La Liga: Atlético 4 – 2 Cordoba

Griezmann and Koke stars of the show for Atleti

Mandzukic and Griezmann celebrate for Atleti (pic: liberta)

Mandzukic and Griezmann celebrate for Atleti (pic: liberta)

Atlético Madrid made it three wins in a row in La Liga on Saturday afternoon as they dispatched newly-promoted Cordoba 4-2.

Despite some troublesome defending leading to some soft goals, Atleti never really looked in danger of losing the match, and it was a case of attack versus defence for the majority of the afternoon.

Simeone went for the same side that won 1-0 against Getafe last weekend, with Raul Garcia the only exception, being replaced by our captain Gabi.

Griezmann again started up-front supporting Mandzukic ahead of Raul Jimenez and Cerci, and the Frenchman certainly paid back Cholo for the faith he has placed in him.

The first big chance of the afternoon fell to our Spanish superstar Koke, who after being snubbed for Midfielder of the Year, decided to shoot first time from the edge of the box.

The ball curled over Juan Carlos’ head, but could only strike the underside of the crossbar – to the relief of the Cordoba goalkeeper.

Mandzukic, fresh from his match-winning goal against Getafe last week, linked up well with Griezmann in the first half, but it was his one-two with Siqueira that almost led to the opening goal.

Our attacking left-back, who probably had one of his best games in the red and white of Atlético, could only fire the ball straight at the waiting goalkeeper.

Atleti enjoyed a relentless start, with attack after attack. However they needed to be alert and were caught out on the counter attack not long after.

Cordoba broke, and were 3 players up against 2 Atleti defenders, but striker Ghilas could only shoot straight at Miguel Angel Moya in the Atlético goal.

The first goal of the night always looked like being Atleti’s – and it came just before half-time.

Siqueira, after one of his fine runs down the left wing, was taken down by Bouzon needlessly in the corner of the pitch, with nowhere to go.

The resulting Koke set-piece handed Atleti the lead. The ball was whipped in by the youngster, only for the Cordoba clearance to make it’s way to Griezmann.

Antoine had an exquisite first touch to turn the defender, and let loose through a crowd of defenders towards goal. The ball took a big deflection, and nestled into the other corner of the Cordoba goal.

Some outlets are putting it down as a Luis Delgado own goal, but we’re happy to give Griezmann his first league goal for Atlético.

The second half brought much of the same – until the 53rd minute – where Atleti found themselves inexplicably level.

A corner from Bouzon was drifted in to the far post, where Juanfran left Ghilas all alone. The striker heads it over everyone and steers it into the far corner of the goal to make it 1-1, over a jumping Miranda at the far post.

Atleti did well to bounce back, and within a minute Griezmann had his opportunity to put los Rojiblancos back into the lead. His unwillingness to use his right-foot resulted in a week shot from the outside of his left boot, which Juan Carlos did well to get down low to.

However if you keep trying, you’re bound to get through eventually, and just five minutes after being drawn level, Atleti were back into the lead.

A Juanfran cross found Griezmann racing towards the near post, and the Atlético number 7 got a fantastic head to the ball. The keeper extended a hand but could only push it into the side netting. Griezmann had waited nine games for his first league goal – and now two come along at once.

This seemed to be the end of Cordoba’s resistance, as just five minutes later Atleti were 3-1 up.

It’s a Koke free kick – Juan Carlos made a giant leap to punch the ball clear but he missed it completely, leaving an unmarked Mario Mandzukic at the back-post to head the ball into an empty net. One of the easiest goals the Croatian will ever score for Atleti – his third in three games.

Simeone made his substitustions with Tuesday’s trip to Malmö in mind. Raul Garcia replaced Arda Turan, whilst Saul took the place of Gabi, who will need some rest after returning to the first-team.

It was the real Raul who had a hand in the fourth Atleti goal of the evening, and it was yet another Koke assist from a set piece, this time a throw-in!

A cross to the near post and Raul Garcia stretched to get a head on the ball, although it looked like it may have come off of the shoulder of Pinillos, the Cordoba defender. Either way, it drifted into the far corner of the goal to give Atleti a three-goal lead.

What should have been a fantastic second half was marred slightly by a second Cordoba goal, again after some slack defending from Atleti.

Juanfran failed to deal with a cross in from Cordoba, and despite having two bites at the cherry, couldn’t get the ball away.

Ready and waiting in the six-yard box was Ghilas, who was on-hand to smash the ball into the back of the net past Moya. The first time all season that Cordoba have scored twice in a game.

Atleti will be happy with a win though, and managed to rest some of their key players ahead of the return to Champions League action in Sweden on Tuesday night.

Los Rojiblancos are also up to second in the league after the result, a point behind Real Madrid who played earlier in the day. However, the teams below us are all due to play later.

Who was your man of the match? Griezmann with two goals? Koke with three assists?

