that game saved to my 2nd gen iPod touch :P. Great game, this weekend has been wonderful. DIIIIEGOOOO

  • kris

    Absolutely wonderful!! Diego= the game changer, the missing piece, the Messiah. RIP Zapatones. This was for you. This is incredible. I have never witnessed Atleti sit atop on the La Liga table in 11 years.. I am crying.. 🙂 I am so happy!! Thank you Cholo. Thank you.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    for the first time since the doblete season, after more than 4 weeks of play
    (Atleti took the lead several times in the last few seasons but all were between week 1 and week 4, but never after that .. till tonight)

    For 59 consecutive weeks, no one could take the lead from Braca, from week 1 of season 2012-13, until this week

    Both Villa and Costa scored

    Diego played .. and scored

    and I got the whole 15 points in the prediction league .. after a lot of zeros !

    una noche perfecta

    and about wining La Liga, now I can say : si se puede