Atlético fail final test

Halves against Granada & Besiktas show Atleti aren't ready for Europa League yet

Antonio López and Simão met pre-match(

Antonio López and Simão met pre-match

A week before the Europa League qualifier against Stromsgodset, Atleti played two short friendly games but failed to impress.

On Thursday night we lost both of our mini-matches against Granada and Besiktas by the same slim margin of 1-0. Gregorio Manzano again started with a 4-3-3 formation and switched to a 4-4-2 set up in the second half.

With seven days to go before our first official match of the season, the coach still has a lot to worry about.

Granada 1 – 0 Atlético

The main talking point after our half against Granada was the goalkeeping situation. Earlier in the evening, we announced the arrival of Thibaut Courtois, which put even more pressure on the shoulders of Joel.

The young ‘keeper started well when he lifted a wayward cross over the bar, but made a mistake which cost us the first match in this mini-tournament.

Jaime Moreno came inside from the right and struck a seemingly saveable shot towards goal. However, Joel was late to respond to the ball and didn’t get to the ground in time to prevent the strike from going in.

Atleti dominated the game against Granada and pressed far up the pitch, pushing the home side back towards their own goal. But while we saw some interesting combination play, we struggled to get a shot off, although there were chances early on for Salvio and Fran Mérida.

While individual performances certainly aren’t the most important things to look at during pre-season friendlies, some players were hugely disappointing. Diego Costa hardly did anything right and messed up a perfect 1-v-1 opportunity just before half time.

The penalty shoot-out after 45 minutes, which was used to prevent a tie at the end of the day, was won 3-2 by Granada.

Line-up: Joel; Sílvio, Miranda, Domínguez, Filipe; Gabi, Assunção, Fran Mérida (“30 Noguera); Salvio (“30 Juanfran), Diego Costa and Reyes.

Goals: 1-0 Jaime Moreno (“33)

Atlético 0 – 1 Besiktas

After a short break Atleti kicked off the second match of the night against Besiktas. Manzano switched to a 4-4-2 formation and introduced Adrián, who unfortunately saw little of the ball during his debut.

Canterano César Ortiz was the best Rojiblanco on display, which isn’t only a compliment to the versatile defender, but also a negative critique on his team-mates. Atleti failed to string two passes together and only went forward in the final minutes, when Antonio López was the first one to test the Turkish goalkeeper.

At that point Besiktas was already leading. Former Colchonero Simão had already delivered two dangerous corners, and the third time proved to be the charm. The winger swung in another set piece which was tapped in by Fabian Ernst, giving Besiktas the lead they deserved.

Just before full time, Juanfran managed to get a shot on goal but Atleti failed to score tonight in Los Cármenes.

The two matches during this triangular tournament were our final tests before we face Stromsgodset. We face the Norwegians on the 28th of July at the Vicente Calderón.

Line-up: Joel; Sílvio (“17 Valera), César Ortiz, Domínguez, López; Juanfran, Gabi, Mario Suárez, Noguera (“17 Raúl García); Diego Costa (“17 Pedro) and Adrián.

Goals: 0-1 Ernst (“27)

  • palc

    We played well against Granada, but looked uninspired against Besiktas. I think the 4-3-3 worked far better than the 4-4-2, but that might be because we fielded a better XI when we used 4-3-3.

  • 7th

    I learned two things today,

    one is that paulo assuncao and diego costa are NOT players suited for

    mario has surpassed assuncao in every way. so, I am with selling assuncao right now.

    and the other one is that we need another good and are par with aguero’talent.

    it seems clear to me if aguero is not around, and forlan is still not in the form.

    we will struggle in front of the goal.

    aguero and forlan had saved us alot of times already.

  • Sorry for the Atletico M fans, but your team is crap.
    I guess Valencia CF will not have to worry about Atletico M next season.

  • 7th

    SlickR, hahahaha, maybe, but be sure this is not the complete XI at.madrd.

    our main XI should be like this


    silvio miranda godin felipe luis

    gabi mario tiago

    salvio forlan reyes

  • starvs

    7th, that is not including any purchases using the ~65m euros of income Atleti will be at least partially reinvesting. So very possible to see a Rossi (cling, cling my friends…) caliber player added to that line-up.

  • Davide


    If the main season was always based on pre-season results then Arsenal would have won the treble every year. You need to wait and see.

  • Chalet

    Simão wore the wrong camiseta, that´s for sure!
    Personally I would have loved to see him stay with us… 🙁

    For the EL qualifier next week we need to get in shape asap.

    May The Force Be With Us!

  • Javi

    Davide you are absolutely correct
    We are trying things out and we are missing key players: forlan, Godin, perea, Rossi and mata![I hope]
    Any one that judges a team by preseason play…well let’s Just say they shouldn’t be a judge…

  • SpeGo

    Bad games but fortunately they were preseason games. Diego Costa was completely useless! Same goes to R.Garcia but I think we all knew that already 😉 That Pedro guy had few good touches and looked very confident, im eager to see if he is really talented or not. Nice to see Merida get some play time. Our midfield lacked creativity, again, but when Merida gets his confidence back he will help in that section. We have now the same situation that Valencia had few years ago when Villa and Silva left now that where missing Aguero and De Gea so lets see how we come out from this situation. Valencia has done absolutely great work after losing Villa and Silva…

  • Davide


    Yeah, they simply became a team instead on relying on certain individuals.

  • k14

    Seems aguero is going to city, hope that is actually true.
    Maybe we could get Dzeko + 25mil , since its city, they might actually do it :p

  • 7th

    Cant get my excitement under my control for the new season. been going to my uni with my atletico kits. been using the 09/10 kit as a a normal shirt.

    there were a few ppl saying why I support this team. and actually admitted to me they hate atletico madrid. lool

    mostly came from barcelona fans. well, all of country supports barca and Real madrid.