La Liga: Atlético 0 – 1 Villarreal
Atleti slump to first league defeat at home this calendar year
Atlético Madrid looked on course to go a full calendar year without losing a league match at the Vicente Calderón, but they were undone at the last hurdle on Sunday evening after a disappointing 1-0 loss to Villarreal.
A late goal from Luciano Vietto with only 6 minutes left handed the visitors the victory, in a game that perhaps have gone a different way if not for some poor refereeing decisions by the match official.
A Mario Mandzukic header, after a fantastic piece of skill from Arda Turan, looked to have given Atleti the lead early in the second half. However the Croatian was alleged to have pushed the defender to the floor in order to get a touch and the goal was ruled out. Replays showed that there was hardly a push by Mandzukic.
Both teams took a long time to threaten the goalkeeper, and Atlético’s first real chance fell to Tiago, who saw his shot saved by the ex-Atlético goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo.
At the other end it was Cheryshev, involved in most of Villarreal’s attacks this evening, who tested Moya first. A break down the left wing forced our goalkeeper into a good save. However it was more luck than defensive prowess that Atleti went into the game level at half-time.
Right before the whistle, Uche was doing his best to set up a teammate with the ball deep in the penalty area, when the ball popped up and caught Gabi on the hand. It was a penalty, but the Pérez Montero waved away the Villarreal claims and blew for the end of the first-half.
Atleti brought both Cerci and Griezmann on in the second half to try and change things, but they had little impact on the game.
With Atleti pushing forward looking for the win, with the two substitutes supporting Mandzukic, they left space behind them, and it was an excellent ball from Cheryshev that set up the only goal of the game.
A nice pass through to Vivietto, the Argentine changed direction and left Diego Godín for dead. He rounded the man wearing the Atlético armband and side footed the ball around a helpless Moyá could only watch the ball sail past him into the back of the net.
The match was fraught with play-acting and poor refereeing, but in the end Villarreal seemed to do just enough to edge it. Uncharacteristically, Atlético weren’t as clinical with their set pieces, and as a result waved goodbye to the prospect of an unbeaten 2014 in the league at home.
Atleti remain in third, three points behind Barcelona, who drew with 0-0 with Getafe, and seven points behind Real Madrid.
Who under performed for you tonight? What did you make of our performance?
|Vicente Calderón, Madrid|
|14 December 2014|
|Raul Garcia (63')|
|M Suarez (76')|
|J dos Santos|