Coming into the match against Extremadura, Atlético B coach Antonio Rivas stressed the importance of the game, and his players duly delivered.
Atlético beat Extremadura 2-1 on Sunday, and have now equalled their direct rivals in the league table.
With 12 points from 14 games, we’re still in last place. But, we’re only three points away from a safe spot and 12 points from a ticket to the promotion playoffs at the end of the season.
Midfielder Koke once again was the big man for Atlético B, scoring the opening goal and dictating play throughout the match. However, ElGoldeMadriz report Koke could be on his way to Salamanca, who are interested in taking the Spanish youth international on loan until the end of the season.
A move would take place during the January transfer window. Salamanca are looking for a central midfielder after Miguel García suffered a non-fatal heart attack during a league match against Real Betis last month.
Koke himself declared that he knows nothing of the interest and that he’s solely focussed on Atlético, but his agent wouldn’t deny nor confirm a move.
“The important thing is that Koke plays, wherever that may be,” said his agent.
Under Koke’s command, Atlético started this match against Extremadura well, with Noguera and Sergio Marcos also actively involved in midfield. But like this entire season, the pressure didn’t lead to goalscoring opportunities. Meanwhile, Extremadura almost scored from their first opportunity but Rafa couldn’t convert his chance.
In the 15th minute Andrés Llorián had to come off injured, adding to Atlético B’s long list of injuries. With first choice left-back Javi Cantero not available, winger Mínguez was shifted back to defence.
After the substition Atleti lost control over the match for a small period, but took the reigns again when Koke scored in the 26th minute. He was the first one to reach a rebound and scored the opening goal of this clash.
Atlético’s central defenders Jorge Pulido and Paco Regalón had things under control at the back, but were fortunate when Iago denied Extremadura’s Rafa shortly after the break.
Minutes later Jarju doubled our lead. Sergio Marcos headed a cross down for the African striker and Jarju only had to tap it in the back of the net.
The Gambian was later handed a big opportunity to score his second, but he lost control of the ball when he came eye to eye with goalkeeper Tete.
The match seemed over at 2-0, but when Yepes scored in the 79th minute Extremadura made for an exciting finish.
Atlético’s players surely must have reminisced over the match against Universidad de Las Palmas from two weeks ago, when they gave away a 2-0 lead in the final five minutes of the game.
The nervous ending lead to three yellow cards, but the visitors failed to create more opportunities and Atlético were awarded a well-deserved three points.
Line-up: Iago; César, Regalón, Pulido, Llorián (“15 Abel); Noguera (“74 Fer), Koke (“92 Vítor); Miramón, Sergio Marcos, Mínguez; and Jarju.
Goals: 1-0 Koke (“26); 2-0 Jarju (“56); 2-1 Yepes (“79)