A moment of individual brilliance from Tiago saw Atlético Madrid claim a valuable win in Norway, leaving them in second place in Europa League Group B.
Atlético got off to the best possible start as Sergio Agüero helped his side take the lead in the opening five minutes. A superb cross field pass from Raúl García found Simão in space, and the Portuguese winger squared it across to Agüero who had a simple tap-in.
Replays showed that both Agüero, and his strike partner Diego Costa were marginally offside, but the linesman didn’t put his flag up.
Rosenborg responded well despite the early blow, and had a decent spell of pressure. Prica and Iversen were allowed to get their shots away while in the Atlético area, while Michael Dorsin and Per Ciljan Skjelbred were the Norwegian team’s main threat in wide areas with their tidy combination play.
Luis Perea and Alvaro Dominguez had to have their wits about them as crosses were coming thick and fast into the Atlético area.
Los Rojiblancos caught a much needed breath during an attack of their own. Tiago blasted over from 12 yards on the half volley, when he perhaps should have had more composure for a player of his experience.
Costa then tried to add the crucial second but was denied by a superb block from Mattias Bjarsmyr. The Brazilian had put the ball onto his left and tried to place it in the far corner – but was well thwarted. For the first time since the goal Rosenborg seemed rattled, as Atlético forced them back into their own area.
The game had developed into end-to-end action, where one team enjoying a passage of play was then followed by a decent spell for the other. Rosenborg were awarded several set pieces, and despite offering little goal threat the intent was still there.
An even first half saw both sides flex their attacking muscle, while at the same time both had shown their defensive weaknesses.
The second half was a different story though. The hosts took control of the game as Atlético seemed to be having trouble finding any sort of rhythm. A header just wide of the post inside the opening 5 minutes from Morten Moldskred was a warning shot for what was about to come.
Veteran forward Steffen Iversen played in his team mate Markus Henriksen, who shot low and hard straight at De Gea. The ball was struck with such venom that it squeezed between David De Gea’s legs and into the back of the Atleti net.
It came as something of a shock, as De Gea has been on superb form for this season and has been receiving praise from all quarters. The young keeper showed his character soon after though, making two great saves from Moldskred.
Diego Forlán came on for Agüero with half an hour left, the manager clearly hoping the Uruguayan could break his 10-game goal drought ahead of the derby on Sunday.
It was Rosenborg who pressed though; Iversen then missed a golden opportunity to send the home fans into raptures, as he shinned an effort wide from 5 yards after a poor defensive clearance from Perea. His side continued to overload Atletico with crosses, and De Gea looked shaky dealing with them as he punched and flapped at several that came into his area.
The Atlético keeper had one more moment of madness left in him still, as he rushed to shield the ball from Iversen and let it run out of play. The striker was savvy enough to nick it around De Gea, but the cross wasn’t able to find a white shirt in the area and our young Spanish sensation was let off the hook.
A moment of magic to win the game was about to come though. In the 85th minute, Tiago’s superb close control took him away from two Rosenborg players, before he looked up and struck an absolutely glorious 30 yard drive into the top corner of Daniel Orlund’s net.
Despite Rosenborg’s best attempts to get some late momentum it was all in vain as Atlético picked up precious 3 points.
Back-to-back wins for Atlético against the Norwegian outfit leaves them in a great position going into their next Europa League game against Aris Salonika at the Calderon in December.
Line-up: De Gea; Ujfalusi, Perea, A. Domínguez, A. López; Raúl García, Tiago, P. Assuncao, Simao; Aguero, D. Costa
Subs: Forlán (“61), Suárez (“70), Camacho (“90)
Goals: 0-1 Agüero; 1-1 Henriksen; 1-2 Tiago.