February was not particularly busy for Atlético. With just 4 games – a couple of wins and a couple of defeats – its fair to say it was a rather up and down month, but one particular result stands above all others so far this season.
Four weeks ago, the red and whites put rivals Real Madrid to the sword with a stunning performance in the Calderón, winning 4-0 in what will be remembered as one of the most famous derby wins of all time.
At the heart of a quite magnificent attacking display was Mario Mandzukic, who’s all action showing was enough to earn our prize for February’s best player.
Mandzukic’s late goal was the icing on the cake for Atlético, and capped his best performance for the club in style after previously assisting the opener from Tiago.
Fellow attacker Antoine Griezmann also had a great month and was our top scorer with three, but we felt the former Bayern man just edged it as he showed a new side of his game that we hadn’t seen before.
Against Almería, he twice assisted the Frenchman for well taken goals and was arguably our most impressive performer, this after keeping his nerve to score himself from the penalty spot early on.
The two are looking more and more like the devastating €50m partnership that we were hoping for upon their arrivals and last summer, which should bode well ahead of the crucial end-of-season run-in.
Still, it can’t be ignored that both players were largely anonymous in the defeats at Bayer Leverkusen and Celta Vigo, and Mandzukic even lost his place in the line-up for March’s first game at Sevilla last week.
As you would expect, our number nine did not respond favourably to his omission as Cholo opted to play without strikers in the Sánchez Pizjuán, and it is a debate that has been well documented in the press this week.
With Griezmann suspended for the visit of Valencia on Sunday, it will be interesting to see if the Croatian frontman gets to lead the line and how he responds when put into the firing line.
After his form in the February’s home matches, we hope he can continue from where he left off and make his point in a way that benefits Atleti on the pitch.
Do you agree with our choice? What did you make of Mandzukic being dropped last week?