The first leg of our Copa del Rey clash with Real Madrid on Thursday night ended in a 3-1 loss.
Next week we host our main rivals in the Vicente Calderón for the second leg of the quarter final.
Referee Mateu Lahoz was the most important man on display tonight. Even before the match he was already in the limelight, after Enrique Cerezo publicly wondered if the man in charge had visited the optician. The Atlético president was referring to the clear handball that Lahoz ignored in our league game in the Bernabeú earlier this season.
Tomorrow the Spanish press will again be writing about the referee’s performance. He allowed a lot and chose to let play on, which brought an incredible pace to the game.
However, he was also at fault at crucial moments of the game, as none of the first three goals should have stood.
When Sergio Agüero received the ball from Reyes in the 7th minute, he appeared to be offside by a small margin. The Argentine skipped past Casillas before he was brought down by the Spanish World Cup winner, but Forlán was able to put the ball into the open goal to give Atlético a surprising lead.
Ramos’ equalised only seven minutes later, but the referee ignored a foul by the goalscorer. The centre back had both his hands on Raúl García’s shoulders which allowed him to tower above our defenders and head home from Di María’s corner.
In the build up to Real’s second goal Marcelo brought down Agüero in midfield, but Mateu Lahoz let play on. From the right side Özil then whipped in a cross which was slided in by Cristiano Ronaldo.
It was only a matter of time before the Portuguese found the back of the net. He fired more than ten shots towards our goal tonight, but either missed the target or found the excellent David de Gea in his way.
The goalkeeper was our stand out player with a magnificent display. In the first half alone he made seven saves, one even more amazing than the other.
The home side started the match ferociously and created opportunities for Özil and Ronaldo within the first five minutes. It came as a complete shock when Forlán then opened the scoring on the other end.
For the remainder of the first half this match was completely one-sided. Atlético could only stand by while Real dominated the play and created chance after chance, of which only one was converted.
Di María was the big inspiration for los Blancos, although the winger embarrassed himself with a blatant dive which only earned him a booking. The referee had denied a penalty claim for Atletico only seconds before, when Aguero was pushed over by Ramos.
With Mario Suárez on for Raúl García we improved in the second half, although Real were still the better side. But at 1-1 it was Atleti who got the better chances.
In the 55th minute Sergio Agüero played a one-two with Juanfran and then dribbled past Sergio Ramos, but Casillas kept out Kun’s shot.
Some minutes later our Argentine again got the better of his marker and sped towards goal. This time Casillas saved with his feet but the ball fell to Forlán. This time however the Uruguayan wasn’t able to profit as he hit the near post.
Almost immediately after, Ronaldo gave Real the lead. The game then became more vicious as Lahoz didn’t adequately punish Ramos and Ronaldo for their brutal lunges on the legs of Ujfalusi and Agüero.
We seemed to be able to hold on to the 2-1 score, but in the dying seconds of the game we had an all too familiar lapse in defence. Domínguez and Filipe again made a mess of a clearance and suddenly Özil found himself one on one with De Gea. The German calmly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper to double Real’s lead, which just makes things more complicated next week.
Line-up: De Gea; Ujfalusi, Perea, Domínguez, Filipe; Juanfran, Assunção, Raúl García (“50 Mario Suárez), Reyes; Forlán (“78 Fran Mérida) and Agüero.
Goals: 0-1 Forlán (“7); 1-1 Ramos (“14); 2-1 Ronaldo (“61); 3-1 Özil (“90)