Tonight a crippled Atlético team suffered a 3-1 defeat to Sevilla in the Sánchez Pizjuán.
Atleti, without Godín, Agüero and Reyes, lined up in a 4-2-3-1. That’s a formation that would perfectly suit Fran Mérida, but the youngster was stuck on the wings instead of being used as the playmaker.
It was a clear example of our limited options in attack. It wasn’t until Diego Costa was brought on and we switched to our regular 4-4-2 that we finally put Sevilla under pressure, but the match had been over for a long time at that point.
Sevilla showed their intentions early and almost scored in the 8th minute. Negredo found himself in plenty of space after a corner was headed on, but shot straight at De Gea.
Our Spanish wonder-keeper wasn’t able to stop Negredo from scoring in the 29th minute though. Perotti drove inside with the ball at his feet, and passed to Negredo who curled the ball beautifully into the far side of the goal.
And within five minutes Sevilla had doubled the score. Kanouté and Capel combined through the heart of our defence, and although De Gea stopped the Malian he had no chance when Perotti’s shot on the rebound was deflected into the back of the net.
In the first half Atleti produced very little, which forced Quique Sánchez Flores to make a double substitution at half time. Antonio López and Mario Suárez were substituted for Filipe and Diego Costa, and the latter made a tremendous impact on the game.
With Diego Costa on we finally had an answer to Sevilla’s physical play, but it was the home side who scored again.
Diego Capel crossed towards Álvaro Negredo, who laid it back for Kanouté. The striker struck it past De Gea from outside the area, leaving the goalkeeper without a chance.
The game looked dead and buried, but Diego Costa got one back for Atlético within ten minutes. The Brazilian picked up a loose ball in the box and slotted it under Palop. The ball bounced off of the keeper, hit the post and span viciously past the Sevilla defender into the back of the net.
Costa also came close to grabbing a second, but Palop pulled off an amazing save when the young striker headed on goal from close range. Meanwhile Diego Forlán was invisible throughout the entire match.
Sevilla were happy with the score and Atlético weren’t able to create any more opportunities, meaning this match ended 3-1 for the Andalusians.
Line-up: De Gea; Ujfalusi, Perea, Domínguez, López; Assunção, Mario, Tiago; Fran, Simão and Forlán.
Subs: Filipe and Diego Costa (“46), Raúl García (“80)
Goals: 1-0 Negredo; 2-0 Perotti; 3-0 Kanouté; 3-1 Diego Costa
Atlético have two weeks to prepare for the next match, as the FIFA have arranged another international break. Hopefully we’ll be able to welcome back Diego Godín and Kun Agüero when we take on Getafe, because we seem incredibly vulnerable when some of our starters are missing.