La Liga: Atlético 5 – 0 Sporting

Rojiblancos find the goalscoring groove with a convincing 5-0 triumph

Griezmann and Gameiro were on fire in the first half

Griezmann and Gameiro were on fire in the first half

Atlético Madrid put in a five-star performance against Sporting Gijón on Saturday afternoon, with Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres and Kevin Gameiro on target in a 5-0 win at the Calderón.

The rojiblancos ran riot from the first whistle, with the French pairing in attack linking up on another occasions and wreaking havoc in the visitors’ defence with their direct running and clever movement.

Cholo opted for an attacking line-up, starting both Gaitán and Carrasco out wide with Saúl and Koke holding the midfield. Sime Vrsaljko also made his debut at right-back, with Juanfran and Gabi rested.

Griezmann it was who opened the scoring, latching on to a poke forward from Gameiro before taking the ball into his stride and calmly finishing to put Atleti into the lead within 90 seconds.

Gameiro deserved great credit for his hustle on the wing to create the chance, and got his reward three minutes later with a goal of his own, curling into the top corner past the despairing dive of Pichu Cuellar.

He could’ve had a second goal shortly after, but was denied by the linesman for the first of two offside goals when Filipe and Griezmann combined to give him a tap in. Replays showed that the decision was wrong.

However, we did have the third before half-time and it was that man Griezmann again who was celebrating. The former Real Sociedad man was again allowed to charge forward, before unleashing a fearsome drive into the top corner from outside the box.

With a trip to the Camp Nou on Wednesday, Cholo was afforded the chance to rest players in the second half. Fans rose on the eighteenth minute to sing his name after news this week that his contract had been shortened to 2018.

On came Correa and Torres, who combined for goal number four after a great run from the Argentine. He squared for our number nine, who ghosted in at the front post to score his first goal of the season.

He doubled his tally in injury time, stepping up to the spot after Nico Gaitán had been hacked down in the box by Sporting defender Lillo. It was a confident finish from Torres, sending Cuellar the wrong way to make it 5-0.

Atleti had their critics after drawing their first two matches of the season, but have well and truly found their stride now with three wins, ten goals and four clean sheets in a row

The red and whites will travel to Barcelona full of confidence, and although it is early in the season, they will know that this is a match that could go a long way to determining where the title goes in May.

Player ratings

Jan Oblak – 6

Seems harsh to only give him a 6 after such a great team performance, but the team gave him very little to do. Made one save in the first half which he made look routine.

Sime Vrsaljko – 7

Impressive debut. Very energetic and enthusiastic, providing a good outlet on the right. Looks solid in defence as well – Juanfran’s successor?

Diego Godín – 7

Made one important block in the second half to secure the clean sheet, followed by a surging foray forward much to the fans delight (albeit it came to nothing).

Stefan Savic – 7

The wall. If Vrsaljko is the successor to Juanfran, he may well be the successor to Godín. So assured and decisive with everything he does, in the team on merit at the moment.

Filipe Luís – 7

Has taken on a lot of attacking responsibility in recent matches, but had the burden lifted a little as the whole team chipped in. Still played well, particularly in the first half linking up well with Carrasco.

Koke – 8

One of his best matches for Atleti in centre-midfield. If him and Saúl are our future in this position, the signs are positive judging by today. Had more touches than anyone else on the field, very sharp with his passing and on the ball.

Saúl Ñíguez – 7

Slotted in alongside Koke and did most of the defensive work, going about his business quietly and confidently. His 100th game for the club, and he gets more important with each one he plays.

Yannick Carrasco – 7

Taken off at half-time, but was positive and lively in the time that he played. Unlucky to hit the post with a rasping drive. Much improved on his performances against Celta and PSV.

Nico Gaitán – 7

Took a while to get going, but had an excellent second half and looked to be enjoying himself in the creative role. Great first touch and vision, also did well to win a penalty late on with an intelligent piece of play.

Antoine Griezmann – 8 (Man of the match)

Just gets better and better. Both goals were excellent, and his partnership with Gameiro goes from strength to strength. Teams can’t handle him when he’s in this form.

