The red and white aftermath: Match Day 33

Atleti extend lead in the Coliseum as La Liga summit looms

Godín wins over the fans  with an opening goal and a point to the crest  (clubatleticodemadrid.com)

Godín wins over the fans
with an opening goal and a point to the crest
(clubatleticodemadrid.com)

With Barcelona surprisingly beaten at Granada the previous evening, Atlético took the chance to go three points clear at the top of La Liga on Sunday with a deserved win at local rivals Getafe.

Diego Godín opened the scoring before Diego Costa bravely converted a second late on, although it very nearly came at a cost, following a nasty collision with the goal frame that dominated the post-match headlines.

Rojiblancos everywhere winced in horror as their star man collided into the post whilst sliding in to score. Despite being stretchered off, though, the club confirmed after the game that it was no more than a wound, and that the beast may indeed have bones of steel, as suspected.

The Twittersphere was quick to announce that Costa’s season and World Cup dream were in jeopardy, although in typical fashion, the Spanish international recovered to take a place on the team bus and kit up for training on Monday morning. “We just need to fix the post,” was how Simeone’s press officer Pepe Pasques eloquently summed up the incident.

As for the game, Atleti were authoritative and had the home side under control for the 90 minutes, striking near the end of each half to secure their twelfth away win of the season. Often in the past we have struggled at the Coliseum Álfonso Pérez, with September 2008 the last time we registered a win there, and perhaps earlier in the season we would have stumbled under the pressure. However, belief in the team is sky high, and despite obvious signs of fatigue, the players continue to put in strong performances as the dream draws ever closer.

Diego Costa was, unsurprisingly, also the main topic of discussion before the game, but after missing Wednesday’s win over Barcelona, he returned to start alongside David Villa and Raúl García in a very top heavy line-up from Simeone. Our leading scorer had an eventful game, clashing throughout with the Getafe centre-backs, and very nearly losing his cool in the second half after some dirty tactics from Rafa López. Despite also having a penalty saved, he did get the last laugh with his goal and is now ahead of Lionel Messi in the pichichi stakes, and just two goals behind leader Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese attacker faces a spell on the sidelines and will miss the Copa del Rey final, which Atleti can watch on Wednesday in the knowledge that both teams are playing catch up to them domestically, and enjoy a rare mid-week off before going again two days later in a final of their own at home to Elche.

Post-game notes and quotes:

Simeone pleased with players’ professionalism

Partido trampa is how games such as Sunday’s are referred to in Spain, potential banana skins or ‘traps’. Coming up against a city rival, fighting for their Primera División status so late in the season in a game where they had nothing to lose was always likely to be tough, but to Simeone’s pleasure, they were dealt with comfortably.

“The team did a great job, it was a very complicated fixture. It cost the players effort and ambition to achieve a very important result. This takes us to where we wanted to be, with five rounds to go, there are five finals to go, and that’s how we’ll approach them.”

“Now we focus on the fixture with Elche, which is the next final we have. We won’t think about anything else but to prepare for it and rest so the players get to it in good conditions.”

Not once this season has Cholo‘s focus slipped. You only have to look at the way he handles the press to get an insight into the brilliance of the man. However, it seems partido a partido is now a thing of the past, as the remaining five matches are much more than that.

“From now on, I change what I said about game-by-game,” he said. “For all of the Atléticos, now we play final-by-final.”

“I always said we depended on ourselves and I stick to that. This situation depends on the ambition, the enthusiasm, the effort, the work, and most of all the team’s humility.”

“I imagine next Friday there will be a full stadium, prepared for one of the remaining finals,” he finished.

Prolific Godín nods home sixth of the season

As Simeone will tell you, the most important factor towards our success is the team collective. Individuals are secondary, everyone pulls together, and with that, any of the players on the pitch can come up with a decisive moment, even the most unlikely of sources.

In the Coliseum, Diego Godín did just that, rising highest to head home his sixth of the campaign and break the deadlock in the process. The Uruguayan colossus spoke at full-time.

“Getafe are a tough opponent, we’ve learned that in recent years. They played very well,” he said.

“We knew what we had to do, it was very important to maintain the gap ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona and we did that. The result is very pleasing and although our advantage is good, now more than ever we are focusing on one game at a time.”

Costa injury a false alarm

As previously mentioned, hearts were in mouths at the final whistle as fans waited for news on the extent of Diego Costa’s apparent shin injury, fearing the worst. Thankfully, no long-lasting damage was done.

“He is happy and well,” Simeone confirmed in his post-match press conference. “He made a great effort throughout the match. One more cut does not do anything to this tiger.”

