Protests against the directors earlier in the afternoon seemed to be the main talking point among Colchonero fans, but the Atlético players turned their focus to the pitch and delivered an amazing performance to beat Real Sociedad 3-0 at home on Sunday evening.
Goals from Filipe, Mario Suárez and Sergio Agüero brought Atleti a deserved victory, and the score would have been even higher if not for the Basques’ excellent ‘keeper.
Atlético immediately showed their intentions and surged forward, with early chances for Kun Agüero and José Antonio Reyes.
Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was outstanding tonight and kept Atleti out multiple times. One of his finest saves came after our captain on the night, Agüero, tried to bend a shot into the far corner.
Filipe Luís, who played in the absence of Antonio López, scored the opening goal in the 12th minute after Agüero sent a long ball Diego Costa. The Brazilian chested it down, dribbled inside the area and then backheeled the ball to the overlapping Filipe, who smashed it in the roof of the net. It was the left-back’s first goal in an Atlético shirt.
A superb pass by Koke split open the Sociedad defence once more but Agüero’s first touch was a bit heavy, which allowed Bravo to rush out and force Kun to the side.
Instead of sitting back, Atleti continued to look for their second goal and we came close when Reyes hit the sidenetting with a beautifully curled freekick. Some minutes later the Andalusian again came close, but Bravo saved his right footed attempt.
In the 38th minute Diego Costa received a lobbed pass from Kun, but Sociedad’s goalie again got a hand to it and pushed the ball against the post.
However, just before half time Atleti doubled their lead. Reyes made a fool out of his opponent with a quadruple feint and delivered the ball on a platter for Mario Suárez, who also scored his first ever goal for the Rojiblancos.
After the break the visitors intended to show more of their offensive skills and they managed to finally record their first shot on target, but throughout the entire match they never seriously threatened David de Gea’s goal.
Even at two goals up Atleti were willing to attack and Agüero especially seemed eager to get a goal. In the 59th minute he shot well over the crossbar after a good delivery from Filipe, and little later he again fired high over the goal. Koke too got two opportunities but shot straight at Claudio Bravo.
Tiago came within inches of scoring, but failed to connect with his head to a Reyes cross. Diego Costa did get a header towards goal, but Bravo again denied Atleti with an impressive reflex save.
At the other end substitute Ifrán finally put De Gea to work, but our youngster kept out the Uruguayan’s header quite comfortably.
With Forlán coming on for Diego Costa we made a final push for the third goal and Agüero finally got what he was looking for, when he scored after a great solo run in the 78th minute. He collected the ball after a corner for La Real, burst past his opponent and finished with a low shot in the far corner.
Diego Forlán got two opportunities to get a goal as well, but his freekick whistled past the post and in extra time he blew an opportunity to make it four.
The final chance of the match was Sociedad’s and arguably their biggest of the night. Ifrán struck his freekick beautifully over the wall but De Gea dived to his left and made a great save to deny Txuri-Urdin their consolation goal.
The victory for Atleti couldn’t have come at a better time because direct rivals Sevilla, Athletic and Espanyol all dropped points this weekend, meaning we now sit just one point off of fifth place.
Line-up: De Gea; Ujfalusi, Perea, Godín, Filipe; Reyes (“87 Raúl García), Tiago, Mario Suárez, Koke (“75 Juanfran); Agüero and Diego Costa (“71 Forlán).
Goals: 1-0 Filipe (“12); 2-0 Mario Suárez (“45); 3-0 Agüero (“79)