Kevin Gameiro – 7

Put his misses in recent matches behind him with a fantastic display, first setting up Griezmann before scoring a wonderful curled attempt himself moments later. Love his bustling attacking style, something we’ve lacked since Costa left.


Augusto – 6

Kept things ticking in midfield after a few games out of the squad. Simeone perhaps giving him minutes ahead of a possible start at the Camp Nou on Wednesday, but may have a selection problem given how well Koke and Saúl played.

Ángel Correa – 7

Whilst he ALWAYS makes an impact from the bench whatever the situation, it’s a shame to see him ‘only’ a sub for the time being. Sees the game differently to most others. Great run and pass for Torres’ goal.

Fernando Torres – 7

Struggled in midweek, but will have been boosted massively by the two goals today. Not often he puts himself in the positions to score goals like his first but he finished it well, and converted his penalty confidently. Great to see.

Do you agree with our ratings? What did you make of the performance?

  • nandes

    The match was done in 5 minutes, but still, great performance and looks like the squad is finally playing up to its potential

  • samer kozaylee

    Was a great match. Finally we ve got ride of the 4cm and we have started to play open football with wingers. Gameiro looks confident and his solo goal was amazing. Griezmann were everywhere. Carasco was good but wasn’t lucky. Gaitan had his impact and he has started to monitor in the system. The new cm and defense were good even Godin was involved too many times with counter attacks . Sime replaced well Juanfran and had a top game defensively and offensively . I wonder if we can perform the same against barca . I Hope tomorrow espanol won’t sell their match to real Madrid and we ll see a miracle !!

  • AndersAT

    This should be the way to go in all home matches against non-top-five teams. Great match.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Espanyol will lose 4-0 or 5-0 and will be very happy about it, unless Quique has a different opinion .

    I don’t see Madrid dropping many points against small teams, and I hope Simeone has finally learned the lesson and won’t drop more easy points because of the attack incompetence, but I’m not sure when will Enrique learn not to rest half his team after every international break, although they still can win with the subs .

    I used to say that Valencia, Athletic & Sevilla haven’t won La Liga in a long time, but every season they decide who wins it, but I’m not so sure about that this season, and if those three + Villarreal can’t stop any of the top three then the 6 matches between them will decide where the title goes .

    The weak competitiveness of La Liga makes finishing in top 4 very easy – not so long ago Malaga achieved that with just 58 points- but makes winning the title very difficult, only twice in the last 7 seasons 90 points were enough to win it .

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Griezmann should be a 9 today. It was great seeing El Nino score two goals in one game as well. Been a while since I saw that. Correa needs to be on the field every game. His hustle and knack for assists and scoring are understated. But Griezmann will leave one day and he will be the new star. Sime Vrsaljko’s debut was what I thought I would see from him. Glad Juan Fran can take a rest and our team doesn’t suffer for it. It looks like Simeone is finding the right combination. Good to see the Frenchmen (the double G) connecting well and for Gameiro, the monkey is off his back. He still needs to show a little more control when shooting. He shot one over the net again today.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I totally agree.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I can’t agree with the weak competitiveness comment. I mean we tied the first 2 games and Barca has already lost one. But we have looked strong over that last 2 La Liga games. And the defense is still sound even if we are playing offensively. !!OBLI OBLAK!!

  • nandes

    Well it’s not like Alavés and Lega played great matches against us. But I guess it’s a positive that these teams have already shown they can challenge the big ones and play passionately unlike other teams who throw their games against Barça/Madrid

    Generally I agree that the league seems weaker and I think this season’s winner will probably reach over 100 points again. Valencia is a big mess, Sevilla is a constant question mark, Villarreal/Malaga/Celta have weakened considerably… the only positive surprise so far is Las Palmas

  • Kris

    All right. Gonna say it now. Griezmann is the best player Atletico have ever had. Holy shit, he runs his ass off, goes for every single ball, creates chances for his teammates, gets himself involved in every play, dribbles past players, passes impeccably, and scores fuckton of goals… all kinds of goals. He is such a complete player and I am truly lucky to be able to watch him play for Atletico. Please stay for the next season when we move to the new stadium and Correa is truly ready to receive the baton. He might already be ready by the way he is playing, but just to make sure, stay for two more seasons,,,please Antoine!!!!

