The red and white aftermath: Match Day 30

Atleti sit alone atop the league with win over Granada & Real loss to Sevilla

Costa celebrates match-winning goal  (

Costa celebrates match-winning goal

Busted, hypocrites. All of you!

Celebrating Sevilla goals, ey? Well, who’d have thunk it?

While eternal rivals Real Madrid were en route to a second straight loss in less than a week at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Atlético had to sweat one out themselves at home against Granada Wednesday night.

Los Rojiblancos made their fans wait until just past the hour mark before they could erupt in celebration.


Atlético’s last four league games have played out much the same way: with los Colchoneros walking into the dressing room at the break all knotted up at 0-0, only to take care of business in the second half and come out triumphantly.

The club’s failure to finish off Granada after Diego Costa bagged goal number 100 for Atleti on the season in official play, only fueled the match day’s suspense for the Rojiblanco faithful.

Will Sevilla hold on? Will we hold on? Will Sevilla hold on? Will we hold on?

In the end, our brothers in red and white (but just for one day, now we can resume our feud as mortal enemies), thanks to a pair of strikes by Carlos Bacca, stunned Real in Andalusia.

Meanwhile, time elapsed at the Calderón and we remained unbeaten at home with our fourth straight shutout victory in league play.


Atleti will hardly have time to enjoy their latest achievement though, as they must gear up for the most demanding point of the season.

The upcoming schedule reads as follows: away at Athletic Bilbao [remaining games removed from report by Diego Pablo Simeone…partido a partido dammit!]

Post-game notes and quotes:

Simeone: “Now, more than ever, we have to take it game-by-game”

“In the first half, we set the game up well, but the team was imprecise,” fearsome Atleti boss Diego Simeone said after his squad achieved their 23rd win of the season in Primera.

“Our opponents forced the match into a counterattacking one, but our defence worked well.

“The team earned the win.”

‘El Cholo’ continued: “I repeat, and continue to insist, each game feels long, tough…difficult. It’s been a marvelous year, but we will be evaluated by how it ends, more than by what we have been doing.

“If we make it to the last four or five fixtures, we’ll get a little more excited.”

More Cholo: “I value the effort made by the club to maintain a path of hard work. We have worked well and have kept a solid base of the team. We have a group of players that have wanted to improve and grow. This doesn’t offer us anything, but it teaches us that one can work hard believing in what one is doing, and compete.

“At the half during the Clásico, Real Madrid had pretty much clinched the league and were about to get ahead of Barça by seven points. Now, Madrid are a few points behind and I’m certain that they will recover. They have what it takes to make it to the end in the best way possible.”

On the grueling nature of the calendar, with Atleti having to make five trips and only hosting three more games on their own daunted soil, Simeone said: “Playing every three days will be complicated. It will not be easy. Our guys are human, they work hard, run. I’m very happy about what they’re doing.”

Asked if he was worried that, if his team did not win the league, it would take away from their accomplishments, Cholo said: “No, not at all. It’s been a tremendous season. There are eight finals left, all of which must be taken, more than ever, one game at a time.”

5 goals in 4 games for Costa

The ‘Beast of the Manzanares’ really is in his element at his stadium by the riverbend.

Diego Costa came through once again to notch his 17th goal at the Calderón in 16 league games there in the present term, when he latched his head onto a José Sosa corner kick in the 63rd minute.

The 25-year-old’s overall goal total in all competitions on the campaign stands at 32 (24 in La Liga).

After a very slow start to 2014 for the big guy, he’s fully back to peak form and has found the back of the net five times in his last four starts.

Costa never runs out of gas, and he can be seen chugging along (and barking at his foes) until the very last minute of our encounters and beyond.

A royal touch

Sosa’s entry gave us more speed in the link-up between our midfielders and forwards,” Simeone said of his ‘Little Prince’.

The Argentine right winger was on the money with the corner kicks he took when he replaced a highly ineffective Cebolla Rodríguez in the 56th minute.

Because Koke was rested, it was Sosa who was tasked with corner kick duties on the evening, and it was from one of those crosses from the edge that he tallied his fourth assist in only 475 minutes of play since arriving during the past winter transfer window.

That’s four assists in the equivalent of a little over five full games. To put things in perspective, Cebolla has two assists in double that time (901 minutes). Filipe Luís, yes Filipe Luís, has four in 3,111 minutes! Finally, Juanfran has four in 3,825 minutes.

Cholo was certainly on to something when he brought his compatriot over from Metalist Kharkiv on loan.

Other notes:

  • Cebolla over Diego? Simeone explained his decision to start the ‘Onion’ over Diego thusly: Left back Emiliano Insua is more defensive-oriented than Filipe, so we needed to compensate on the left flank with a more offensive-minded left winger.
  • It was another one of those boring nights for Thibaut Courtois, but the Belgian shotstopper probably didn’t mind getting a little rest ahead of our busy slate of tough matches. Thibaut’s clean sheet total keeps growing, as he now has 22 shutouts on the campaign, 16 of those coming in La Liga. Atleti have shut their opponents out in more than half of their games in Primera in the current term, and only 6 of our 16 visitors have managed to score at the Calderón.
  • Gabi is one yellow card away from a second suspension, as he was booked for a ninth time this season.
  • Remember those days when we longed for qualification into the Champions League? Well, Atleti are one point away — with 8 games left on the schedule — from clinching a berth into UEFA’s top club tournament for our next campaign.

