The red and white aftermath: Match Day 26

Epic slugfest of a derby ends in frustrating draw at a boisterous Calderón

Gabi rocked the house with his blast  (

Gabi rocked the house with his blast

Atlético were unable to hold onto victory after a spirited comeback effort against Real Madrid that had all the electricity of a heavyweight prize fight.

Los Rojiblancos went down first and quickly on Sunday, but sprung back up to deliver a pair of mighty blows of their own.

Atleti had their archrivals’ backs firmly pressed against the ropes, but let them evade the fatal blow and salvage a point with a late equaliser.

While our heroes on the pitch fought valiantly in spite of their early setback, the stars of this latest edition of the Madrid Derby undoubtedly were the Atlético fans in attendance at the Vicente Calderón.

United 55,000 strong, the Rojiblanco faithful paid tribute to their battle-ready warriors with a stadium-wide red and white mosaic that included an excerpt from the club’s anthem; specifically, the part that reads: Porque luchan como hermanos, defendiendo sus colores (“They fight as brothers, defending their colours”).

That’s what the ‘Big Two’ and their fans will never get–we live and breathe our stripes.

We don’t depend on wins and trophies.

We will always be there for our club.

So, when Karim Benzema poked home the early opener, the party was just getting started at the Castle of Cholo.

Unperturbed, the best supporters in the world only got louder before erupting into ecstasy when Koke smashed in the equaliser.

Sheer euphoria ensued following Gabi’s long-range missile just before the break that put us ahead 2-1.

Cristiano’s goal to level the scoreline certainly dampened the mood a bit, but the celebrations carried on–porque siempre la afición, se estremece con pasión (“because the fans always roar with passion”).

Post-game notes and quotes:

Simeone: “We are still alive”

“The result is what it is,” Diego Simeone, sporting a freshly-buzzed back-to-the-roots haircut, told reporters during his post-game press conference.

“I don’t know if it’s a fair one or not. We had chances to win it, but what counts is the final result.

“We’ve shown that we are alive, though that may bother some.”

On suggestions by his counterpart Carlo Ancelotti that Atleti were “rough” and “violent”, Simeone refused to jump into the fray.

“It’s an opinion offered by the opposing manager, and I respect it.”

The Argentine manager also neglected to comment on Carlos Delgado Ferreiro’s officiating.

The referee, who has never presided over a Real loss in over 10 assignments, missed a huge penalty call early in the first half when Sergio Ramos recklessly challenged Diego Costa inside the box.

“The team had a great reaction to [the opening] goal. They started to play, pressure, and they created chances in the first half,” Simeone said.

“In the second half, we began well. Marcelo and Carvajal’s entries gave our opponents a boost. We couldn’t find that final pass on some of our counterattacks, especially one by Gabi. We could’ve closed it out and have gone up 3-1, but their goal arrived.

“We did a great job. I’m proud of this squad. They were men that took on everything.”

Koke strike sparks the revival

‘The Resurrector’, Jorge Resurreción Merodio, better known as Koke, was just as surprised to find himself alone, completely unmarked inside the box, as Real were.

Teammate Arda, skillfully holding onto the ball while under pressure, displayed tremendous presence of mind to spin around and instantly find him.

Koke received the Turk’s pass, picked his spot and unleashed a low drive to the far post–picking up his 5th goal of the campaign (all scored in La Liga).

Must have felt good for the kid, who was born with more red and white blood cells than most, to stick it to the Merengues. He celebrated his strike with a fury.

We’re talking about the young man who memorably planted, knelt down before and kissed the Atleti flag in the Bernabéu centre-circle after our Copa triumph.

The Atleti idol later went on to notch his 13th overall assist in the current term (10th in La Liga).

Gabi’s blast sends the Calderón into delirium

Atlético captain Gabi stunned the football world with what probably surpassed Diego Costa’s bicycle-kick effort against Getafe as Atleti’s goal of the season.