  • Paweł Kosiński

    What do you mean by “reaching over 100 points again”. No team has ever reached over 100 pts. in Primera División.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Come on man, have some perspective, you know very well why did we drew with Alaves & Leganes and why did Barca lose against Alaves, us because the shit 4 CMs, and them because of resting Messi, Iniesta, Suarez, Pique & Jordi Alba.

    We also struggled when we used the 4 CMs tactic against small teams in UCL, 0-0 against Astana and 0-0 against PSV (who are a descent side, but come on, they are not that descent to suffer against them that much)

    You were the one who said last week that Barca’s defeat against Alaves made our draw against them looks not too negative, and I told you that it’s false logic, and that Barca could thrash them in the second game 7-0, well, they scored those 7 goals the next day against Celtic, then they scored 5 today against Leganes, in the same stadium where we drew 0-0, what do you make of that ?!

    While when we dropped only one of our 4 CMs against Celta we won 4-0, and when we dropped 2 of them we beat Gijon 5-0 .
    Each of Alaves, Leganes & Celta had only one shot on Oblak’s goal, not too much competitiveness to me .
    You don’t need to win every single game to say that a league’s competitiveness is weak, 100 pts and 110+ goals are enough .
    Watch the EPL to put La Liga’s competitiveness in perspective .

  • nandes

    I thought RM had won it with over 100 but now I see it was exactly 100, oops

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Yes, but 100 are still too much, and too wrong .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Sometimes football is simple, too simple that someone like me who never played professional football and doesn’t even like to go to stadiums and prefers to watch it on TV can see a problem and can find a solution, an obvious problem and an easy solution .
    Many of us did, long time ago, the 4 CMs .

    Sometimes coaches complicate things when they shouldn’t, Pep did it, he was so obsessed with possession, passes and all that beautiful shit his teams do and ignored defense, a huge part of the game, with Bayern, in big games, his defense was a joke, that’s why he couldn’t even reach UCL final in 3 seasons with them, despite the great team they had, while pragmatic Ancelotti and Zidane both won the trophy .

    Maybe that Barca fan who posted here couple of weeks ago was right when he said that Simeone’s choice to stick with his defensive line up even against small teams is to keep the faith in the system, to make the players rehearse it too many times so they become used to it, or whatever the way he put it .
    This is also complicating the simple, which is : you need to beat both small and big teams to win titles, and if your way isn’t working against small teams then it’s simply a wrong way, Simeone couldn’t see that last season because we have been so lucky in many games, we had to drop 4 points against 2 newly promoted sides for him to see it .
    But better late than never .

    Play with 4 CMs against Barca on Wednesday, Saul-Gabi-Augusto-Koke, I’m totally with you on that, let’s see your genius and complicated tactics against Real Madrid, Bayern, Man City & Juve, those tactics that brought us a lot of success, but against Levante & Leganes, it wouldn’t hurt to be a little more simple .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    As many people said : Gameiro is a good striker, just be patient, and you have be patient, because if our appeal to CAS was rejected we will be stuck with him for 2 transfer windows .

    Just made some calculations :
    Since both signed for Atleti :
    Carrasco played 2644 minutes, scored 5 goals, and made 4 assists .
    A goal or an assist every 294 minutes .
    Correa played 1463 minutes, scored 9 goals, and made 5 assists
    A goal or an assist every 104 minutes .
    Correa is almost 3 times as effective as Carrasco .

    To have more perspective : Grizi scores a goal or make an assist every 111 minutes since he joined Atleti .
    Of course it makes sense that Correa’s numbers are better since he has played the least, but we don’t know for sure, maybe his numbers will even get better if he played more, and that is killing me, maybe we are benching a future Ballon d’Or winner .
    Today we finished the 1st half 3-0 and he should’ve started the 2nd half, but he didn’t .
    That’s make me angry at Simeone, and now I’m angry at some of you, those who are asking Correa to wait until Grizi leaves, why the fuck can’t we have both ?!!