  • Farzad from Iran

    If we play like this we wont win bilbao

  • Dircil

    Now I know that I’m not the only one who is superstitious in football!!! So glad to know Simeone is a believer just like me!

  • Chewie

    We won’t play like this against Bilbao. It was economy-mode football. Glad Sosa made another assist, so far he’s proven to be even more valuable than Diego.

  • tattu mian

    who will we buy? maybe both of em bcoz cebolla said he is leaving and oli might stay yellow?


    iam starting to like Sosa very much cause he is very inteligent player and very comitet.. diego is already a star player for me but we are playing a different football style now with more fighters on the pitch and many( or every player) players have defensive duties and Diego isnt so good in defence. wa are a group of real fighters and thats i like. i think last couple of games we played exactly how much we needed to win.. Tiago make so many mistakes last night thats not very usual for him but he was injured..

  • Farzad from Iran

    Villa needs sometime to become to his real play , he should try hard, in last match villa didnt play good

  • Valinia

    @TATTU MIAN pls nooooooo.. oli is one of the most talented youngsters n hes gonna hv a bright future, im sure tht simeone will not let him go

  • starvs

    Really can’t believe how the league has shook out in the last week, we really have a great chance now, but game by game, especially this Saturday.

    Valinia, Oli very well may stay on loan another season, don’t think Tattu was implying he should or could be sold. I want to see Oli, Koke, and Courtois all still wearing red and white in 2024.

  • farhan

    @Farzad calm down bro when we need goals he will score…
    watch him in ucl against Barca…hehehehe
    he is going for world means spain going to win the cup ….

    am happy for atletico
    but sad for valencia….only 7 games left and i think they will not make for uel this time…

  • farhan

    @starv 2024? reallly or you mean 2014 😀

  • farhan

    our fixtures are worst..

    bilbao then barca then league again …we dont have enough player to rotate…

    Raul is suspended against in ucl….
    Valdes is injured…

    pinto will be their goalkeeper ….(looks good for us)
    i really think against barca we should play offensive game…ATTACKING… not try to hold ball enough in midfield coz it willl be hard their midfield is helll better than ours 🙁 (messi iniesta xavi )
    Neymar dives tooo alot (irritates me 😀 )

    really want costa and villa in lineup and playing alongside not only one messing up with barca defence … or play Villa on wing … he draw defenders very well and comfortable in scoring from nearly every possible angle…. not seen pinto enough this season… hope he struggles…
    Villa shine up please we need you 🙂

    barca are not milan
    and admit we will not have possesion more 40-45%
    playing with more midfielders will suerly make us lose first leg …
    hope in the end we head to SEMI FINAL…

  • farhan

    35-40 %

  • Karam

    Hi atleti’s ….
    Does diego costa on his way to chelsea for 42 million!!
    Am hearing this every where :””(((
    Plz tell me not PLZZZZZZZZZ .. Dont sell our players plz plz we want to be big again and this not the way to do it :((

  • starvs

    Yes, I def meant 2024.

    I’m not all that worried about players leaving this summer. Why go to a worse team (any other team [but Bayern] in world at this point…). Money/Taxes will always be a factor though.

  • piserakos

    @Karam… About Costa… They offer us 40 million pounds and it is almost 50 million euros. We won’t sell him, only if they give us Courtois, Torres and money
    @Farhan… You read correct, Starvs want them to stay until 2014. They would be all about 31 years old at this time so they would spend all of their good career at Atleti!

  • Kulan

    The one thing that worries me about Costa is that he is represented by the devil, aka Mendes.
    Talking about dream-transfers; here are mine for the summer:
    Guilherme Siquira (LB)
    Sheridan Shakiri (AM)
    Angel Correa (FW)
    and of course.. Courtois

  • Kulan

    Xherdan Shaqiri 😉

  • starvs

    Doesn’t really matter (nearly as much, at least) who the agent is if he doesn’t own any of the rights. I think Costa is fully owned by Atleti, no?

  • Karam

    There is no good strikers out there and our style of a play that we need a damn good striker and i dont see any .. And torres is old and not that good we need to take courtios only plus big money to go shoping .. And about correa is good player we need him that sur plus shaqiri but we need a good dm player also and maybe saul and suarez be good next year .. Again ther is no good striker out there guys exept Suarez that fit in our style of play .. So i preferd to keep costa and lookin for other GK insted if courtios is impossible ! Cuz the goal keeper importent but not as a maen striker and this is my humble opinion .. Cuz our defence is good and a decent goal keeper will do for us but our offence is not that good so we need Diego 🙂

  • MR

    ok Costa is really unique, obviously it would be hard to find anyone to replace him if he has to go to Chelsea but I am not concerned as Cholo surely realizes that the best candidate for Costa’s replacement is Chelsea’s Lukaku.
    we really should drop Torres (I would never bring him back honestly) and go for Lukaku.
    Also, we need Thibu badly, I hope he (& everyone in the team) realizes what Starvs said: Atleti are at the very top of football now, with a bright history (unlike Chelsea’s, PSG’s, City …) and a bright future.

  • Farzad from Iran

    Farahan I think that you like villa so much,but this year he play so bad,last yearI thought that If he come to our team ,we will be best,but his passes and shooting has many problem,, but I love him

  • Farzad from Iran

    I scare from that we loose our good palyers next year forxample : man united wants arda turan—chesea wants diego costa—–real madrid wants courtua—If we dont loose these players,we will be like this next year and maybe better than this