Copa del Rey: Atlético 4 – 1 Guijuelo (10 – 1 agg)

Rojiblancos hit four in the first half against the ten man Segunda B side

Straightforward win for Atlético

Straightforward win for Atlético

Atlético Madrid rediscovered their goalscoring groove against Guijuelo on Tuesday night, scoring four times in the first half in a 4-1 win to seal their passage to the Copa del Rey last 16.

Nico Gaitán, Ángel Correa, Juanfran and Fernando Torres were on target against the third tier side, who scored a late consolation goal through Antonio Pino despite playing most of the game with 10 men.

Despite finishing their league campaign for the year on Saturday, nobody was allowed to start their Christmas holiday early as Diego Simeone named a strong XI for Guijuelo’s visit.

Atleti won the first leg 6-0 in Salamanca three weeks ago, but tather than give chances to canteranos, Cholo lined up with four of the back five that kept guard against Las Palmas on Saturday and was clearly taking the match seriously.

The main talking point before the match was the inclusion of Alessio Cerci, who played half an hour off the bench, whereas the likes of Nicolás Gaitán, Fernando Torres and Ángel Correa started in attack.

Gaitán it was who opened the scoring, curling home with his weaker right foot after 17 minutes following a good run from Thomas. Correa then added a second after Gaitán’s header came back off the crossbar.

Shortly after it was three, Correa involved again with a good ball for Juanfran – playing for the first time in almost five years as a winger – to add his name to the scoresheet with a well taken finish.

Atleti were showing no mercy to their Segunda B counterparts, despite coming up against one of their own in goalkeeper Carlos Morales, on loan at Guijuelo from the rojiblanco club.

Things went from bad to worse as Raúl Ruiz was sent off for two yellow cards, meaning they had to play almost an hour of the match a man light.

Fernando Torres then helped himself to a much needed goal, beating Morales to a loose ball to make it 4-0 to Atleti on the stroke of half-time.

After the break, the hosts took their foot off the gas a little and allowed Guijuelo to come back into the match, and with ten minutes to go they got their reward for their endeavour when Antonio Pino headed past Moyá into the top corner.

It was no less than they deserved, and may well have been the goal of the evening. Álvaro’s cross was put into a perfect area, and Pino made no mistake and goes home with a memory that will last a lifetime.

At the other end, fans were willing substitute Cerci to find the net, the Italian given ironic cheers as he took the field in red and white for the first time in over two years.

As it were, the match played out without further incident, with Atleti players able to jet off for the winter break on the back of two wins following an alarming run of poor form earlier in the month.

Whilst we can’t really draw too much from tonight’s win, the team will hopefully be ready to start the new year with a flourish and renewed levels of motivation and confidence, which will be crucial if they are to challenge for trophies this season.

Training will resume on December 28th with our next competitive match the first leg of the Copa del Rey round of 16, the draw for which takes place on Friday.

Before then, Atleti go to Saudi Arabia for a money-spinning friendly against Al-Ittihad on December 30th.

Player ratings: Moyá 6, Vrsaljko 7, Savic 6, Giménez 6, Lucas 7, Juanfran 7, Saúl 6, Thomas 7, Gaitán 7, Correa 7 (MOTM), Torres 6. Subs: Cerci 5, Carrasco N/A, Gameiro N/A

  • nandes

    Really glad Torres got his goal even though his overall performance was so-so.

    Gimenez playing at central midfield was definitely unexpected. And they say Cholo is too conservative! ha

  • SherbetDip

    Agree but so many disrespectful knee jerk type comments in the vein of ‘even Torres scored’ from idiots on twitter with short memories.

  • Zinni DUDU

    Well he was involved in two goals, so he did his job as a striker. Though I have to say that the ball he missed was very funny hahaha :D. Lets hope that he will score these kind of goals in more important games.

  • Kris

    Ignore those contemptuous idiots. We are not Real Madrid supporters. We should never turn on our players as long as they give 100% every single game. Criticize them, but make fun of them? Never.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Those are ignorant millennials, mostly from England who call us “Athletico” and call our coach “Simone” and call Griezmann “Antonio”, they weren’t old enough to watch Torres with Liverpool, rather than his first spell at Atleti.
    Just do like I do and block them, I’ve never seen someone call us “Athletico” and didn’t block him.

    However, there are some famous journalists who love to make fun of Torres as well, like Sid Lowe, who is also British, and who is not just disrespectful, but also ignorant like those teenagers, before Torres returned to Atleti on loan from Milan he claimed that this can’t happen, because a player can’t be loaned twice in one season, a rule that only exists in his stupid head.
    I blocked him too.