The goal was his 26th in La Liga this season, although he will need another seven to beat Diego Forlán‘s record of 32 in 2008-09. With 34 in all competitions , he is closing in on Falcao‘s total of 36 the year before last, the best of any Atleti player since Baltazar in the late 1980s.

Also pleasing was another assist for Adrián, who looks to have regained confidence and could have an important part to play as the season draws to a close.

Other notes:

  • Ahead of the game, Atleti’s players sported t-shirts in support of defender Sílvio, currently out on loan at Benfica. The Portuguese full-back broke his leg in Thursday’s Europa League game against AZ, meaning he will sadly miss his team’s march to their domestic title as well as the World Cup. Ánimo!
  • Mono Burgos was in the spotlight for being the first coach to use the new Google Glass to analyse the match from the touchlines. An unlikely pioneer, the ex-Rojiblanco goalkeeper had real time match statistics fed into in his line of vision with a specialised data system developed by the Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM). Could this be the way forward?
  • Diego Costa missed his fourth penalty of the season at a crucial stage in the second half, which will be a worry given that he has only taken eight. Whilst we don’t doubt the home crowd’s quite unique method of distraction was a success, is it time to relieve the beast of spot-kick duties? And could this also be a trend that catches on?
  • You may have missed it given the panic that ensued, but Costa‘s goal was yet another with his left foot. From open play, he has 14 with his weaker foot now this season, compared to 13 with his ‘stronger’ right-foot. Forlán-esque.
  • The clean sheet was Thibaut Courtois‘ 25th this season in all competitions, beating the club record of 24 set by himself last year.
  • 26 league wins also equals another club record, set in none other than the doblete season of 1995-96. Back then though, the team played 42 matches, compared to the 33 so far in the current campaign.

  • Chewie

    It was a sneaky tactic by Simeone to let everyone think that Adrian sucks only to unleash him in the last 5-7 matches. I bet Adrian will play a crucial role in our success both in Europe and the league.

  • Farzad From Iran

    Oh no .. two week after match with chelsea costa will go to london to speak with chelsea^s managers

  • Ali

    If costa leaves for chelsea then I hate him for that… There’s no possible reason for costa to leave US other then money… He will be hate among atletico fans even more then aguero.. Aguero left cuz he wanted to play in the champions league.. Costa should learn loyalty from diego forlan… He was a ture legend and loyal to his club he was not after money..

  • Yon

    Bit harsh that Ali, I really do not think Aguero had much say in his move, Cerezo wanted the money and probably fed him the story that it would help this club move on, which it did, look at us now compared to then!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I said in several occasions that Simeone is not just a great coach, but he is a great person too
    on Sunday he gave another example about how respectful he is,
    our fans who were in large numbers in the Coliseum started to chant : “a segunda” which means : “to the the 2nd division”, referring to the possible relegation for Getafe
    our Cholo turned to them and waved his hand saying “No .. No”
    then he pointed his finger to his body and said “Nosotros” which means “us”, asking them to sing for us not against Getafe
    you can watch that in the last few seconds of this video :
    http://as.com/videos/2014/04/14/portada/1397506607_880606.html

  • MR

    If Chelsea really want Costa (and probably they do) than we have to make a really good deal: either get Courtois permanently, or get Lukaku permanently and a lot of money.

  • Abdullah Karam

    @AHMAD HOSSAINY ,, dear i noticed that while am watching the match .. Yea he is great since he was a player and i loved him from way way back dear ,, am 20 years atleti fan not 5 or 10 or even 15!!!
    He is great .. And about costa deal .. Mmmmm what to say ,, i dont want him to go cuz to many thing specialy cuz his personality and he is a warrior a true warrior .. But the most IMPORTANT thing for me is CHOLO
    We must keep cholo as looooooooong as we can and Inshallah he will stay with us ..
    Aupa Atleti

  • piserakos

    @ahmad.. I also noticed that 😛 He is a fantastic person and i think everyone loves him… Even though i’m not Cholo so i say “buena segunda Getafe”
    @ali… me too, anyone who will leave Atleti this summer he would be the one who would lose! We would be the top club at the future. But i think NO ONE will leave! Not Costa, not Koke, not Cholo, not ANYONE!!! The only one who may leave (cause of Chelsea) would be Courtois.

    Also we bought a new player this week… Adrían Lopez is his name, he is a former Atleti player (the season we won the last Europa League) and the last 1,5 year was missing! Cholo told that he found him before a week!

  • Brad

    As much as I don’t want to see him leave, I bet Costa will be gone over the summer. However, he’ll command a hefty price and we’ll find someone to fill his spot.

