The Rojiblanco Recap: La Real put to the sword

Two goals at the start and end of the game were enough for Atleti

Griezmann celebrates his opener with the returning Koke

Griezmann celebrates his opener with the returning Koke

Every colchonero around the globe has undoubtedly stopped whatever they were doing and watched over Antoine Griezmann’s golazo a minimum of three times today.

The Frenchman’s first half wonder goal opened the scoring on his homecoming and gave Atleti the buffer they needed to impose total control over the Txuri-Urdin.

Both halves were perfect demonstrations of being comfortable with and then without the ball on Sunday afternoon as Atleti were possession drunk in the first half and then nonchalantly offered it back to the home team in the second.

Simeone, looking to avoid a repeat of the result from the same fixture last season ordered his red and white warriors to sit deep and form an unbreakable wall in front of goalkeeper Oblak – his players obliged and made it impossible for La Real to impose themselves on the match.

The second goal was as Atleti as they come with death defying defending, lightening quick counter attacking and Fernando Torres thrown in as well.

Whilst Real Sociedad were appealing for a late penalty Torres stayed alert and found half man half quiff, Carrasco, with an inviting pass which the youngster took in his stride and slotted passed Rulli to open his account for the season and wrap up all three points.

Attention turns to Astana. Atleti welcome the Kazakh giants to the Calderon this Wednesday with a victory needed for Atleti to tighten their control over the group.

Post-game notes and quotes

Simeone: “We broke the siege through counterattacks.” 

Cholo highlighted the pressure his side came under during the second half and then went on to acknowledge the return of midifeld maestro Koke.

“Koke is hugely important for us because tactically he can balance any situation we face in the midfield, whether offensively or defensively.”

“He has played well on his return and did an important job which is great for the team.”

“Coming to La Anoeta is never easy and they (Real Sociedad) are a very competitive team that become stronger when they losing especially against the big clubs.”

“In the second half it was harder for us to get a hold of the game but when we had five in the midfield we were able to use the counterattack more effectively with Torres, Griezmann and Carrasco.”

Cholo’s substitutions were once again influential as both Torres and Carrasco combined to settle the game.

The quiff, accompanied by Carrasco, then entered the press room.

“It was a tough game but we were intelligent throughout and took all three points.”

“It was a must win game and I’m glad to have got on the score sheet after Fernando (Torres) helped me get one-on-one with the goalkeeper.”

Grizi then received the press at his former workplace.

“We knew it was going to be an awkward encounter here at the Anoeta and make the most of the few chances we had – fortunately we did.”

When quizzed on having matches coming thick and fast;

“Every footballer wants to have games every three days! It’s always exciting to be playing in a European competition but now we focus on rest and being completely ready.”

Resurrecting the midfield

The return of Canterano Koke is a huge relief for Atleti as his absence was most definitely felt over the past few weeks.

Koke nearly opened the scoring in the third minute as his header flew over the crossbar but this was the only sign of rustiness from the Spanish international.

The imagination and vision that Koke possesses which are all made a reality through his vast range of passing make him an asset to our team and raises the performance levels of other players around.

Koke confidently made it through the 90 minutes and looks hungrier than ever, he will no doubt get a run out midweek and gives us a boost ahead of the upcoming Valencia game.

The final thoughts

  • Jackson Martinez‘ goal drought was almost ended as the Colombiano was close to heading past Oblak and into his own net. FC Astana will be perfect opposition to familiarise himself with the back of the net again.
  • Fernando Torres was excellent during his half an hour cameo and did the leg work that led to the second goal. Torres is looking the more confident out of the two strikers and will probably get the nod for the Valencia game.
  • Griezmann hit back at critics the best way possible with his amazing solo goal in the first half. The Frenchman is now on 6 goals and will hope to notch a few midweek.

  • I would also like to see Jackson get into form during the FC Astana game. As for the RS game, I was not happy with the all the cards the ref gave out to both sides, but I was happy he got the call right with Gimenez. He clearly did not trip up the RS striker. If that striker would have kept his feet under him, he would have gotten that ball and had a moment ot shoot and possibly score. Thank goodness he decided to flop. Carrasco looks to be an exciting player to watch. Along with Correa, Atleti should start doing well. Griezmann is all over the field. Glad he stayed with the team, we would be really hurting without him.