La Liga: Celta 2 – 0 Atlético

Atleti crash to away defeat after lacklustre performance in Galicia

Atlético defence hang their head after conceding two

Atlético defence hang their head after conceding two

It was a horrible night for Atleti on Sunday evening, as they lost vital ground on title rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona after defeat by Celta de Vigo at the Balaídos.

Confidence was high in the Atleti camp after the historic 4-0 win over city rivals Real Madrid last weekend. However the pressure was on Atleti going into the game, after Real Madrid and Barcelona had already been victorious and picked up three valuable points this weekend.

With Arda Turan and Raúl Garcia unavailable due to suspension, and Koke out injured, Simeone was forced to make two changes from the team that started the Madrid derby last Saturday. In came Saúl and Fernando Torres for Arda Turan and Koke.

The trio of Griezmann, Torres and Mandzukic started together for the first time, in a big tactical switch going into the game.

Celta came into the game off the back of a draw at Real Sociedad last weekend and were lying mid-table in 11th position.

From the offset Celta started on the front foot, with Atleti not really getting out of the blocks.

Even at these early stages it was clear that Nolito was going to be a real threat for Celta coming in from the inside left position. He caused many problems for the Atleti defence, Juanfran in-particular.

For the first third of the game Celta were really on top. Their passing game was really affecting Atleti who were struggling to get out of defence and move up the pitch into attacking positions. Simeone’s frustrations were apparent on the sideline.

For all of Celta’s dominance only a few chances were created with the Danish veteran Krohl-Delhi coming closest.

As the half progressed Atleti’s sloppy passing continued and an out of sorts Tiago was one of the biggest culprits.

Just 33 minutes into the match, the out-of-sorts Tiago was replaced by Mario Suarez, after what is thought to be a recurrence of a back problem for the Portugese midfielder.

This change also saw a tactical switch from Simeone, to try and respond to Celta’s dominance. He moved into the centre of midfield, to provide more support to Gabi and Mario Suárez.

Celta completely dominated the first half but had nothing to show for it. Atleti were completely off-tempo both on and off the ball, with misplaced passes a recurring theme.

Half-time brought only a single change, with Simeone bringing in experienced midfielder Cani in place of Fernando Torres.

Simeone’s intentions were apparent with this change, as a link between the midfield and forwards was desperately needed. Griezmann was also put into his more familiar role, to try and link up more with Mandzukic.

The start of the second half was a lot more positive for Atleti as a lot more balls were played down the sides and behind the defence, trying to utilise the pace of Griezmann and the attacking potential of Siquera down the left wing.

Unfortunately though, minutes after a clear handball by Augusto Fernandez in midfield was denied, Mario Suarez fouled the lively Nolito in the box to give away a penalty to Celta.

Nolito then coolly sent Moya the wrong way and placed the ball into the right-hand corner from the spot.

In response Atleti seemed to up their tempo and a great shot from Saúl forced a great save by Celta keeper Álvarez.

The Atleti defence however was still shaken by going 1-0 down and the in-form Nolito created a great chance for the ex-Rayo forward Larrivey who somehow managed to miss the opportunity.

Atleti’s urgency to get back in the match continued as Griezmann forced another tremendous save by Álvarez to keep Celta 1-0 up.

It wasn’t long before the hosts had doubled their lead. Orellana, who was also very impressive throughout the match, pulled away from Siquiera and finished off a nice passing move from Celta with a powerful strike, low across goal to put Celta 2-0 up.

In the late moments of the game Atleti tried to revive something with a Mandzukic header coming close, however nothing materialised.

Celta nearly made it three in stoppage-time with the normally solid Atleti defence looking somewhat disheartened. Goalscorers Nolito and Orellana combined to produce a good save from Moyá.

Overall a very disappointing night for a Atleti, the gap now six points to second place Barcelona and seven to leaders Real Madrid.

However there is still a long way to go in this year’s La Liga title race. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona still have to travel to Celta, among other tough places, Atleti still have a chance.

As Simeone often says we just need to take each game one at a time.

Who did you single out as under-performing tonight? Was it a mistake starting three attackers from the word go?

Celta Vigo Atlético Madrid
Celta Vigo 20 Atlético Madrid
Nolito (p) 59' 
Orellana 71' 
Competition Liga BBVA
Location Balaídos
Date 15 February 2015
Kick Off 20:00

Team Lineups

Celta Vigo
S Gómez
Krohn-Dehli (90')
Orellana (90')
Larrivey (76')
Substitutes used
Hernández (76')
López (90')
Santi Mina (90')
Atlético Madrid
Gabi (73')
Tiago (34')
F Torres (45')
Substitutes used
Mario Suárez (34')
Cani (45')
Raul Jiménez (73')

Match Stats

On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
  • Call it an overstatement or out of context, but I really put this defeat on Arda and Raul Garcia, and their coach who didn’t learn them discipline
    Getting suspended for protesting while you were leading the score by 2-0, and one of them wasn’t even on the pitch, and both saw Koke – the only attacking midfielder beside them (ignore Cani) – getting a serious injury .. outrageous doesn’t even come close to describe that
    I love both of them, but for me, what they did is a disrespect for the club, for their teammates and for the fans
    and it was very stupid
    When I saw Raul’s face after getting booked, I felt something I don’t know the English word for it, but in Egyptian dialect it’s called تناحة (Tanaha), a word that describe a person who does something very wrong and hurtful but doesn’t seem to care at all

    I say this for the 3rd of 4th time : next summer, make a big cash from Miranda and bring a young replacement to be a sub for Godin-Gimenez
    We really made a big mistake by keeping him this season when he was very eager to leave