  • Vlad

    Had a flashback while watching Costa’s injury..
    Not sure you guys know, but when Filipe played for Depor, he broke his leg while scoring an importent goal against Bilbao.. until that injury, Filipe was considerd one of the most promising defenders in La Liga and Barca was after him that time..

    Thank god he’s with us now.

  • Ali

    @brad costa decision is 50/50 but I also believe we will spent big this summer. Whether he leaves or stay..

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I have to agree with you Piserakos, I wish Getafe drop down to Segunda .. and stay there forever
    when your stadium is never full, not even against Real, Barca or Atleti then you do not deserve to be in Primera División
    La Liga needs more clubs like Rayo and less like Getafe

  • If Costa leaves it won’t be much to worry bout IMO. We are Atleti we have lost quality striker in the last 4-5 year and the season or year after, we have found the best replacements and i think this COULD be the case at the end of this season again. But in all honesty i doubt Costa will leave use for Chelshit. And Koke says he staying at atleti. He played down moving to United about two weeks ago so that should be a relief. Anyway this season still have 7+ finals to go again. So Aupa Atleti!! Grande El Cholo!!!

  • piserakos

    The only one who may leave would be Costa… Even though with many many many millions! So i doubt… Even though i told it many times this year, if there is a great offer sell him! I never really liked him cause he can destroy everything with his character and i’m sure he would be the flop of the year at everyteam he will go…
    @ahmad.. About Getafe… Yes that’s the reason i want them at segunda. When you see teams like Depor, Betis, Zaragosa etc with a lot of fans and full stadiums at segunda and Getafe with 7-8000 people at the big games then they don’t deserve to be there… To tell the truth imagine living in Madrid with Atletico and Real, it would be difficult to support any other team. Getafe is a team which belong at the same political party with them (‘right’ wind) and it is not a rebelion team (Atleti, Rayo).. Rayo has fans cause Vallecas is not in Madrid and cause it is a ‘working class’ neighbourh, with a lot of ‘poor’ people who support their team. A team which is the only one at Castille with fans who belong at ‘left’ wind and a team which is a rebel!

  • starvs

    Totally disagree Piserakos, Costa is not going to flop, he is the total package and has the physical attributes to play in the premier league. His attitude and character has also improved a lot over the last two years (although some small relapses in the past few weeks it would seem…).

  • piserakos

    @starvs… Maybe i’m right, maybe you are… I think he would be a flop cause of his character… Anyway, for me Torres+Courtois+a little amound of money for Costa would be FANTASTIC deal!

  • layibiyi
  • Ali

    @piserakos I believe he can a flop at chelsea but not in premier league. Chelsea midfield is goal hungry they rarely pass an assist to their strikers. Fernando torrea was great when he was at liverpool. So why he’s flop at chelsea and my answer is because of chelsea goal hungry midfield. Willian , Schurlle , hazard , matic , Oscar and lampard are all goal hungry players except Ramires. Chelsea midfield is an example of ronaldo and yaya toure…..

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Thank you LAYIBIYI for that interesting report you have shared,
    with all due respect to all my friends in this website, this is the kind of stuff that’s worth sharing, not those rumors suggesting that some players are leaving and others are coming while we still have (at least) 7 games to play !

  • Will
  • Ahmad Hossainy

    yeah, I read that article Will, and both this one and the one on the Guardian that Layibiyi shared are about one thing : good business

    but the more important though is the continuity,
    some other clubs had similar projects to ours then they collapsed badly, and that was even before the Petro-Dollar football era

    but what makes me calm and confident is the fact that we are actually rich !
    yes, we used to be called a poor club because we are compared to the super rich ones, but the experts in sport finance say that we are the 20th richest club in the world .. good odds for any rojiblanco !

    the club that pay 23 million for an 18-year old boy from Independiente is a rich club
    the club that buy Falcao with 40 million even that they sold him after 2 seasons is a rich club
    the club that reached yesterday 65,000 members is a rich club
    and the club that is building a new stadium that would have hosted 2020 Olympics if Madrid would have won it is for sure a rich club

    we don’t need to have a 500-million budget to be with the best,
    with good management, great coaching staff who most of them are former club players, true fighters on the pitch who give everything for the team even if they have to hit the post and shed their blood, and with the greatest fans in the world, 150 million for a budget is more than enough

    if we keep those players, or most of them, and if we keep Simeone, who said many times (last of them was yesterday) that he is very happy here and not going anywhere : a very bright future is waiting for Atletico de Madrid

  • Matthijs

    The whole Netherlands is taking Atletico as an example these days. It incredible, everybody is talking about our club! This week in a dutch football magazine a famous dutch writer is talking about Atletico and tells everyone about the passion of Simeone, the crowd in Calderon and that everyone needs to see a game of Atletico so they know what football is all about!

