Atleti’s drubbing of Granada sends message to La Liga

Rojiblancos showed no mercy against the bottom side in stunning 7-1 win

Atleti have been in fine goalscoring form this season

Atleti have been in fine goalscoring form this season

There have been a couple of occasions where LaLiga has truly gone above and beyond in the unpredictable department this campaign. Sometimes these instances are easily noticed, sometimes you have to dig deeper to find it’s true meaning.

In September, Alavés’ 2-1 win over Barcelona was definitely one of those easily identifiable moments of shock. The defending Primera champions were beaten by Mauricio Pellegrino’s men, a newly promoted side.

At the time of this writing, the table’s top four reads as follows:

If you’ve kept attention to Spain’s top-flight over the past decade or so, you know that it is rare to see the Culé behemoths sitting in fourth place, and while the standings above should be a testament to the evenly-level playing field that La Liga offers, it is the team at the top that delivered a performance worth talking about on Saturday.

Atleti being top shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, the team won the league title in 2014, and ever since have been giving Los Blancos and The Blaugrana a run for their money. But on October 16th, Los Rojiblancos did something that was against their norm.

No, a side that went to the Champions League final last season beating an opponent that is currently in last place shouldn’t be surprising, it is the manner in which it happened that is.

Their 7-1 win over Granada at the weekend was different. As I watched the game and Atleti goals were piling in, I could remember the BeIN Sports commentator from Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna earlier in the day.

“Goaaaaallllllllll deeeeeeee Baaaaarrrrceeeelonaaaaaaaaa!,” he yelled.

It was at that moment that something dawned on me, suddenly, an announcer didn’t have to use the words “goal” and “Barcelona” together four or five times a game, now the consistent Barcelona yells were replaced with a loud and exciting, “ATTTTLÉTTTICOOOO DEEEE MADRIDDDDDDDD!” 

However, it didn’t start like that. When Granada’s Isaac Cuenca opened the scoring, it seemed like it was going to be one of those nights at the Vicente Calderon, where the home side was going to struggle to break down an opponent sitting deep with nothing to lose.

Indeed, it felt like it was going to be more like their match against Alaves rather than taking a note from Barca’s scoring handbook and obliterating the opposition.

This time, the words “goal” and “Atletico Madrid” were being used by a commentator more than twice in a game and it sounded different, the game felt different, the team feels different.

The very way that Simeone’s men came back from a goal down shows this new-look, daring Atleti. A team that instead of having their fans worry the whole match, they went out and sent a loud stylistic cry to the rest of LaLiga – they’re tired of waiting for the chances, they’re going to take them.

Furthermore, the ones who finish those chances are not going to be the natural starting strikers in the side.

No, Atleti relied on their burgeoning talents in Yannick Carrasco and Ángel Correa, newly acquired Nicolás Gaitán, and veteran Tiago to get the scoring done, and that is something Atleti fans don’t see very often.

Atlético sent a message to Europe when they beat Bayern Munich 1-0 last month at home, letting them know that the past few UCL seasons is no fluke and that they will compete at the highest level against any team.

In all honesty, those who have watched La Liga each season know that ever since El Cholo took over they have been on the Big Two’s heels, but now it’s slightly different.

Now a quick glance at the scorelines of the Big Three’s wins from the weekend will show exactly what I mean: Barcelona 4-0, Real Madrid 6-1, and Atlético 7-1. There isn’t much difference in quality anymore, and the Spanish Primera knows it.

Atlético Madrid is bigger, better and stronger than they’ve ever been in the Simeone era.