    Vrsaljko looked comfortable today, although it wasn’t a very difficult game .
    I was surprised when I saw Sassuolo in Europa League last Thursday, I forgot that Juve were also the Cup champions so an extra UEL went to the 6th place, and Vrsaljko was one of the best players of that small team last season, so it should speak a lot about him, it seems that we signed a great RB, and for not too much money .

    However, I’m still not comfortable with him or any other right-footed player on the left back, and not comfortable with Lucas either, his younger brother made feel that way, can Filipe play another season without enough rotation, or am I wrong about Sime & Lucas ?!

    By the way, is here a Croatian or a Balkan who can tell us the right pronunciation of his name, both his first name and family name ?!
    I don’t trust our Arab commentators .

  • aileen

    Not Croatian or Balkan- but something like :
    Shii–me vrsalii-ko or
    using English rules of pronouncation:
    ʃii-me vrsá-lii-ko

  • Paweł Kosiński

    1) How can you compare a midfielder’s stats to the striker’s?
    2) Correa is always terrific off the bench, but mostly disappointing when starting.

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Juventus won the league in 2013/14 having reached 102 points, so I guess Primera División isn’t the worst in that matter 😉

  • Kris

    You completely misinterpreted my comment if you think I meant to wait for Correa to start playing until Griezmann leaves. “Passing on the baton” is a phrase in English which means to hand over a duty/responsibility (passing the baton in a relay race). As good as Correa is, he is not totally ready to take on the role of a composed player/goalscorer of Griezmann’s calibre as the game changer of the team. I feel in two years time, he will be ready for this role of course by playing more and scoring more, not by sitting on the bench 3/4 of the time.

  • AndersAT

    I think it is not entirely fair to compare these stats without taking into account that Correa usually is substituted in during the later parts of the game where the opposition is more tired. We score way more goals in the second half than the first, so the players playing from start with the risk of being substituted out may have a bit worse stats.

    But that being said I agree that Correa is good and perhaps eater than carrasco. If Simeone uses two offensive midfielders in all similar games this season Correa should get a lot more game time though.

  • AndersAT

    Agreed, he is crazy good. He has surpassed Ronaldo in my opinion.

    Forlan was also good though…

  • سامي

    Vrsaljko pronunciation

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    1- Correa can take Carrasco’s spot in the starting XI, I believe we can play with Correa, Gaitan, Grizi & Gameiro .
    And in many games when Correa came on Carrasco was the one who came out .
    You know very well that Correa is not an out and out striker, and you know that he can play on the wing, and he can do that very well .

    2- Do you know how many games Correa started ?! 12, two of them against Reus, are you seriously going to judge him by 12 starts ?! in 62 games ?!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I know what does “passing the baton” mean, and I think you know that I know, come on Kris, this is uncalled-for .
    That wasn’t meant only for you, you weren’t the only one who said that about Grizi & Correa, take another look at the comments .
    And maybe all of you didn’t mean that it’s OK for Correa to wait until Grizi leaves, but that’s not the only thing I’m mad about, I’m actually madder about your assertion that Grizi will leave soon, you don’t know that, he could show the same loyalty that Godin, Koke and others have showed .
    Only RM, Barca & Bayern are bigger than Atleti, and he will never join one of the first two, while the Bundesliga is a step back .
    If we started to win trophies again I think he could stay for a long time .
    And if stayed, then what will happen to Correa ?!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Then let Correa start and let Carrasco come off the bench when the opponent is tired and let see how will those stats change .
    I think Correa will have more advantage .

  • AndersAT

    Yeah perhaps, and perhaps not. Who knows.
    My point is just that statistics like that should be interpreted with caution.
    Besides the fewer minutes a player is on the field the more impact on the average a goal/assists will have which gives a bigger variation from the “true” average of a player. Using a stat like that Thomas must have had one of the best midfielder averages last season. That doesn’t make him better than Koke or Gabi.