    Aupa Atleti!

  • Kris

    Simeone and this Atleti is an inspiration to everybody, not just football-wise but in general in everyday life. I have been living by the partido a partido philosophy for about six months now and I have never been happier. Gracias Cholo.

  • starvs

    A+ Kris.

    Gracis Cholo

  • starvs

    Damnit, saw the typo as I hit post comment and it was loading but I couldn’t do anything to stop it; felt so powerless.

  • pantic#10

    Courtois 2016? 2 more seasons? seems so.

  • Vlad

    Pantic, what about Courtois? another loan?

    Matthijs, here in Israel, everyone is also starting to learn what we all know about this great club!

  • Pantic#10
  • Kris

    Fucking loans… Loans… Loans…. I am tired of this now. Just buy hmm already. Splash the 30 million, this guy will bring you triple the amount by helping us win more trophies. I believe he’s the only reason we’re still in the champions league or else we could have been knocked out by Milan but that’s every goalkeeper’s job. But there’s something special about Courtois. He does the job the best, that’s why we should keep him and not just help him develop knowing that he’s not ours. This pisses me off but lately, idk why, I don’t want to say this but I have been trusting the board and Gil. Is this bad??

  • starvs

    Do I want Courtois for the rest of his career, sure (obviously…). But getting him for five years total would be pretty solid quite frankly and more than most of us would have realistically expected two years ago I’d presume. I wouldn’t front on this deal.

  • Will

    We lost tons of money buying players and giving it for free later. Having Courtois for 5 years for free (or almost that) is a good deal.

    I can’t forget how much money we lost buying Reyes and releasing him later.

  • Farzad from Iran

    good news for you,,jordi alba wont play nex match for barca !!!!!!!!

  • Kris

    I guess you guys are right logically, but emotionally I still want Thibu in our team permanently. He’s made so many fall in love with Courtois the goalkeeper, who makes the most amazing saves at very crucial moments. ….

  • Chewie

    Yes, Kris, this is exactly what Courtois is best at – making saves when it matters. Many goalkeepers make great saves when they’re inspired or desperate or the game is a piece of cake. But Thibu makes them all the time , even in the most challenging and important matches. Having him for another year or two will be great. Let’s just enjoy our spectacular defence for two more years. Hopefully everyone stays.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    @Will, we didn’t have Courtois for free, in fact we paid a lot of money,
    according to the Guardian, we paid 1 million € in 2011, 2.75 m in 2012 & 4.5 m this season
    http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/apr/11/chelsea-atletico-madrid-thibaut-courtois

    this equals 8.25 million, almost what Chelsea paid for signing him permanently from Genk which is 7 million pounds (8.75 million euros), and I didn’t include his salary which I believe is one of the team’s tops
    and according to these numbers, if we are gonna keep him for 2 more seasons we will pay Chelsea at least 5 million per season, making all what we paid Chelsea for Courtois 18.25 million .. this does not look free for me !

    But is it worth it ?!
    for me : absolutely
    that freakin impossible save against Ozil alone worth much more than 18 million
    that one in the cup final that gave us our tenth cup and our first win against Real in 14 years and in the Bernabeu itself

    and while I have to disagree with Kris a little, I agree with him in the general idea,
    Courtois was not the (only) reason we still in The Champions League, and Milan did not have even a small chance to knock us out, they were very bad
    but Courtois is indeed a big reason that we still competing for both La Liga & CL titles

    and about love, Kris, I felt in love with this kid since I saw him singing “salta, salta, salta” in the balcony of Madrid city council after the cup final
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNNHVsFMD5I

    But the love is for the fans, while the board role is planning and working

    Let’s not kid ourselves, Chelsea will never sell Courtois, it’s very simple, just put yourselves in Chelsea place, would you sell the best goalkeeper in the world ?!
    we would not and we are not as rich as Chelsea, so how and why would they ?!

    so, unless the board have an agreement with Thibaut to NOT extend his contract with Chelsea and sign him after 2 years for free (and I highly doubt that), isn’t it wise to start searching for his replacement from now ?!
    shouldn’t we learn from Chelsea themselves and sign a good goalkeeper and loan him to a big club until Courtois leaves us ?!

    When will we start planning for the “After-Courtois Era” ?!

    That’s the big question .

