Copa del Rey: Espanyol 1 – 1 Atlético (1-2 agg)

Atleti advance to the next round of the Copa del Rey

Atletico Madrid defenders Luis Perea, Alvaro Dominguez and Mario Suarez watch as Espanyol's Sergio Garcia is on the ball in their Copa del Rey encounter

Sergio García on the ball for Espanyol (Colchonero)

Atlético have qualified for the next round of the Copa del Rey with a 2-1 aggregate win over Espanyol. We’ll meet Real Madrid in the quarter-final stage.

A 1-1 draw against Espanyol tonight was enough after last week’s 1-0 in the Vicente Calderón.

Atlético were pressured early on, which led to a comical situation on our own goal line when De Gea and Perea didn’t clear a cross and it almost rolled into our goal.

But after ten minutes we took control over the match and came incredibly close to scoring. Reyes crossed from the left side to Raúl García, who was left all alone inside Espanyol’s penalty box.

Raúl didn’t hesitate a second and volleyed the ball with tremendous power towards the far corner, where it smacked against the crossbar. Had it gone in this surely would have been one of the contenders for the goal of the year.

In the 25th minute it was Raúl García who set up our opening goal. He lobbed a ball over Espanyol’s defense and Sergio Agüero chased after it.

Our captain on the night brought the ball down and superbly smashed it in off the crossbar, while he was being pulled down by two defenders.

The goal clearly came as a big blow to the home side, who had to score three goals at that point.

In the remaining part of the first half Atlético came very close to increasing the lead on several occasions. First Reyes missed a clear cut chance. Diego Costa found him left entirely free inside the box, but goalkeeper Cristián Álvarez got a hand to our winger’s attempt.

Shortly before half time Filipe set up Agüero who turned his marker inside out, but the Argentine’s cross was cleared off the goalline by Didac before Diego Costa could head it in.

From the following corner Agüero scored, but he was wrongfully flagged offside by the linesman.

In the added time Agüero once more penetrated Espanyol’s box with a brilliant run, but his shot was blocked by Álvarez.

After the break Espanyol tried to push Atleti back again as they went looking for the equaliser. This almost resulted in a great goal for Dátolo, who unintentionally crossed the ball onto the crossbar.

After just an hour Luis García twice thought he was going to equalize but David de Gea and the crossbar kept him out.

First the Espanyol captain daringly took on a volley from outside the box but De Gea equalled the attempt with a miraculous save.

Not a minute later García again shot from the edge of our box, but this time he was denied by the crossbar after a deflection off of an Atlético player.

Atlético looked to hurt Espanyol on the break, but two crosses by Kun just missed their target. First he tried to square the ball for Reyes, but Álvarez reached to it just in time as the cross took a deflection.

Then Agüero tried to volley at goal, but his shot almost set up Diego Costa at the back post, only for Amat to clear the ball away at the last moment.

The biggest opportunity to put this tie to bed came five minutes before the end. Reyes was through on goal with Agüero to his left, but the Andalusian scuffed his shot into the hands of the goalkeeper.

In the final minutes Espanyol ousted their frustration on the legs of our players, but they did get the goal they were looking for all night.

Captain Luis García beautifully curled a freekick over the wall and into the top corner to leave our youngster De Gea without a chance.

With a 2-1 win on aggregate we advance to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey. Next week we take on Real Madrid in what surely will be another heated battle.

Line-up: De Gea; Ujfalusi (“56 Valera), Perea, Domínguez, Filipe; Raul García, Mario Suárez, Assunçao (“60 Koke), Reyes; Diego Costa (“81 Antonio López) and Agüero.

Goals: 0-1 Agüero (“25); 1-1 Luis García (“93)

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  • Ringo Schut

    Do you guys think Atleti will keep using Koke after they may use Elias?

    Btw, how was he today?

  • javi

    I thought the team played very well today. Solid at the back and the midfield, very solid. If our forwards would have had a bit more focused shots it could have been 0-3, or more. Koke played great, as did Raul Garcia, Reyes, and of course Kun. I should just always bet on him to score like Ringo does, its money in the bank.

    I like our chances against Real Madrid if we play like today. reports that a deal for Manu Del Moral is almost done-that will be a great pick up-he is coming back to where he started.

  • Mohammed

    Manu! He’s not that good. No, sorry, he’s not good at all. I see this as bad deal, unless it’s for free.

  • Gert

    I think we played very well, although I wasn’t too keen on Diego Costa’s performance though. Would have loved to see Borja take his place.

    I loved De Gea again. How he came out of the 16 and chested away the ball with his age. Brilliant! And Kun of course. World Class.

    On Sky Sports , Haisselbaink was telling Atletico is a selling team and that Chelsea should buy him as soon as possible since Aguero would be perfect for the Premier League. F¨ck that Haisselbaink! He’s just extended his contract! And Chelsea??!! WTF?! He’d be even better off @ Real for all that I care!

  • Manu is better than Juanfran IMHO, but I wouldnt buy any of them.

  • palc

    Manu is better than Raul Garcia on the right flank. And also better than Valera. I think he’ll come cheap too.

  • SpeGo

    I think Manu is much worse than Juanfran, especially for us. Jaunfran can take game foward and beat one on one. Manu cant. He is ok finisher and good finding goal scoring posotions but otherwise he is useless. We need someone who can create situations, not someone how finishis them. Our centre midfield is lacking creativity and thats why we need wingers to create opportunities.