With less than a minute to go in the first half, our beloved skipper launched an absolute rocket from almost 40 yards out that Diego López failed to even get his fingers on.

The rumbling vibrations that followed from within the Calderón were reportedly felt in China.

Gabi now has 2 goals to go along with his career best 10 assists this season.

Not bad for a former goalkeeper.

“I leave with a bitter taste in my mouth because of the draw in the end, but I’m very proud of Atlético Madrid,” the Atleti youth academy product told Canal Plus.

“It’s been a very open game, with chances for both teams. We’ll keep fighting to stay up top.”

Filipe complains of unfairness in La Liga

“It is of no one’s interest for Atlético to be up top,” Atleti left-back Filipe Luís said in the mixed zone after the clash.

“They want us out of there. It’s tough for some to see us there. I’m not talking about the refereeing. People don’t want Atleti to be there. People want La Liga to continue being uneven with so many millions in difference between those up top, while the ones down low progressively have less money to sign players.”

The Brazilian continued: “They, with all their matches in the Copa [del Rey] and Champions [League], were able to bring on their 40 or 50 million [euro] substitutes.

“We, with our humility and being a team that has played the same amount of matches, in the end, of course, had a dip. But in the end, the team, with humility and hard work, is there.”

Other notes:

  • Arda’s assist on Koke’s goal was his 5th on the campaign. The Turk hit the woodwork with a header in the second half that was inches away from sealing the deal for Atleti.
  • Both Juanfran and Mario Suárez have now suited up in red and white 100 times in league play. Juanfran remains a highly-regarded member of the team among fans, while Mario was the subject of scorn thanks to his blunder that led to Cristiano’s devastating equaliser.
  • Cholo only used one substitution, and it came very late into this grueling fixture. It’s not unusual for Simeone to end a bout without having exhausted all three of his subs, but it was a bit surprising on Sunday given the effort put in by his squad to keep Real Madrid’s fierce attack at bay. Perhaps not having his trusty sidekick ‘Mono’ Burgos, dismissed a little after the hour mark, at his side, led to his reluctance to tinker with his line-up.
  • Looming suspensions for Celta match: Arda, Costa and Godín were all booked for the fifth time this season and are, tentatively, suspended for our trip to Vigo. Costa’s card is perhaps the most appealable of the three, as he was shown yellow for a dive in spite of contact by Arbeloa. It will be nice to count on his availability against Celta, especially given our recent troubles away from Madrid. Godín was carded for flinging his head back at Pepe’s face and, though (unfortunately) he didn’t make solid contact as he intended, the ‘Portuguese Booger Launcher’ proceeded to make a late bid for an Oscar, ridiculously sending himself flying backwards to the ground.
  • Miranda, Filipe, Tiago and Mario all remain on four yellows.
  • Atleti haven’t defeated Real at the Calderón in 15 consecutive matches.
  • Mono ‘One Too Many’ Burgos, according to Delgado Ferreiro’s official report, was expelled in the 65th minute for repeatedly protesting the ref’s decisions. “He didn’t say anything to the referee before the mess; he lost his temper afterwards,” Simeone explained in his presser. It was quite a sight to see the burly Burgos having to be subdued by Atleti’s entire coaching staff, including Cholo. Delgado Ferreiro probably wet his bed last night.

  • Gert

    fantastic aftermath Martin !!
    I love this team so much!

  • Jeronamo

    Great report… I enjoyed the atleti I saw yesterday but I only think we dropped points because of simione’s late subs and the fact that he took out arda before rg8, arda wad out key yesterday even when he got tired but maybe bringing un diego and sosa or even villa would have given us more energy and later threat than what we had but nothing is gonna change that now…. on to the next one

  • farhan

    i still donot understand why simeone donot use villa …… he need to trust him… hr is nearly scoring on every game in 30 min …. what happens to simeone … ?

