Atleti pass first pre-season test against Real Sociedad

Griezmann on target as rojiblancos shine on the Costa Blanca

Muted celebrations from Griezmann against his former club

Muted celebrations from Griezmann against his former club

In their third friendly of the day, Atlético Madrid were 2-0 winners on Saturday evening against fellow La Liga side Real Sociedad in Alicante.

Kick-off was delayed by 80 minutes due to the Basque side being hit with a flight delay, but it didn’t distract Diego Simeone’s side as they impressed in their first real test of the pre-season campaign so far.

After playing a mixture of fringe players and canteranos this morning – along with Jackson Martínez – Cholo opted for his trusted eleven at the Rico Pérez stadium, handing a first start back at the club to new signing Filipe Luís.

The Brazilian full-back had a hand in the opener as well, and provided a reminder to Atleti fans of just how good an outlet he is down the left flank.

His shapely cross wasn’t dealt with by the La Real backline, and after pressure from Griezmann, defender Markel Bergara inadvertedly looped a header over goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli and into the back of his own net.

Manager David Moyes will have been kicking himself, as his side withdrew the colchoneros to minimal amounts of chances in a close first half.

However, the game began to open up towards the end and Atleti started to take control. Torres almost doubled the lead on the hour mark, but headed just wide after a Filipe cross.

Fifteen minutes of the end, Antoine Griezmann put daylight between the two teams with a clinical volleyed finish, rounding off a neat team move involving Juanfran, Koke and Correa.

He should’ve had a second against his former club soon after, but fired against the crossbar from close range after substitute Correa spurned a great opportunity of his own moments earlier.

In front of a predominantly red and white crowd, Atleti saw out the final stages and held on to a comfortable 2-0 win, which will stand them in good stead ahead of the La Liga opener in two weeks.

Next up, we put the finishing touches on a successful pre-season campaign in Cádiz, competing in the Trofeo Carranza for the second year running. We play the hosts on Friday night, before either Betis or Granada the following evening.

Line-up: Oblak; Juanfran, Godín, Giménez, Filipe; Gabi, Tiago, Koke, Óliver (“59 Correa); Griezmann, Torres.

Goals: 0-1 Bergara o.g. (“17); 0-2 Griezmann (“75)

  • Chewie

    Griezmann’s goal made my jaw drop to the floor. A masterpiece. Plus, I haven’t seen such awesome passing play by us for years. The amount of creative talent is mind-blowing. If Simeone manages to finds the balance, we will rock, no doubt about that.

  • Kris

    The weakest point for me in the game was still the central midfield with Gabi and Tiago. They’re both very good players defensively but they slow down plays so many times. I was hoping we would have Koke as a CM and only one of Gabi or Tiago or a completely different CDM to play alongside Koke. I still believe we should invest heavily on a very good CDM, but because we have come so far in the preseason already, that seems unlikely.

    What can I say about Oliver? Should be a regular starter.Deserves the number 10. Most technical player we have. Period.
    Griezmann, very good.
    And great to see some very good, strong runs by Torres in the first half. He obviously can’t last the whole game and should be a super-sub, but the guy is slowly getting back into great form. Torres, RG8 and the other subs we use this term will heavily impact our season.
    Also the opposition’s Bruma is a very good player. Real Sociedad should really build a team around him for this season.
    Good win today.

  • Abdil Egriøz

    Wasn’t there talks about kranevitter coming to Atletico in January? Either way the squad looks more versatile than ever and it seems as we only need a good cdm to complete the puzzle! Call me optimistic but this squad can become legendary with a bit of luck and consistency!

  • Abdil Egriøz

    Haven’t been able to watch most of the matches during the preseason but with what I’ve seen so far and the players brought in, the squads potentiel seems higher than ever.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    For his magnificent CV and the 35 million we paid for him, I think Jackson has secured his place as a regular starter, we don’t need to see how well he does in the preseason, but for those we have seen enough, I think Oliver is the only one of the newcomers who secured his spot, Correa, Carrasco and even Vietto need to fight very hard to secure theirs .
    (I don’t consider Filipe a newcomer)

    I don’t think Saul will have as much minutes as Oliver, although I do think he could have more than what he had last season, but if they are still not enough for him, I wish he handle that the Raul Garcia way, not the Mario Suarez way .

    I would sell 10 Ardas, 5 to Barca & 5 to Madrid if that what it takes to keep Griezmann .