  • Jelle

    I have just read that we show some interest in the left back from Swansea, Ben Davis.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    @Will, we didn’t have Courtois for free, in fact we paid a lot of money,
    according to the Guardian, we paid 1 million € in 2011, 2.75 m in 2012 & 4.5 m this season
    this equals 8.25 million, almost what Chelsea paid for signing him permanently from Genk which is 7 million pounds (8.75 million euros), and I didn’t include his salary which I believe is one of the team’s tops
    and according to these numbers, if we are gonna keep him for 2 more seasons we will pay Chelsea at least 5 million per season, making all what we paid Chelsea for Courtois 18.25 million .. this does not look free for me !

    But is it worth it ?!
    for me : absolutely
    that freakin impossible save against Ozil alone worth much more than 18 million
    that one in the cup final that gave us our tenth cup and our first win against Real in 14 years and in the Bernabeu itself

    and while I have to disagree with Kris a little, I agree with him in the general idea,
    Courtois was not the (only) reason we still in The Champions League, and Milan did not have even a small chance to knock us out, they were very bad
    but Courtois is indeed a big reason that we still competing for both La Liga & CL titles

    and about love, Kris, I felt in love with this kid since I saw him singing “salta, salta, salta” in the balcony of Madrid city council after the cup final

    But the love is for the fans, while the board role is planning and working

    Let’s not kid ourselves, Chelsea will never sell Courtois, it’s very simple, just put yourselves in Chelsea place, would you sell the best goalkeeper in the world ?!
    we would not and we are not as rich as Chelsea, so how and why would they ?!

    so, unless the board have an agreement with Thibaut to NOT extend his contract with Chelsea and sign him after 2 years for free (and I highly doubt that), isn’t it wise to start searching for his replacement from now ?!
    shouldn’t we learn from Chelsea themselves and sign a good goalkeeper and loan him to a big club until Courtois leaves us ?!

    When will we start planning for the “After-Courtois Era” ?!

    That’s the big question .

  • Kris

    Nice, Ahmad. I never thought we had been paying that much amount for his loans every year. And yes, we should definitely be doing the same Chelsea have been doing for the After Courtois Era, like you said. I think the first step should be promoting Bono and sending him on loan to a Liga side and see if he impresses next season. I have seen a “few” only a few and I believe, he has the potential to be as good as Courtois.

  • MR

    Lets not forget that we play many many matches without our goal being hit. When this defence completely shuts down its no wonder you got so many clean sheets.
    Im not saying that Thibu isnt the best keeper on the World (as he obviously is) but with a defence like this a keeper can show his full potential.
    The only thing that disappoints me is that Thibu did not force a permanent transfer now, as he could help us easily with refusing Chelseas contract extension so they would have to sell him with only 2 years left on his previous contract. Sadly he may not realize that Atlético is way bigger than Chelsea as a club, Chelsea is only great in spending big.
    One thing is sure, as some already mentioned we have to find Thibus replacement this Year, and we will.
    Credits to Godin and Miranda, best defender partners in Europe!
    Aupa Atleti

  • palestine-atletico

    Anybody knows when arda will come back?? We need him at this stage!!

  • ali_

    as i read today, he is doubtfould againt chelsea.

  • Urban

    I think that since Barcelona game in January he has not impressed. Even if he was fit I would opt for other options.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    @MR : Excellent point about our defense

    and about Courtois refusing to extend his contract with Chelsea, I think there are 2 reasons why he can not and will not do that :

    1-He is being bullied by Chelsea, especially by the human garbage that called Mourinho
    he is just a kid, a nice and shy one .. and he doesn’t have an expert and strong agent like Jorge Mendes or Mino Raiola .. his agent is his father

    2- He does not have an assurance that Atletico will always be at the top
    no one can tell where will Atleti be in 5 years, as we don’t have big money like other rich clubs in Europe, our success is connected to this group of coaches, players and directors, and in 5 years several players would leave or retire and we don’t know if the coaching staff and sport directors will be still there or not

    if it was Real or Barca or Man Utd or any other rich club, I think Courtios would have forced Chelsea to sell him by refusing to sign a new contract
    but doing that for a club like Atletico is a big gamble, and I don’t think Thibaut is ready to take it

  • Chewie

    @Ahmad – good points, as always. We should remember that he’s just a young kid who already knows he’s among the best in the world. He knows that Chelsea will be at top no matter what money it will take. They’ve just won the Champions League and there are a lot of talented players plus international recognotion and all that shit. We have to understand that he’ll choose what’s best for him. He’s an amazing professional and a great guy, he’s not our youth product and we should just enjoy every save he makes until he comes back to Chelsea. And then keep rolling and discover another talent.

    Goalkeeper by goalkeeper, that’s what I’m saying 🙂

  • Kris

    Goalkeeper by goalkeeper it is, then Will. Lol

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Yeah Chewie, “portero a portero” ..
    it even sounds much like “partido a partido” !