  • Karlp

    Gameiro is a very very good striker. It’s clear that Gameiro is better than Torres in pace and shooting. In fact, Gameiro has a very similar way of running & shooting to Luis Suarez. His problem is, currently he is still often nervous. For next Wednesday, I won’t be surprised or complained if Torres starts as he has a knack to score in that kind of game.

    This past couple of weeks I grew more doubt that Griezmann will stay after 2018 (even 2017). But if we keep scoring big like this and other striker starts to score like this, I think our chance to keep him grew a lot.

    Carrasco has a big potential, but he is always very inefficient. I’m surprised that he survived this long in Cholo’s system, remembering Oliver is dropped very quickly. I won’t be surprised if he become very good at the end, but currently it’s a gamble. I would prefer Correa to him, but currently Correa isn’t given too much burden and I kinda like it.

    Gaitan haven’t adapt as quickly as I thought but I know he is a very good player and the kind that brings stability to the play. He will need many more minutes. Also, I think he should be more in the center rather than in the wing.

    Based on the past couple of weeks, my prefer attacking formation is:
    Correa – Gameiro – Griezmann
    Koke – Saul/Augusto/Gabi – Gaitan

    which will be 4-4-2 when defending

  • Karlp

    Vrsaljko is very highly rated in Serie A’s world. Many consider him the best Serie A RB last season, even better than Bruno Peres. He also always looks good in Croat NT.

    Theo seems to be the long term LB replacement. So, I guess Cholo feels wasteful to buy a LB back up for only 1 year.

    Agree that Correa needs to be played with Griezmann, not as a substitute of him. He is not strong enough yet to hold the SS place alone. Front 3 of Griezmann-Gameiro-Correa should really be tried.

  • Kris

    As much as I want him to stay for the rest of his life, it’s going to be tough keeping him if somebody comes and meets his releasue clause and he agrees to go, even if we win the treble this season. His recent talks in the media and hints are enough for me to see that he might leave, and when he does tough shit dude! That’s why we need to plan ahead to make sure that we don’t miss him if/when he does leave. There’s a lot of uncertainty with players these days, there are many clubs who can offer him a fuckload of money more than we pay him now, and if he’s in to that kind of success, he’ll leave. It’s really just planning ahead for something that’s more likely to happen than not. Modern players don’t always stay with the same club for their whole career and I totally understand why.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I did say “of course it makes sense that Correa’s numbers are better since he has played the least”, didn’t I ?!
    Although it’s not fair to bring Thomas into the debate, he only played 855 minutes so far .

    As I said, we could be benching a future Ballon d’Or winner, or another Griezmann -who also was benched a lot before that game at San Mames- and this is just wrong .
    And what makes it more wrong is that some people are fine with it, and they always can find excuses, like Correa is a striker while Carrasco is a midfielder, or Correa comes in when the opponent is tired and that’s why it’s easier for him to score, or that Correa is bad when he starts, despite that he only started 12 games, only 8 of them in La Liga .

    If people think I’m harsh and unfair with Carrasco, I think those who are accepting Correa’s situation are harsh and unfair with him, and if this is the case for the majority of Atleti fans then we don’t deserve Correa and I hope he leaves soon to another team where his enormous talent is truly appreciated .

    I have nothing more to say in this subject .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Yeah, I like Theo very much, since he was playing for Atleti B .
    But I’m really worried about this season with Filipe is our only natural LB, we could have had another LB on loan if Simeone didn’t feel the need to buy someone else, or we could have kept Theo and trusted him like we trusted his brother against Barca and against RM in the final .
    Let’s just hope that Filipe stays fit the whole season .

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Correa in the starting lineup – 818 mins, 2 goals, 0 assists (12 games)
    Correa coming off the bench- 631 mins, 7 goals, 5 assists (27 games)

    In other words:
    Correa in the starting lineup – a goal or assist every 409 minutes
    Correa coming off the bench – a goal or assist every 53 minutes

    Sorry man, but these numbers speak for themselves.