Atlético Cordoba
Atlético 42 Cordoba
Griezmann 43'Ghilas 53'
Griezmann 58'Ghilas 87'
Mandzukic 62' 
Raul Garcia 80' 
Competition Liga BBVA
Location Vicente Calderón
Date 01 November 2014
Kick Off 17:00 CEST

Team Lineups

Gabi (66')
Arda Turan (61')
Griezmann (77')
Substitutes used
Raul Garcia (61')
Saul (66')
C Rodriguez (77')
Juan Carlos
Fidel (67')
Garai (77')
Xisco (63')
Substitutes used
Rossi (63')
Vico (67')
Abel (77')

Match Stats

On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
  • Αθανάσιος Νικηταράς

    Barca lost! We have only 1 point difference from the first now!

  • Chewie

    It’s a tie between Koke and Griezmann. Surprisingly, the defence was a weak link today. Right before Griezmann scored the first goal I was starting to get disappointed of this pointless pinball they were playing. But then the game opened up and we showed who’s the boss.

    However, conceding two goals from the weakest side in the league is not cool at all. And both came from our right flank. It’s a little worrying. It’d be nice if someone did an analysis of all the goals we’ve conceded so far, maybe there are some patterns.

  • Our draw against Celta doesn’t look that bad now.

  • Ringo

    Barca did worse vs Celta and way worse vs Real: so far we’re doing better in shared opponents. 🙂

    (shh no need to mention Real’s form then and now)

  • Funny to say that but I really would like to see our Atleti being tested against Barcelona. Some seasons ago Barcelona’s draws were those to watch with half eyes closed.

  • starvs

    Interesting to see Cebolla play over Cerci, won’t if that is indicative or anything, just a one off, or what…my guess, just a more defensive sub, given the context of the game at the time.

  • I was waiting for Sevilla & Valencia to finish their games to post my comment
    I was expecting both of them to drop points as they were visiting Sam Mames & El Madriga respectively

    And Sevilla did drop points .. all 3 of them,
    That was their only 3rd real test in La Liga after receiving Valencia and visiting us, and they got only 1 point from the 9

    While Valencia won 3-0, but I still don’t see them as a threat, despite defeating us 3-1, because we all know the circumstances of that game
    As I said before, November will be the real test for Valencia, visiting Villareal, receiving Athletic, visiting Levante for the derby & receiving Barcelona, and today’s game was -in my opinion- the easiest one of the four
    Villareal have the most ridiculous defense in La Liga, we saw how they lost last week against Sevilla after leading 1-0 until minute 88, and how they lost against Barca last season 3-2 after leading 2-0 with 2 own goals, something they did many times last season (did it against us) and something they did today against Valencia in the first goal, the most important one

    After 10 games, we played against 4 of the top 6 and 6 of the 10 on the table
    While Valencia played against 4 of the last 5, including the last 3, and only 2 of the top 6
    The same thing for Sevilla, since Valencia play against Sevilla’s opponent from the previous week (as we say in Egypt : Valencia take from Sevilla)

    if we didn’t finish November with at least 5 points above Valencia then I will start to consider them as a contender for 3rd place
    while Sevilla have to stay close until January or February to make me worry
    let’s wait and see

    About us :
    That was a good performance, although we still can do much better
    but the important thing is that the numbers are very good :

    *After more than 1/4 of the league, a tough schedule, and a lot of changes in the team, we are 2nd, with just 1 point from the lead
    and we are the leader of our UCL group, that have Juventus, who won Serie A with 102 pts

    *Mandzukic reached his 7th goal, just 2 less than Costa’s goals with Chelsea
    (and his goals are just like Valncia & Sevilla points : overrated, no goals in big games, almost all his goals are from the 6 yards, and they are a result of a great work from the best midfield in Europe : Cesc, Hazard, Oscar & Willian, and even Matic)

    *Griezmann has 4 goals, 1 assist & 1 penalty in 818 minutes (out of 1350)
    and it’s not just about his goals as El Cholo said after the game, he has been playing very good and improving in every game

    *The only numbers that are not improving are those of Jimenez & Cerci, but to get improved they need to play first !
    Jimenez didn’t play any minute in the last 4 games, while Cerci played only 117 minutes in all competitions
    Those are 2 players who together cost us 26 millions .. that’s 20% of our annual budget, we are not that rich to put 26 million on the bench
    for Atleti players, wining a 38-game league that have the strongest Real & Barca in the history is much easier than wining Simeone’s trust !!

    About our defense :
    despite the 2 goals, I’m not worried .. sometimes when we play against a weak opponent and have a big lead we lose concentration and concede a goal or two
    4-2 was the result against Almeria in the Calderon in week 4 of last season, while in the season before that we conceded 3 goals in the last 8 minutes after leading 4-0 against Rayo, and it was also in the early stages of the season, in week 3
    That’s something we like to do from time to time ! .. but the important thing is that we don’t do it in big games or when we have only one goal lead

    My only problem with the defense last night was that Gimenez wasn’t there

    again, wining Simeone’s trust is one of the toughest thing in the world of football .

  • Urban

    Great summary, we all miss Martin’s aftermaths but this is also top level writing, GJ Nick!

    With respect to the game for me the gibbest highlight, apart from the league breakthrough from Griezmann, was Siqueira who is getting better and better with every game. This time he was even better than Juanfran (even taking into account the fact that Juanfran got a very nice assist).

    If he continues to adapt and develop confidence that quickly I do not see a reason why couldnt he play better than FL.

    In particular I love his trickery in dribbling, didn’t he play a lot of futsal at some stage of his career?