  • ali_

    farhan: what are you talkin about? statistically villa only scores after every 165 minutes. we needed every people on the field yesterday, and villa is -1. hope we say goodbye to him at the end of the season.

    about the match: like gabi, i have the same bitter taste in my mouth now, we could have won. damn that fuckin equaliser… im really glad that our boys was shocked only for a few minute after the first real goal. they fought like the gladiators, maximum respect for all of them and for all supporters. they were magnificient.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    ** We are sorry Carla, we thought you like it rough and violent … bitch

    ** Guillem Balague, Sky Sports analyst gave an interesting statistic before the game:
    Atletico line-up have collectively played 5000 more minutes than Real Madrid line-up
    (it’s not a typo, it’s five thousands)
    a very big number, and that’s the difference between us and the big two, the bench

    Sometimes I feel angry at Simeone when he does not use all the 3 substitutions, when he only makes 1 sub in the last 10 minutes,
    but other times I put myself in his position and think :
    who should I send on ?! who is the one on the bench who can add something, or at least keep things as they are ?!
    Adrian ?! .. Sosa ?! .. Villa ?!
    even Diego is not the same player we had 2 years ago

    with UCL, Azerbaijan and maybe Etihad money, I wish we can replace Cebolla, Adrian & Sosa with 3 or 4 good players and have a stronger bench next season, which will be the most difficult season for El Cholo and his men, as everybody will look at them as a candidate for the title from week 1, whatever what position we end on this season

    ** “We’ve shown that we are alive, though that may bother some”
    then when the reporters asked him : “who do you mean” Simeone replied :
    “You know who”
    Now this is the kind of statements I’ve been waiting for a long time
    El Cholo was too polite lately, and this is not good
    He has to take the pressure off his players and put it on the 2 other sides, not by attacking or insulting anyone, but simply by stating the obvious facts

    when he used to say things like “partido a partido” “La Liga is boring” “there is a small difference between Atleti and the big two .. of 400 million euros” the team was good in both results and performance
    but when he suddenly stopped, and let the media treat us as we are at the same level with Real & Barca, our players became under big pressure and we started to see tension, nervousness and silly mistakes because of that

    let’s set things straight again

    ** it’s very important and it makes a big difference when the majority of your players are sons of the club, are academy products
    it made a difference with many teams .. the best example is Barca
    in one game last season, all the 11 players on the pitch were from La Masia

    yesterday, in a very difficult and very important game, two of our canteranos who don’t usually score goals have scored

    you can sign players from outside as you want, but your academy products will always has something more to give you

    you can compare between Casillas, who was benched not by one, but two managers, but yet he gives everything he has every time he gets a chance to play
    and Benzema, who Mourinho called him once “lazy” .. the one who you can’t find a single green spot on his all-white kit

    and in Atleti you can compare between Koke, who gives “sudar y sangre” and Adrian who you can read on his face every time you look at him : “I don’t give a fuck”

    the first Real Madrid galacticos (Zidane, Figo, Ronaldo & Beckham) have won only 2 Ligas and 1 UCL in 5 years
    while La Masia-majority Barca have won 16 trophies in the same number of years

    you can also make the same comparison between several-home growns Man Utd, Abramovich Chelsea and French-majority Arsenal

    so, if we want to stay big, and become bigger and bigger, we have to keep at least the best 5 or 6 canteranos, and build the team around them
    and if we have to sell some players to get some cash, it has to be from the others, not them

    Gabi, Koke, Mario, Oli, Manqui & Saul should be untouchable

    ** We have to start a wining streak in La Liga,
    7 of the next 8 games are easy (on paper) .. the tough one is against Athletic in New San Mames
    then will see what can we do in the last 4 games, the back-to-back games in Valencia against Los Che & Levante, then Malaga at home, and finally the trip to the Camp Nou .. but without forgetting “partido a partido”

    Diego and Villa who lost Simeone trust lately will probably start against Celta
    and I guess it will be the first time Villa & RG8 start together without Costa,
    I wonder if it’s going to work or not ?!!
    a 1-0 win will make me very happy and fully satisfied