  • SherbetDip

    Good advice. As for Lowe – he wants it both ways – claims to understand what Torres means to Atletico Madrid fans, but also happy to have a snide laugh at his expense with young British journos based in Spain, and exchange banter with appalling pundits like Craig Burley, currently blagging a living on ESPN. Anyway hope the season takes a turn for the better in the new year and Torres shows some of the form of last spring.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    10-1, that was our biggest aggregate in Copa del Rey first round under Simeone, where we always face teams from lower divisions, those our previous ties :
    Real Jaén 4-0
    Sant Andreu 6-1
    L’Hospitalet 5-2
    Reus 3-1
    I think this is the best team we had under Simeone, despite the struggle in La Liga, we have more depth, we have the best attacking players both in quality and quantity, and we have the same solid defense: a great GK, 3 of the back 4 of 2013/14, plus Gimenez, Savic, Lucas & Vrsaljko.
    Yes, Guijuelo are a Segunda B side, but weren’t Reus too, who we only beat 3-1 on aggregate last season ?! and didn’t we also thrash Granada and Gijon when we played with so much attacking and creative players like we did against Guijuelo ?! (including Juanfran, the winger, tonight).
    I wish you understand dear Cholo.

    Gaitan shouldn’t only start every game, but he also should take the free-kicks and the corners, at least the corners on the right side.
    It’s fucking frustrating that such a player is benched week in and week out, and without having another one with his class on the pitch, did you see how Saul looked like tonight when he played next to Gaitan, even though he was in the middle ?!

    Many people criticized Correa’s recklessness that cost him many bookings, I think Thomas has the same problem, he received 2 yellow cards in the 44 minutes he played in La Liga this season, and he received one tonight while we were leading 10-0 on aggregate, and what a nasty foul that was.
    The suspension in Copa del Rey is after the 3rd yellow, and with that rate, the idiot could get suspended for the semifinal or the final if we went that far.
    However, he made a great game, and right now I don’t see why not he rotates with Koke who is not being himself.

    Correa has 5 goals and 6 assists in the 914 minutes he played this season, making him the most effective player in the team in terms of goal contribution, just like he was for a long period last season.

    Is it just me or are both Lucas & Vrsaljko are better in throw-ins than Filipe and Juanfran, the first two can threw longer throw-ins, Gamez-esque throw-ins.

    Seeing Torres with the captain armband is a joy.

    A long comment for a first round cup game, but the most part of it is obviously not about the game.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    ESPN is full of idiots, some on the channel and too many on the website.
    About two years ago I gave many examples of the mistakes (big mistakes, not small, Billy) they and other journalists in other outlets make, and I said that our Martin Rosenow would make a much better sport journalist.
    Back then I said that we are living in the worst era in sport -especially football- journalism.
    At the same time, there are some geniuses who only have tens of followers on twitter, and very few readers of their blogs.

  • AndersAT

    I think Thomas is going to be a great player for us. I really like his ability to power through. He reminds me a little of yaya toure. It looks a little clumsy, but quite effective.

    Like all others in here. I don’t understand why Gaitan doesn’t start the important matches. I am happy we will have some copa del rey matches coming up soon. Perhaps he will get the chance to really show he is a starter.

  • Zinni DUDU

    Did burley not bet that torres will not score against real madrid otherwise he will get an tattoo with his face? Torres scored than twice in the copa…

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    10-1 was our biggest aggregate in Copa del Rey first round under Simeone, and I’m happy for that, but I couldn’t help but think about Sevilla’s 9-1 win tonight, 14-2 on aggregate, and about Vietto’s hat-trick, which makes his total 10 goals in all competition this season, the same as our top scorer, Carrasco.
    Why did he score many goals with Villarreal and Sevilla but failed to do so with Atleti?!
    Why can’t we score many goals even against Real Jaen and Reus?!
    Why did we fail to score any goal in the second half last night against a 10-man Segunda B side?!
    Why did we score the fewest amount of goals in La Liga under Simeone last season when we had the “Jackson Five”?!
    I can’t think of an answer other than Simeone.

    And it is not about the goals themselves, or playing beautiful football, I really don’t care about that, I would take an ugly 1-0 every single game, but if you play for the 1-0 as Simeone does, in many occasions you will fail to achieve it.
    Some people look at our La Liga campaign last season and what they see is that we finished 3rd with 88 points, just 3 points from the champions, and that makes it a successful campaign, but what I see is that we missed a great opportunity to win it despite losing the double against Barca because we failed to score just one goal against Sevilla and one goal against Villarreal at home when we totally dominated both games, but it was a very negative domination, we couldn’t even create real scoring chances.
    Or we could have won it if we didn’t sit back after taking the lead against Depor, Gijon and Levante and allow them to put massive pressure on us until we drew in the first game and lost the other two.

    You can’t win a football game with defense alone or with attack alone, you need them both, and we obviously have a big attacking problem, and it’s not for lacking good attacking players, and because of that problem we are 6th right now, not because we started to concede many goals (by our standards), we are 6th because we couldn’t score against Espanyol or Leganes and only scored once against Alaves, had we won all those three easy games we would have been 3rd behind Barca by only goal difference.

