Despite all our summer investments, Atlético had failed to find the back of the net in our first two La Liga appearances.
But on Sunday night everything finally went our way in front of goal as Racing de Santander were sent home with a 4-0 drubbing.
The big man for los Rojiblancos was Radamel Falcao, who netted a hat-trick. Substitute striker Adrián added a fourth 10 minutes before time.
Atleti started the match strongly and created three good opportunities within 10 minutes, but Toño and his defenders were able to shut our forwards out.
But after 23 minutes the inevitable happened and Atleti finally broke the deadlock. Through Diego and Arda the ball was delivered to Reyes, who found Falcao in the box. The Colombian controlled the ball and scored his first La Liga goal to give Atleti the lead.
Some minutes later he added a second, but his goal was wrongfully disallowed when the linesman flagged for offside for Tiago. Replays showed that the midfielder was onside as he received the pass, before setting up his team-mate.
But it wasn’t long until Atlético extended their lead. We were awarded a penalty when Diego was brought down in the box, and Falcao stepped up to convert the spot kick.
Before the break, the €40 million man could have already completed his hat-trick, while Diego too missed a big chance to put the tie to bed. The Brazilian playmaker was involved in every move we made and was the big orchestrator with 55 completed passes in the first half.
Unfortunately Diego didn’t return from the dressing rooms after half time, as he was feeling some discomfort. Gregorio Manzano decided not to take any risks and brought on Adrián.
Even without his buddy, Falcao continued where he left off. In the 56th minute he finished off a beautiful pass by Arda by subtly chipping the ball over Toño.
With Diego subbed off, the Turkish midfielder took over the reigns as Atleti continued to dominate the game. 10 minutes before the end Arda Turan delivered another assist by placing a ball exactly on Adrián‘s head. The young Spanish striker headed it past the goalkeeper and scored Atleti’s fourth goal of the night.
Gregorio Manzano also allowed Pizzi to join the party. The Portuguese youngster made his official debut and showed some nice touches to the Vicente Calderón crowd.
In the added time Racing created their first opportunity of of the match, but thankfully Thibaut Courtois was still paying attention. The goalie stopped Stuani’s shot and kept a clean sheet, Atleti’s sixth in eight official games.
On Wednesday Atleti play another home game, against Sporting Gijón. The match kicks off at 20.00 CET.
Line-up: Courtois; Perea, Miranda, Domínguez, Filipe; Tiago, Mario, Diego (“46 Adrián); Reyes (“76 Juanfran), Falcao (“68 Pizzi) and Arda.
Goals: 1-0 Falcao (“23); 2-0 Falcao (“35); 3-0 Falcao (“56); 4-0 Adrián (“78)