La Liga: Atlético 2 – 0 Real Sociedad
Lightning start from Atleti hands them another valuable three points
A fantastic opening ten minutes from Atlético Madrid set the tone for what was a confident 2-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Tuesday evening.
An early own goal followed by some quick reflexes from Antoine Griezmann secured a valuable three points in the quest to secure at least third place.
It took four minutes against Córdoba in the last match, and three minutes in the match before that against Getafe.
Against Real Sociedad this evening it took only two minutes for Atlético to take the lead. And the breakthrough should have come sooner.
A very early free kick conceded by the Real Sociedad defence led to a free kick on the wing. A cross in from Koke was flicked on and then volleyed against the post by a waiting Arda Turan. The Turk could only watch as his attempt was cleared out for a corner.
It was from the resulting corner that Atleti took the lead. Another Koke cross, and the delivery was in a great area. It was just too high for the head of Fernando Torres, but it was eventually guided into the net by Real Sociedad’s central defender, Mikel González. 1-0.
The own goal giving Atleti the lead certainly wasn’t against the run of play, and their margin was doubled just a few minutes later. Koke hit a fierce effort from outside the area, and the Sociedad goalkeeper could only palm it back into play.
An alert Antoine Griezmann attacked the ball and smashed the rebound into the back of the net. A goal against his former club, Griezmann showed no desire to celebrate as he was congratulated by his team mates. Not ten minutes gone, and Atleti found themselves two goals to the good.
Sociedad did have chances, the majority of early strikes coming from Chory Castro on the left wing. A well worked counter attack ended with the Uruguayan having a shot from the edge of the Atleti area, but Jan Oblak was more than equal to the strike in the end.
At the other end, Jesús Gámez volleyed a sweet strike from outside of the area after it was cleared by the Sociedad defence, but goalkeeper Rulli got down and denied Gámez only the third goal of his career.
The visitors enjoyed a series of corners and free kicks during the first half, but failed to make them count with some poor deliveries and final efforts. Real Sociedad even bossed possession, but had very little to show for it going into the interval, aside from a number of shots from distance.
Our Spanish wonderkid almost scored the goal of the night. Koke hit a cross in, and the flight of the ball almost looped over the goalkeeper, instead striking the top of the crossbar and going out for a goal kick. Very unlucky for the youngster who didn’t mean it at all.
Mario Suarez had an opportunity to make it 3-0 in the opening minutes of the second half, but he rushed his shot and blazed it over the bar.
Raúl Jiménez was brought on to replace Fernando Torres on the hour mark – the need to keep El Niño fresh is even more important given the news of Mandzukic’s apparent ankle injury.
Another shaky piece of goalkeeping almost led to the third Atlético goal. Rulli scrambled to clear a cross and the ball fell to Siqueira, who could only steer the ball wide of the right hand post.
David Moyes rolled the dice with 20 minutes to go and brought on a pair of strikers. On came Agirretxe and Finnbogason, hoping to give the visitors more of an edge to their finishing, something that Sociedad had been lacking all game.
The away side were creating chances, but their crosses and corners still left a lot to be desired. Even with the presence of two new attackers, Oblak had very little to worry him.
The best chance of Sociedad’s match came to their substitute Granero, who was heavily booed on his entrance, after he hit a sweetly struck free kick towards the Atlético goal.
Oblak was quick to react and produced a wonderful diving save to protect his top corner, and preserve his record of not conceding a goal in four games since he replaced Moyá against Leverkusen last month.
The only yellow card of the game was given to Arda Turan with just ten minutes remaining. The Turkish midfielder was forced to take down Zaldua after a short pass put him in trouble.
Griezmann was taken off to applause from the entire Vicente Calderón, and Atleti closed the game out confidently to hand them a big three points.
The next ‘cup-final’ is a trip to Málaga on Saturday.
What did you make of tonight’s performance? Was it the well oiled Atlético that we’re used to?
|Atlético Madrid||20||Real Sociedad|
|Mikel Gonzalez (o.g.) 2'|
|07 April 2015|
|Arda Turan (86')|
|F Torres (61')|
|Raúl Jiménez (61')|