Quique: “We never lost faith”

The Atlético boss was proud of his players' resiliency after going down early at Anoeta

Atletico players Simao Tiago Godin Lopez Forlan and Coach Quique Sanchez Flores Anoeta

Atlético players celebrate goal versus La Real (AS)

When Kun scored the second goal to complete the unlikely comeback against Real Sociedad, Atlético manager Quique Sánchez Flores could hardly contain his euphoria.

The cameras focussed in on our tactician who was running down the sideline beaming with delight. After the match, Quique told reporters that he was “very happy with the win because we never lost faith.”

“La Real’s goal was a tough blow but the team kept playing hard despite the opponent’s intensity,” he said.

“This was a game that was looking very favourable for la Real. They went up 1-0 and they usually manage this type of result perfectly at Anoeta.

“But we changed the script and looked for all the possible ways to turn the game around. I want to praise all the players, who never gave up the fight,” he told AS.

One of those players, Tomás Ujfalusi, got off to a poor start. Quique experimented with switching out Ujfa from his usual right-back position with Luis Amaranto Perea, placing the Czech in the centre and the Colombian on the defensive flank.

Tomás’ first test came early on when Antoine Griezmann juked Perea and sent a low cross into the area toward our No. 17, who whiffed on the clearance while Joseba Llorente was simultaneously closing in on the pass.

The ball hit off one of the two players – it remains unclear exactly who touched it last – and it rolled toward our goal past De Gea who was too stunned to move.

Ujfalusi furiously clamored for a foul and for the goal to be disallowed, only to be shown a yellow card for his heated protests.

“I think Llorente touched my foot in the play of the goal and this didn’t allow me to strike it cleanly. That’s why I was so angry, because it could’ve been called a foul,” he told the club’s official site.

“Before the game we talked about how it would be a difficult game against a strong opponent, especially when they play at home.

“It has been a deserved victory. We attacked well on the wings and most importantly, we have scored goals,” he said.

Ujfalusi played a crucial role in one of those goals, redeeming himself for his botched play in the first half by assisting Kun Agüero in the game-turning second goal.

“For us, it was important to defeat a direct rival. We have taken a step forward and now we have to take another one at home against Espanyol on Saturday.

That blessed partnership
The chemistry between our little Argentine starlet Sergio Agüero and striker Diego Forlán remained in full effect following their electric partnership last week against Osasuna, though it took them a bit longer to connect in this game.

Forlán proved yet again that his drought is a thing of the past, scoring the tying goal in the 71st minute after Agüero slotted a pass back to him.

Kun then nabbed a brace scoring goals in quick succession in the 79th and 82nd minutes, taking his tally on the season to a remarkable 9 goals in 13 matches in all competitions.

“Diego and I complemented each other well, but the important thing is not who scores the goals, but that the team wins the games,” Kun modestly told the club’s official site.

“We came out very focussed in the second half and luckily we were able to take the three points. It’s been a long time since Atlético won a match in San Sebastián but the most important thing is that we achieved a victory that puts us higher in the table.

“Things weren’t going well for us as visitors, we knew it would be complicated to win in Anoeta, but we have to come out to win no matter the stadium.

“Now, we’re in European positions, which is where everyone at the club wants to be. I’ve always said that we have a team that can fight to be up top.”

  • Ringo Schut

    Now hopefully everybody stays fit, so they can show what they’re really made of!
    The next meetings with the higher ranked clubs, should contain wins!

  • Martin Rosenow

    Yeah Ringo. It seems like this is the first time this season that we made it through a game without some sort of injury.

    I was concerned about the wet conditions at Anoeta, but fortunately everything went well.