  • Kris

    Kranevitter isn’t really proven in Europe and won’t immediately be a regular. A cdm that comes in should already be developed and is an absolute monster in the position. A Schweinsteiger, Vidal, or a Camacho would be ideal for me.
    Yes, consistency will be very important that’s why we’re going to need every player to perform at their very best. The substitute players like Torres and Raul Garcia are gonna be just as vital as the starters in what we achieve this season.

  • Chewie

    It’s good that the Frenchman is renewing the contract. He is deadly as hell.
    Also, seeing Filipe in red-and-white once again was a nostalgic experience. It’s also good that he was good.
    Agree that all the newcomers except Oliver will have to fight, they are not well adjusted yet in it’ll be interesting to see who does that first.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I don’t believe what L’equipe said about Grizi renewal .
    Few months ago France Football said that “Atleti want to sign Cavani and in order to cover his fee and his big salary they are willing to sell Koke, Arda & Godin” .. these days sport press can’t even make up a good lie .
    Now L’equipe did the same : “Atleti extended Griezmann’s contract for one more year, until 2019” but what they didn’t know or cared to know is that when Griezmann joined us last season he signed for 6 years, which means he already had a contract until 2020 !
    and this is according to an official statement on the club’s official website

    Every day they prove me right :
    This is the worst era for sports journalism .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    And since we are talking about the ridiculous sport journalism :

    Atletico Madrid is a giant club, and they are used to start their preseason in the last decade or so in Los Angeles de San Rafael, a famous resort near Madrid which has a famous golf club .
    Fernando Torres spoke several times about how happy he is to return to Los Angeles de San Rafael after 9 years, and in one interview he said : “They kept my room closed after I left, and now they opened it again for me, a very nice gesture” .

    And beIN sports is now an empire, it works in about 100 countries in 4 languages : Arabic, English, French & Spanish, and they charge us a lot, so we should expect a very high level of professionalism and respect to their viewers, to their subscribers .

    Now listen to this sentence which they kept repeating for a whole day in their news which is every hour :
    “Atletico Madrid have signed the Montenegrin defender Stefan Savic from Fiorentina, the player has passed the medical examinations and will join his new team at their camp in Los Angeles in the United States” .

    I can’t even describe the amount of disrespect, ignorance, stupidity and unprofessionalism in that sentence, which was repeated 24 times .

    I just hope that people stop making a big deal about what they hear or read in such media .

  • I don’t really follow Kranevitter, but I have an Argentinian friend who is a
    River Plate die hard fan and told me last night that if Atletico got him, he will add much to the team and that he is a fantastic player.

  • The second goal is a taste of what is to come (I hope). The first goal was because of the pressure Atleti was mounting on Real Sociedad, the defense panicked and BAM, we got a goal. Oliver is a gem that I always felt should have stay on our team and never left for Porto. (Think UCL final when Arda came out.) But he is back and looks dangerously creative. His ball control while keeping his head up is only going to get better. Shockingly, Arda Turan may not be missed this year. My only complaint is that I think Tiago and Gabi are going to continue to be starters in the midfield. Koke should be captain and in the central. Saul should be on the field more too. Maybe it is like a Griezmann thing from last year. Cholo will slowly convert the team.

  • Ringo

    I hope so, two of Tiago and Gabi is too much at the moment
    They are solid in their own way, but at the moment they’re not bringing is forward enough. I hoped Koke would, but he’s also very useful as offensive midfielder.

    Then again, with our added offensive prowess, I predict Koke-in-CM-games more than I did last season. Tiago and Gabi cannot play every game, and Saúl is very good, but Koke is ahead of him, still, in CM.

    But I hope our doble pivote won’t slow us down too much this season, but with the added creativity and pace, I do not worry too much.

  • Urban

    I also think this Lequipe news is BS. Anyways Griezmann is our key player, problably the biggest talent on our squad and we have to keep him at all costs. Unfortunately the entire Europe will do everything to lure him away and this might be too much for both us and for him to resist… Simeone just said he is scared what will happen before September and I think this is exactly what he fears about.

    If we sell him it should be in 4-5 years. Right now we need to give him a huge pay rise and increase his clause to at least 100m. From what I heard his salary ATM is really moderate, especially for such a star.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    It won’t be too much for us to resist, we managed to keep Godin, Koke & Juanfran, but mainly because they wanted to stay, so, it’s up to the players, while as a club, I think the time when we were forced
    to sell players to get some cash is from the past .

  • AaX

    No, Simeone promises change in the double pivot. Koke will be Central.

  • Ringo

    I know, but look at the preseason so far, except for the first game, Tiago, Gabi, Thomas and Saúl have played CM and Koke as a winger and attacking midfielder.