La Liga: Atlético 4 – 0 Real Sociedad
Atlético go top on memorable night
“Ganar, ganar y volver a ganar.”
Those were the famous words that were repeated throughout the night in Madrid before, during and long after Atlético’s match against Real Sociedad.
They were the words of Luis Aragonés, the man who wasn’t only Atlético’s greatest player and greatest coach of all time. He was Atlético de Madrid.
On Sunday night, a day after his passing, the club and all its fans paid a fantastic tribute to Luis in an emotional goodbye.
The players responded in the only way they knew how to, by beating Real Sociedad to go top of the league for the first time since 1996.
An inspired Atleti went forward early and got their first shot off in the 4th minute, when Diego Costa went on a rampaging run from his own half all the way to Claudio Bravo’s goal, only to be denied by the goalkeeper. Some moments later David Villa appeared to be scoring the opening goal, but the Asturian was correctly ruled offside.
La Real ignored El Guaje’s warning shot, because shortly before the break David Villa again put the ball behind Bravo. The striker scored from close range to score in a third consecutive La Liga game, after excellent work by Emiliano Insúa and Diego Costa.
Insúa started in place of the injured Filipe Luís, while Arda and Tiago were also unavailable. Shortly after his goal another player was added to the injury list when David Villa had to come off with a hamstring injury. However, there was good news as well, as Mario Suárez played an excellent game in his first game back since returning from injury.
At the end of the half José Sosa dribbled inside, but the attempt with his weaker foot was an easy catch for Claudio Bravo.
La Real’s talented offence had been largely ineffective in the opening 45 minutes, but the Basques looked to turn things around at the start of the second half. Atlético struggled to escape from their pressure and the visitors forced a series of corner and free kicks in and around the area.
With the pressure piling up, Cholo Simeone turned to his newest addition, Diego Ribas, who hadn’t even trained with his teammates since joining from Wolfsburg on Friday. But the playmaker needed little time to get back into the rhythm as he took over the match completely.
In the 72nd minute Raúl García launched Diego Costa with a long ball in behind the defence and our topscorer kept his composure as he calmly slotted the ball past Bravo to make it 2-0. It was Costa’s 20th in la Liga and his second goal in a handful of days.
Atlético immediately dealt La Real a second and final blow, because within two minutes the Rojiblancos struck again. Miranda headed in a Koke corner kick to make it 3-0 for the home side.
With the result out of reach Real Sociedad gave up on the game. If it weren’t for Bravo they would’ve conceded another goal from a corner, but the experienced Chilean pulled off an amazing save to prevent additional damage. However, there was little the ‘keeper could do in the 88th minute when Diego Ribas was rewarded for his excellent play by Cebolla Rodríguez, who assisted as the Brazilian blasted the ball in for our fourth goal of the night.
And so Atlético claimed another victory and another clean sheet. The Rojiblancos remain unbeaten at home and finally took their chance to overtake Barcelona on the night they honored their best friend, player and coach.
It’s the first time in 18 years that Atlético are top of the league. The team is preparing for Copa del Rey and Champions League clashes with Real Madrid and AC Milan. And meanwhile all they do is just keep on winning, winning and winning.
|Atlético||4 0||Real Sociedad|
|Diego Costa 72'|
|02 February 2014|
|Raúl García (40')|
|C. Rodríguez (81')|
|Chori Castro (81')|