La Liga: Atlético 1 – 0 Zaragoza

Filipe the hero on his debut, but the referee complicates things

diego costa zaragoza as

Most of the build up to this match was focused on Filipe Luis, our star signing this summer who finally got to make his debut in the fifth match of the league season.

The Brazilian more than delivered on his first night as a rojiblanco! He set up the only goal of the game and was undoubtely the Man of the Match.

In the 16th minute Filipe was the first one to take a shot on goal, but his attempt went wide of the far post. Atlético had started off very well, puinning Zaragoza back, but created few opportunities.

A few minutes later we opened the scoring when Filipe picked up a loose ball in midfield, rushed past the covering defender and delivered the ball across goal on a platter to Diego Costa. The striker, who replaced the unfit Sergio Agüero, only had to tap it in from close range. It was Costa’s first goal in an Atlético shirt since joining the club in 2007.

When Reyes played a wonderful through ball to Diego Costa later in the first half, the Brazilian seemed close to his second goal, but he fired straight at Zaragoza substitute goalkeeper Antonio Doblas.

The goalkeeper had come on to replace Leo Franco within the first half hour. Franco, still popular in the Calderón, seems to have injured his hamstring. Another ex-Atlético player, Gabi, was wearing the captain’s armband for today’s opponents, while Florent Sinama-Pongolle came on at half time to give Zaragoza a boost going forward.

Atlético’s defence and midfield hadn’t been troubled at all in the first half. Assunção and Tiago did well to win the balls in midfield, and the visitors never even came close to David de Gea’s goal.

It took a dubious decision by referee Múñiz Fernández to shake things up.

In the 57th minute the referee judged that De Gea took a pass by Godín into his hands, although it seemed like the ball came off Ander Herrera’s foot. It led to much controversy and an indirect freekick just seven yards from goal in our own area.

Domínguez and De Gea were carded in the process, and while Marco Pérez blasted the ball into the ten Atlético players on the line, things proceeded to get even more out of hand a few minutes later.

Reyes chased a ball which he was never going to reach. As Contini saw the winger coming, he stepped right into his path, making Reyes clash into Contini from behind. Múñoz Fernández judged that Reyes had lashed out and showed the Spanish winger a straight red, leaving Atleti with ten men and half an hour to go.

However, even with a man down Atlético still created the better chances. A strong Godín header was saved off the line by Doblas, and Simão hit the side netting after he found himself completely free inside the box.

At the other end De Gea only had to save shots taken from far outside of the box, as our defence was excellent tonight. One of Zaragoza’s attacks almost led to a goal for Atleti on the counter when De Gea put Agüero through, but he couldn’t keep his shot down.

Kun had come on already booked, after protesting to the fourth official against Reyes’ sending off. It was one of the eight cards Atlético collected tonight. With his fourth card of the season Paulo Assunção is now one yellow card away from suspension after just five matches.

The Vicente Calderón had a scare when Diego Godín went down holding his knee in the 83rd minute. The Uruguayan centre-back was stretchered off, leaving us with nine men, but was able to come back onto the pitch a couple minutes later to finish this match and help Atlético protect their slender lead.

We’re still waiting to hear the latest update on Godín’s injury. Hopefully he won’t be seriously hurt, as he was most impressive again tonight.

The last chance was for Atleti in the 93rd minute, but Mario Suárez hit it wide.

The huge number of cards we collected will worry Quique Sánchez Flores, but he must also be satisfied with his team’s performance in defence today, as we never looked like conceding, even if Zaragoza were equally poor.

Line-up: De Gea; Perea, Godín, Domínguez, Filipe; Reyes, Tiago, Assunção, Simão; Forlán and Diego Costa
Subs:  Mario Suárez (“63), Agüero (“75) and Valera (“82)

Goals: 1-0 Diego Costa

  • NiñoTorres

    I am happy we won, but it’s a shame we couldn’t score a few more goals. Still, we dominated most of the game and kept a clean sheet, so I can’t complain 🙂

    Does Reyes not like Zaragoza or something?? Second time he has been sent off against them this year, and now he will miss the Sevilla game. For me it was a yellow card, but we have to get on with it, I doubt we would get anywhere with an appeal. Maybe in his absence next week we could put Simão on the right, move Filipe forward to left wing, and put Antonio López in at left-back. This would counter Sevilla’s wingers, which is the strongest part of their game, and we would have two good defensive players up against Navas. Alternatively we could play Fran on the left, but still he is inexperienced and it’s not his natural position.

    Of course, the main positive today was Filipe’s performance. I’m glad we have waited until he is in peak fitness to finally play him, as he was awesome today. I’m sure if he didn’t suffer that horrific injury he would have been playing for Brazil in the World Cup, but also he would probably be somewhere like Inter or Barça by now. I really believe he can become the best left-back in the world. Very positive from him, hopefully he will be fit enough to play on Thursday. Maybe then we can play our strongest XI for the first time? 🙂

  • Mert

    not a shame for those of us who had only one goal in the prediction contest

  • javi

    That was a victory won with our heart and sweat. Felipe was awesome, as was Godin. Reyes played a great game too. Cant say the same for Forlan, and specially Diego Costa. Although he scored, I really dont see why he took Salvio’s spot on this team.

  • Mohammed

    What I don’t understand is why do we lose control of the ball so easily after scoring!! This is a bad sign. We need to keep possession of the ball. Teams like Zaragoza should not be that threatening against us. We give them the ball so easily. Midfielders and defenders can’t pass the ball under pressure. It’s a shame considering the quality of players we have at the moment.

    I hope Quique works on this.

  • Flo

    @Mohammed: You are so right. I was hoping Tiago could fix this problem. That’s the thing we are lacking to be a real top-team. Keeping the ball in the midfield under pressure, playing intelligent passes, etc.

  • Godin is out for 3 weeks with sprained knee. I hope the defense will gel as good without him, and hope QFS works on it this week.
    Luis was great throughout the field in this game but looks like he would have to stick to more defensive duties.

    What should be a walk in the park turned into a last stand, it’s so frustrating.
    Costa’s goal was coming, happy for him but he does need a lot of chances, hope Kun could play at least for some time in the next two games.

  • You basically have said what had to be said, I would only add that I hate to see Camacho on the stands >:[

  • Independencia atletica

    We should be patient with Costa. Certainly, he missed passes and rushed on some cases during the match. Also he lost concentration while he had to defend on the wing, but scored and he was on the right spot to do it. Always, even in the worst match, shows his quality. Quique should teach him to be better at competition