It was obvious to the world at large that what happened yesterday in Alicante was a catastrophe of epic proportions for Atlético. It was a humilitation of the sort that causes lasting institutional damage, tarnishing an ever-fading Rojiblanco brand.
It was no surprise then that the most common headline about the game was: “Hércules humiliates Atlético Madrid.” There simply was no denying that the Blanquiazules had done just that.
MARCA poured the salt into the collective wounds of the Atleti faithful with their “Rojiblanco ridicule” title. Fair enough. We deserved nothing less.
“Atlético sinks in Alicante,” wrote the pro-Barcelona El Mundo Deportivo, a paper that took a more gentle approach as they probably didn’t want to inflict any more damage on us ahead of our Copa match against mutual sworn enemy Real Madrid. We thank you kindly sirs.
Curiously, the club’s official site painted a drastically different picture of the events that transpired yesterday in its match report.
“Luck, at the moment of finishing, scoring four goals from their first four shots on target, was what allowed for the home team to enjoy an advantage in the scoreline,” wrote J.D.L. of the official site.
Oh…well, then that explains it. Tote’s first goal had nothing to do with Filipe and Domínguez making a mockery of their profession. It was also a stroke of luck that didn’t allow for De Gea to react to the forward’s shot until the ball had rolled well into the back of the goal.
Sorry Nelson Valdez, but um…that pearler took no skill whatsoever. Filipe, it was plain misfortune that caused you to botch the pass back to Domínguez that led to the Paraguayan’s majestic shot from outside the box.
The official site described the events up to that point as a “severe punishment for an Atlético that had started off the game very seriously, but whose two errors punished them on the scoreboard.”
Started off the game very seriously? Really? It gets better.
“When luck is on your side, everything goes well for you…and in the 31st minute Thormet beat Godín to the ball and netted the third goal of the night.”
The mystery of Atleti’s passive defending has now been solved folks. It was only by chance that Godín failed to position himself to defend the cross that Thormet ended up powering in with his head.
And when Trezeguet capped off the first half by accidentally slotting in the fourth goal, “even the local fans couldn’t believe it,” explained the overly-optimistic J.D.L.
Quique apologises to the fans
As opposed to those responsible for the content at Atlético’s home page, manager Quique Sanchez Flores actually watched the game and asked the club’s supporters for forgiveness for his side’s abysmal showing.
“Before anything else, I must apologise to the fans that have travelled all the way here and to those that have watched from their homes for the atrocity that was the first half,” said Quique at the post-game conference.
“It’s inexplicable that, with the great defensive results that we’ve been having, that they scored four goals against us in 45 minutes.”
When asked about whether he fears for his job following the debacle, Quique said that he’s “not in the minds of the directors” and that he does not know “if they will take any measures.”
In a season in which we’ve already endured a disappointing elimination from the Europa League and a series of pathetic showings in the domestic campaign that have left us well short of the targeted Champions League spots, can elimination from the Copa del Rey next week be the end for Quique?
It’s time to give Borja a chance
“We didn’t want to get humiliated and that’s why we were somewhat better in the second half,” Diego Costa told the official site, apparently clueless to the fact it was too late, that us, the fans, the ones at home and the estimated 1,500 that made their way out to the José Rico Pérez stadium had lost our minds somewhere between the second and third goals.
Many of us really wanted Quique to hold on to Costa instead of Eduardio Salvio in the summer, but the Brazilian striker, or player, as it was confirmed yesterday that he does not strike, has been a shadow of the Costa that we saw fighting for a non-EU spot in the pre-season.
It’s time for Quique to give Borja a stab at the third forward role.
Elias and Juanfran to the rescue?
Sitting in the stands after it was confirmed that he would not be eligible to play, Elias was probably praying that his transfer from Corinthians would never arrive from Brazil. Conflicting reports from Spain have left us all confused about the Brazilian’s eligibility. We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments.
Juanfran probably remains locked inside his home in Pamplona, hiding underneath his bed, but his signing is reportedly set to be announced on Tuesday.
Will our transfers be enough to turn our season around?
Stat of the day
Hércules scored four goals in the first half.