    We need GOALS, evenly distributed goals, not 7 against Granada and 5 against Gijon and none against Leganes, Espanyol, Sevilla, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad & Villarreal.
    We need goals in La Liga, Copa del Rey and The Champions League, or we need the good luck of last season, winning 1-0 in the last minutes or through shootouts.

  • Koke

    I’m intrigued by the doubling-up of fullbacks on one side (ie Juanfran and Vrsaljko on the right). I think that in games when we have to be extra defensive (not that a team as massive as Atleti should play ultra defensively all that often), an extra fullback is better than an extra DM. As in, I’d rather see Juanfran and Vrsaljko both play on the right than see Simeone bring on that third or fourth DM. Juanfran and Vrsaljko are both more creative going forward than Augusto, Gabi, etc while still being good defensively.

    I really like Thomas. He should play more. Honestly, none of our current starting mids is proving to be much better than him nowadays anyway. Lucas is such a beast. One of my favorites. Gaitan really needs to get minutes, it’s criminal that he’s wasting away on the bench.

    Vietto seems to be doing really well in Sevilla. And he did well in Villareal. Makes you wonder if its something wrong with Atleti? And if so, is that why Jackson also struggled?

    Hope this winter break brings new ideas for Simeone and new self belief for our players

  • ssyoung

    Yeah,we were really poor in the second half ,lots of misplaced passes and aimless long balls.It looked as if the team isnt properly trained in attacking play,which is more worrying beacuse even with the most creative players on the pitch, we looked ineffective on the counter.Its clear simeone doesnt know much about attacking football.

    The board should start looking for a replacement right now because there is a real chance of finishing outside top 4 this season considering sevilla’s current form and athletic rising up the table.

    We have eibar,bilbao,alaves,gijon,deportivo away in the next 2 months along with tough home fixtures versus celta,barca,valencia and also the champions league.If we fail to get results from these games ,our chances for top 4 will be all but over which means another exodus like 13/14 ,along with a transfer ban ,it could be disastrous for the club.Based on what I have seen since the gijon away game last season ,I dont think we should be taking this huge risk by keeping simeone till the end of the season.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I’m not a big fan two fullbacks on one side, at least not the way Simeone does it, I would agree if the opponent had a really really good winger on the opposite side who needs two fullbacks to stop him, but not against Celta last season when we were leading 2-0 and Gamez came on for Grizi while we had Torres and Correa on the bench, or against Gijon when we were leading 1-0 and Juanfran came on for Vietto, then we ended up losing 1-2.
    Instead of losing a sub, and losing the likes of Grizi and Vietto, Simeone can simply ask one of his wingers or strikers on the pitch to give extra support to one of the fullbacks when needed.

    But if Simeone is making us choose between one of Juanfran or Vrsaljko and between Augusto -for example- while we also have Gabi or Tiago or both on the pitch, then yeah, I’ll go with the second fullback.

    And Juanfran didn’t start as a second RB, but as a winger, his original position before Manzano, then when Saul came off he switched to RB, Vrsaljko to LB, Lucas to CB, and Gimenez took Saul’s spot in the midfield.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    There is also Villarreal and Real Sociedad, to which we lost 0-3 and 0-2 respectively, and I don’t think we can overcome those head-to-head advantages when we face them at the Calderon, in case we finished the season with the same points as one or both of them, since H2H results are the first tie-breaker.

    If we missed the Champions Leagues next season, the club itself could ask some players to leave because they may not be able to pay their big salaries.
    The money we earned from UCL in the last 3 seasons was 50 million, 43 million and 70 million respectively, we can’t afford losing that amount of money.

  • Hannu

    Or how about getting some one to Simeones team that knows about attacking football? Dont know why they havent done that..

  • AnonX

    Yes I do agree about Thomas. But from now on I don’t think Simeone will change his style. Actually he was trying and improving his style when we were banging in 5 to 7 goals playing a more offensive setup with Koke playing in the centre. Then thanks to those negative comments from Gabi about being vulnerable in the centre, Simeone reverted back to 3cms in the middle with Koke back to the side.
    By now he is already comfortable and set to make 4-3-3 as the main formation, and depending on how the match goes he will change it by either bringing it Torres, Gaitan or Correa to boost the attack or Tiago or Thomas to fortify the defense.
    Personally although I’m for the offensive formation, I really prefer more a fixed set style of play rather then not, either being defensive or offensive.
    This is because this indefinite changes were the Major cause to the muted ineffectiveness and lack of intensity in our play hence contributing to those losses.
    Fix to one system and good result should follow.
    I do also agree it’s a good idea of an additional offensive assistant coach offering his feedbacks to Simeone. Right now, it’s Burgos discussing and giving him the advise and he was our former goalkeeper.

  • Hannu

    Yeah there should be additional coach to train and contribute to our attacking play.