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Correa in the starting lineup – 818 mins, 2 goals, 0 assists (12 games)
    Correa coming off the bench- 631 mins, 7 goals, 5 assists (27 games)

    In other words:
    Correa in the starting lineup – a goal or assist every 409 minutes
    Correa coming off the bench – a goal or assist every 53 minutes

    Sorry man, but these numbers speak for themselves. The disparity is so huge that you absolutely can’t ignore those stats, even having taken the “the more minutes, the less impact” rule into consideration.

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Bringing Zidane into debate misses the point. 19/20 times a team with the front three of BBC’s quality would win the title even with a rookie like the Frenchman at the helm.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    You know what, fuck numbers and statistics, I’m an idiot and I don’t have a clue, just answer a simple question :
    Do you think Correa deserves more than the 20 minutes he gets every game or two, or not ?!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Well, the important thing is that you got the point, or didn’t you ?!
    And do you agree or disagree with it

  • Karlp

    always thought we should buy Guerreiro. Arguably the current best LB besides Alaba and for only 12m. Really missed that one and Ousmane.

  • Hannu

    Tired of running with Carrasco. 😉

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Let’s put Savić next to Gameiro in place of Griezmann then because “fuck numbers and statistics”. All the great footballers had to bide their time and so does Correa.

    Would I like to see him in action more? Yes.
    Are you and me more qualified than Cholo to call the shots here? No.

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Yup, I got it. Don’t agree with your point about Guardiola supposedly neglecting the art of defence, though. Whereas at Barcelona and Bayern he didn’t have to pay too much attention to it, his nous in that department will be more apparent now that he’s at City.

  • Hannu

    How much is this because you just dislike Carrasco? Last game Correa replaced Gameiro and I think we should use him as striker.

  • Alfred Rodriguez

    I hate statistical analysis that can tell the story you want to say. I see your stats but let me make an equally valid argument why Correa should NOT start.

    Last season in La Liga, Correa started 7 games accumulating 436 minutes. Number of goals scored 0, number of assists 0. Perhaps there is a reason why he comes off the bench. I am all about giving him another starting chance but when he proved to be a more effective option off the bench then I will follow our managers decision to insert him at the right moments.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Carrasco played 2000 minutes as a starter, he scored only ONE goal .
    He played 644 minutes off the bench and he scored 4 goals .
    Carrasco is also much more effective off the bench .

    Again, guys, some of you are making this about me, it is not .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I didn’t say “fuck numbers and statistics” because I think they are not important, you can’t be seriously thinking that, then why the hell I keep using them, what the fuck was all that discussion about ?!

    I said that because I’m tired of you, I could have replied to you with this :
    Carrasco in the starting lineup : 2000 min, 1 goal, 4 assists .
    A goal or an assist every 400 minutes .
    Carrasco coming off the bench : 644 min, 4 goals, 0 assists .
    A goal or an assist every 161 minutes .
    The same case as Correa .
    But then you would have something else to reply with and we would stay in this childish argument for too long .
    It seems that your mission here is to prove me wrong, I say winning La Liga with 100 point is bad for the competition and you reply that Juve achieved 102, while you know that Serie A right now is at one of its worst era in history, sane people will compare La Liga to the EPL, but you we were only trying to prove me wrong .
    I say Zidane was pragmatic and you disagree and claim that it was because the BBC are too good, no, they are not better than the MSN or than Pep’s Bayern .

  • Karlp

    damn, theo hernandez is really really good. Need to renew his contract and put like 50m clause in it. Not exagerrating

  • Alfred Rodriguez

    This is not about you. I just beleive some manager decisions go beyond statistical analysis. Correa is going to be a full time starter soon but Simeone also has the challenge of trying to keep players happy, not to mention also playing players enough so their value does not plummet. There are so many aspects to this game I am sure we are clueless about. But I will say if you argue but take it personal if someone disagrees with your opinion, then you are going to continue to be frustrated. But there is also the idea we are not always right. Just keep that in mind.

  • Hannu

    So what stats puts Gaitan over Carrasco? Though ofcourse Correa needs playtime but you really dislike Carrasco dont you?