La Liga: Atlético 4 – 2 Cordoba
Griezmann and Koke stars of the show for Atleti
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?
|Griezmann 43'||Ghilas 53'|
|Griezmann 58'||Ghilas 87'|
|Raul Garcia 80'|
|01 November 2014|
|Arda Turan (61')|
|Raul Garcia (61')|
|C Rodriguez (77')|