    And I won’t talk about Mario Suarez, because I know many of you will do

    50 points in 23 games are still great after too many changes in the team
    It’s even a bigger number than what some of the leaders or those in second places in other big leagues have, but yet, that won’t mean anything if it wasn’t enough in La Liga to take at least the 3rd place, and it wouldn’t be enough right now if Valencia have won just one more game
    We need to beat Valencia, and we need to beat them at least 2-0 to win the head-to-head after losing 3-1 in Mestalla, and to do that we must learn from what happened in the derby and reach that game with no suspensions, several players are one yellow from getting suspended, including Grizi & Mandzu, so we have to be smart
    I believe in “Partido A Partido”, but I don’t think that it means to make sure that you will lose the next game in the sake of winining the one you are playing !

  • Guest

    u mean Stubbornness***

  • tohaju thomas

    u mean Stubbornness attitude

  • no .. doesn’t express it well enough
    you know that Egyptian dialect is full of genius words and proverbs
    I don’t even know the word for تناحة in proper Arabic !

  • Kris

    Do you call that person a Balotelli?

  • Kris

    Say whatever, but for me this loss happened because of keeping it only “partido a partido” instead of “partido a partido con una BRAIN”.Not doubting Simeone’s intelligence, but you have to criticize him for such a shameful loss. I don’t even know what game we played today. Fuck it, let’s just keep “partido a partido” though, and win the next one because we are keeping it “partido a partido” but then lose the match after the next because we are keeping it “partido a partido.” It doesn’t make sense what I said at first glance, but it does once you read it again.

  • Mohammad Suleman

    How Atletico can loose. this is just believable. This may lay down Atletico from competition.

    football news

  • Chewie

    Simeone says he wasted first 45 minutes because of an unbalanced squad. And when he realised he was wrong, it was already too late. On the good side, though, I think Saul, Moya, Griezmann and Mandzukic did well, Jimenez wasn’t too bad, and Cani is obviously a clever and skilled player, we could use him more often. The blame is on Gabi, Suarez, Miranda and Siqueira. But most of all on Simeone.

    Now as we’ve got Ansaldi back, I’d really like to see him play alongside Gimenez. The shaky Brazilians deserve to rest on the bench for a while.

  • Luis

    Very disappointing. I remember the same game last year and we had a few suspensions/injuries then. David Villa scored two and although he wasn’t the key man in our team, when the big players were missing he stepped up and helped get us the points. Performances like that were missing yesterday and that is the difference between winning the league and not.

  • Good to see another one criticizing Miranda, now it’s me, you and Jeronamo .. anybody else ?!

    But I must say that I was the first one who discovered that Miranda was abducted by aliens and replaced by someone who looks exactly like him, I discovered that in September .. we could have saved some points if Simeone knew that earlier, but he doesn’t even see it yet !

  • Brad

    He looked completely confused yesterday. He sat in the box with the ball for a good 20 seconds just staring at it instead of clearing it.

  • Thank you very much Luis for bringing up last season’s game

    I also remember it very well, and let me refresh the memories of everyone :
    It was very similar to this one, it was also after the derby, and we also had 3 absences, one injury, Godin, and two suspensions who got their 5th yellow against Madrid, who else, Arda & Costa !

    So, last season’s game makes Simeone looks even worse, because one of the worst features of any person -rather than a football coach- is to NOT learn from history
    We suffered a lot last season, and Celta were better than us, but we got lucky and scored 2 goals in 2 minutes from 2 counters
    We suffered last season although the circumstances were better, for Godin we had Toby, for Arda we had Diego Ribas and for Costa we had Villa, and on the bench we had Cebolla, Adrian & Sosa (who assisted the second goal)

    But this time the absences were all attacking midfielders while we only have 4 (another thing to criticize Simeone for, in the second half of last season we had 6 attacking midfielders, Cebolla would have been useful last night, better yet, Oliver !)
    So, when Simeone went to the dressing room after the first half of the derby wining 2-0 and knowing that one of his 3 starters AMs pulled a hamstring and the other 2 are on 4 yellows, he should have -excuse me for this expression- put a leash on them

    Watching Arda talking to the linesman in the derby that way makes you feel that nobody talked to him about the “boot incident” or they did talk him but he didn’t give a shit, in either cases : it’s fucking unacceptable

    Do you know what’s the worst thing for me about this game ?!
    It is that nobody looks angry, except Kris
    I’ve been waiting to see some anger since the derby ended, then I said maybe they are too happy and don’t see it yet, but not getting angry after last night and analysing this game like any other ordinary game makes me angry at you as well

    I am angry at Arda, Raul and especially Simeone, and I will stay angry at them until the end of the season no mater what they do later, unless they helped us win the Champions Laegue

  • yeah, that would be a perfect translation

  • Yes, and add that to his performances against Celta in the first round (despite his goal), Olympiakos, Valencia, Sociedad, Villarreal ….

  • tohaju thomas

    tanaha = 3enad
    tneh = 3aned
    so as me and the guest told u its Stubbornness or with more details Stubbornness attitude

  • Ringo

    I just feel like the replacements should have been able to play better.
    It were regular starters even who played worst of the bunch.
    I think instead of either Torres or Mandžukič, Cani should have started, but maybe that wouldn’t have helped either.

    Oh well, no anger for me because I’ve been angry too much and in the end there are worse things to worry about I guess
    But yeah disappointment
    The team should have been further, but i already explained my plant theory before so won’t bother to again