    ** Mono Burgos is an Atleti legend

  • piserakos

    @damn me… What a great analysis by Ahmad??? I totally agree with you mate! Totally!!!!
    Anyway i think Villa with RG8 will play great, i’m sure about it! I was the one who shouted here Cholo use them both. But i think the yellow card of Costa will be removed and he will play! By the way you’ve seen Gay-Ronaldo holding his hand and running at the match end?? Yesterday i was reading comments from Greek Real fans and i was so fucking happy! All of there were showing such a hate to Atleti, most of them even accepted that Atleti is their rival and not Barca. Even Ramos yesterday said “we are 3 points above from the next contenter of La Liga”. I think our problem this season and probably next season is that all the team see us as as they see Barca and Real, maybe even worst, cause they believe that if they play ultra defensive football they will get something. Also our problem was when Cholo and our players started to believe and comment that yes maybe we can win La Liga!!! Also ahmad i saw this static but i don’t agree at something, obviously we don’t have the same bench with them but i think Villa, Cebolla and even Diego (even though he brings bad lack) could easily help!
    We must have a team from canteranos, i think that we can easily find players better than Mario and Gabi but both of them are fantastic cause they have one more reason to play! They are our academy products! That’s the reasons that i want Torres back! We should have a team with players know what is Atleti and fight for this crest! Felipe, Godin, Juanfran are showing this at every chance even thought they aren’t Atleti products, but they know what is Atleti… Arda has started this year showing that he is felt in love with our loved Atleti! If we keep them and sell players who are not that talented and don’t give a fuck for our club (Sosa, Adrian, Cebolla, Insua) and bring 3-4 talented back ups, also with Saul and Oliver (and Leo) coming next year and other canteranos taking some chances we have nothing to be afraid of.. I think that we will have a bright future! Many canteranos coming, having a great plan (Cholo and a group of loyal players), new pitch, more and more income, having redused our depth and Etihad and Azebajan helping us with money damn we will just need to be patiend! Atleti hasta la muerte! They are afraid of us and they fight us. We have the 1/6 of their money and yet they had shitted their pants! Cholo and Felipe told it as they are!! Aupa Atleti. Te quierro Atleti!

  • Kris

    Can’t disagree with what both Ahmad and piserakos said on here. I agree with having as many academy players as we can in our team, because THEY know what it’s like to be Atleti fans and playing for the crest in the front of the jersey. I thought of exactly what Ahmad was thinking when the game was going on yesterday and BOTH Gabi and Koke scored ( which is unusual for both midfielders). When the summer window was going on, I think I commented on here saying we shouldn’t let go of Koke, Costa, Oliver, Saul, and Manauillo at all and actually try to build the team around Oliver who could be “that” player for us. Oliver had a very bright future at Atleti and so does Atletico. Vamos Atleti!

  • Pantic#10

    And i agree with amhad, piserakos and Kris!
    Great analysis! Very very good work, oh and also another great aftermath by Martin

  • palc

    Mono Burgos might be an Atleti legend, but he acted like a mono.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    While our first team is fighting for La Liga title, our B & C teams are struggling
    Both are in relegation zones in Segunda B & Tercera respectively, and both have changed their coaches, Atletico B last month, and Atletico C just today

    It’s very disappointing .. especially for the B team whose their goal was to promote to Segunda and be with Real Madrid B & Barcelona B after finishing 7th last season with just 6 points away from the 4th place, the last spot for the playoffs

    Are Oliver, Manqui & Saul so good that after they left Atletico B that happened ?!
    I guess yes !

    It’s very important not just for the B team, but also for the first team that the B team stays at Segunda B this season .. and it will be a very big step also for both B team and first team to promote to Segunda as soon as possible

  • piserakos

    @ahmad… yes it’s bad and weird. we have (atletico b, i don’t know about atletico c) one of the best rosters at this division and our goal was to promote but like last season everything went wrong.. Yes Oliver, Manquillo and Saul were our best players and they don’t play there. Also Gimenez can’t play at this division, Hector is injured and that’s maybe the reason

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