Champions League: Atlético 5 – 0 Malmö
Five-star Atleti punish Swedish champions
Atlético Madrid produced a stunning display of both passing and teamwork this evening to give themselves a convincing 5-0 victory over visitors Malmö at the Vicente Calderón.
With five different scorers, and four of the goals from open play, Atleti turned on the style in the second half and ran away from it, after a first half in which neither side had the upper hand.
In fact, the first real chance of the night went to the visitors. A corner whipped in from the right hand side was acrobatically tipped over by Moya, who again got the nod over Oblak in the Champions League.
Atleti had a real chance soon after, when Koke and Mandzukic combined to set up Saul with an easy header from close range. The young Spaniard nodded the ball into the back of the net, only to be flagged, rightfully, for offside.
The best chance of the first half fell to Antoine Griezmann in the 34th minute, who returned to the lineup after sitting out the weekend’s win over Espanyol. The forward picked up the ball after an inch-perfect through pass from Arda Turan, and cracked the ball on the underside of the crossbar.
It bounced on the line and out, only for Mandzukic to head the follow up straight at Olsen, the Malmo goalkeeper.
Malmö, after coming just a couple of inches away from going a goal down, went just as close to taking the lead from the last kick of the half. A direct free kick from the edge of the area forced Moya to tip confidently over the bar.
Half-time has heralded some great speeches from Diego Simeone, and we would love to have been a fly on the wall at the Calderón this evening. Whatever Cholo said, worked.
A different team came out for the second half – a team that was much more composed, patient and above all, deadly.
The opening goal came just three minutes after the restart. Arda Turan found himself with the ball at his feet deep in the Malmö penalty area, and after a sequence of short passes with Juanfran, managed to poke a beautiful through ball with the outside of his right foot to a waiting Koke, who took one touch before stroking it into the back of the net.
A spectacular goal, and one from open play at that. Atleti fans were about to get spoiled.
Just ten minutes later, two quick-fire goals made sure of all three points for Atlético. Los Rojiblancos took control of the game, with quick touches, short passing and great teamwork.
A combination of all three brought the second goal. A series of pinpoint passes down the right hand side brought the ball to Koke in a dangerous position. The young maestro dug out a cross and it was Mandzukic on hand just a couple of yards out to squeeze the ball home. 2-0.
And not two minutes later, Antoine Griezmann got the goal he had deserved all night. The Frenchman played a little one-two with Koke, before cutting inside and hammering the ball down the throat of the goalkeeper. A slight deflection took the ball away from the keeper, and he could only parry the ball up and into his own net.
An ecstatic Griezmann made a beeline straight for the bench and jumped on his manager to celebrate.
Content with the three points, Simeone brought off Mandzukic, Griezmann and Arda. The latter received a standing ovation from the entire ground.
Three goals, and not one from a corner. The Vicente Calderón must have been suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Well they need not have worried.
Three minutes before the end, a classic Atleti corner was headed home by Diego Godín, who rose above three Malmö defenders to power the ball into the back of the net to make it 4-0.
And to put the icing on the cake, the fifth goal came from another of this summer’s signings.
Alessio Cerci, who came on to replace Mandzukic, picked up the ball in the 90th minute on the right wing. The Italian cut inside and smashed a superb strike towards goal with his left foot, only to see it thunder off of the inside of the post and back out.
The Malmö defenders took an age to react though, and Cerci managed to get an almost identical shot off. This time the ball nestled into the bottom left hand corner of the net, handing the striker his first goal in the red and white of Atlético.
A fantastic second half performance from an improving Atleti side. Atleti remain top of the group, level on points with Olympiacos, having played everyone in the group.
The next match in the Champions League is the return leg against Malmö, in Sweden, in a fortnight.
Who was your man of the match tonight? How pleased are you that Cerci got his first goal?
|Atlético Madrid||50||Malmö FF|
|UEFA Champions League|
|22 October 2014|
|Raul Garcia (68')|
|C Rodriguez (72')|