La Liga: Atlético 2 – 0 Real Sociedad

Lightning start from Atleti hands them another valuable three points

The team celebrate Griezmann's goal for Atlético

The team celebrate Griezmann's goal for Atlético

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.

Don’t forget to read our player ratings, brought to you by assistant editor Billy Edwards

What did you make of tonight’s performance? Was it the well oiled Atlético that we’re used to?

Atlético Madrid Real Sociedad
Atlético Madrid 20 Real Sociedad
Mikel Gonzalez (o.g.) 2' 
Griezmann 10' 
Competition Liga BBVA
Location Vicente Calderón
Date 07 April 2015
Kick Off 20:00 CEST

Team Lineups

Atlético Madrid
Mario Suárez
Arda Turan (86')
Griezmann (90')
F Torres (61')
Substitutes used
Raúl Jiménez (61')
Saúl (86')
Gabi (90')
Real Sociedad
Mikel Gonzales
Canales (74')
Zurutuza (74')
Castro (81')
Substitutes used
Agirretxe (74')
Finnbogason (74')
Granero (81')

Match Stats

On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
  • We are starting to see a pattern here :
    A goal in the first 5 minutes, another goal in the first half, then an economic play in the second half
    That were our last 3 games
    This is good, we needed that economic effort, and we also needed those rotations -although they were forced, not voluntarily- because we have crucial games to come, not just the one vs RM, but also in La Liga, we’re going to visit La Rosaleda, Riazor (after the incident between El Frente & Riazor Blues), El Madrigal, Ciutat de Valencia (where we always had problems) and we gonna receive Barca
    I really do not understand the people who have been repeating from 2 weeks ago that Atelti have a favorable schedule in the last 10 weeks, and they are a lot in the Spanish media

    3 weeks ago, Oblak had played 7 games, conceded 11 goals and kept only 2 clean sheets
    Now, he has 11 games, conceded 11 goals, and kept 6 clean sheets
    (plus a decisive penalty & 2 great saves vs Cordoba & Sociedad)
    Numbers can not get improved from the bench, Cholo !

    Against Bayer, Tiago didn’t play and Torres didn’t start, but tonight they both started, and Koke was also the captain
    So, it’s official : Koke is our 4th captain .. totally deserved, although some people could see it unfair to Torres, but remember :
    Torres is not a regular starter, and -on paper- he is a loanee
    I would make Koke a 3rd captain next season instead of Raul who didn’t show any sign of leadership this season with his too many bookings, most of them for protesting, especially that one while warming up in Real Madrid game

    Speaking of leadership and discipline, Arda managed once again to get booked after the game was clinically dead
    I’m not surprised, and I’m not sure if I should be upset, or should I make peace with that, because it seems that it will never going to change !
    He now has 7 yellow cards, 3 more and he will be suspended again, and it won’t be a big surprised if he picked Barca game to do that

    Let’s hope Athletic have at least a draw at home tomorrow vs Valencia,
    Although -as I said about Villarreal-, I will be surprised if they did

  • Abdil Egriøz

    Ah come on bro, It was late on the game and arda received a bad pass, nothing to do there. Though I hope he doesn’t get booked for the barca game because it’s really in those matches we need arda to keep hold of the ball.

    And talking about Koke, Saul, Gimenez and Oblak. It’s really nice to see the younger players perfoming and becoming a bigger part of the team. With Koke being Captain for some games now, Oblak and Gimenez being solid and Saul being good in the offensive plays.

    And a personal question for you Ahmad

    I know you’ve criticized Simeone for not showing the same passion and the whole “aiming for the third place thing” and you may be right. But, Lately he has been up on his toes and gone back to the “every match is a final” mentality. Especially after the contract extension went through. So what do you think about the whole Simeone2020 project?

  • Well, I actually gave it some thoughts .. I asked myself : why now ?! .. Simeone had a contract until 2017, and he could have waited until the end of the season or the middle of the next season or even the end of the next season to extend his contract, who knows, maybe he would find much better options at that time, and the only answer I could think of is that he was promised a big amount of money for the transfer market and to keep all of our key players, with Wanda group being a major shareholder
    or at least that what I’m trying to convince myself of

    About Arda, few days ago I said to some of my friends :
    I’ve never seen a skillful and talented player who receives too many yellow cards like Arda
    I believe you are a Turk, so, didn’t it bother you to miss him in that last crucial game vs Netherlands because he was suspended after the 3rd yellow, in just 4 games ?!!
    Maybe you could have won all the 3 pts if he was there

  • Abdil Egriøz

    Yeah, I was actually really mad and dissapointed in the weeks up to the match but not because I was worried about the turkish nationalteam but that arda wasn’t going to play. I think almost every turk has lost faith in the nationalteam after so many dissapointments year after year. It was also a big blow to the head because arda has a responsibility as the captain to step up and inspire the team. It’s obvious that arda sometimes commits unnecesary fauls and receives stupid yellow cards like yesterday. On the other hand though I can’t blame arda because it seems like he is unlucky at periods. Looking away from the “boot throwing” episode and other foolhardy episodes during his career.

  • I don’t see it as a lack of luck, I see it as a lack of smartness
    Remember Simeone-Beckham incident in 98 world cup ?!
    That was smartness from Simeone (but not mean nor cheating, Beckham did kick him) and it was stupidity and irresponsibility from Beckham
    Arda is tough and strong fighter like Simeone was, but he doesn’t have his smartness and leadership, he has the recklessness and stupidity of Beckham .. and sometimes this could hurt your team and make all your skills, talent and hard work meaningless

  • starvs

    Probably true regarding him reckless in general, but to put yesterday’s yellow card on Arda is not fair. Mario fucked him with that pass and he got caught going for it. What is the alternative, to give up on the ball entirely (which would have resulted in decent breakaway for La Real)? Hard for a competitor to get into that mindset, even up two goals…

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    I enjoyed the match and I love the way the team is looking with this kind of comfort