Last season we beat Alcalá 8-2 in a pre-season friendly, this time the Segunda División B outfit only shipped one as Atleti came away with a 0-1 win.
Atlético’s new defender Miranda, who only joined training two days ago, made his first appearances for the rojiblancos.
Álvaro Domínguez, Mario Suárez and Eduardo Salvio also featured for the first time this pre-season.
After the match against Gimnástica Segoviana, Gregorio Manzano said the team still needs time to adapt to his preferred 4-3-3 formation, which he tested in the second half of our first two games.
Tonight he started with the 4-3-3 line-up and changed to a 4-4-2 later on in the match. It’s interesting to note that José Antonio Reyes again occupied the left wing.
The first serious attempt on goal came after 9 minutes when Diego Costa hit the crossbar after a beautiful assist by Reyes.
It was one of the few exciting moments in an otherwise dull first half. As perhaps was to be expected, the midfield consisting of Paulo Assunção, Gabi and Raúl García lacked creativity and the two teams headed into the dressing rooms without any goals.
At the start of the second half Manzano brought on four new defenders and Fran Mérida, but more importantly changed his formation. With Reyes closer to Diego Costa the Andalusian was allowed to roam and was much more involved in our plays.
Although the game livened up Atleti still created very few chances. Up until the 70th minute, when Diego Costa inexplicably missed an easy opportunity.
In the following minutes Manzano brought on some fresh legs and one of the substitutes made the difference. Cantera striker Pedro found the back of the net after a pass by Salvio and opened the scoring.
The goal was Pedro’s 5th in just 3 games.
In the 82nd and 84th minute Filipe created good chances, but first he failed to find a teammate and later his shot was blocked by Alcalá’s goalkeeper. The Brazilian wingback again was one of our standout players.
The team returned to Madrid on Saturday where they will now continue to prepare for the new season. Our next friendly is scheduled for the 21st of July, when we play 45 minutes against Besiktas and Granada in a mini-tournament.
Line-up: Joel; Valera (“45 Sílvio, “75 Manquillo), Miranda (“45 César Ortiz), Domínguez (“45 Regalón), López (“45 Filipe); Gabi (“75 Noguera), Assunção (“75 Mario Suárez), Raúl García (“45 Fran Mérida); Juanfran (“72 Salvio), Diego Costa (“72 Collado) and Reyes (“72 Pedro).
Goals: 0-1 Pedro (“77)