La Liga: Almeria 0 – 1 Atlético

A Miranda header the difference as Atleti take all 3 points

Miranda scores vs Almeria (pic: official site)

Miranda scores vs Almeria (pic: official site)

Atletico Madrid continued their unbeaten run in La Liga as they beat Andalucian side Almeria 1-0 away from home.

It certainly wasn’t an Atletico Madrid performance that fans would be used to seeing but it was enough in the end to see off a resilient Almeria.

The win also secured manager Diego Simeone’s 100th win in charge of Atletico Madrid despite not being on the touchline as the Argentine served his final league match ban. This feat means that Simeone has won 100 games at the helm of Atleti quicker than any of his predecessors, including Ricardo Zamora and Luis Aragones.

Atletico Madrid made 3 changes to the side that drew at home to Celta on the weekend with the captain Gabi starting on the bench. Almeria’s coach Francisco Rodrigues had said prior to the game that his team could not match Atleti physically or technically so he intended to beat them through intelligence.

His tactics seemingly worked in the first half which produced merely half chances for Atletico Madrid. Los Rojiblancos didn’t improve their situation by producing a weak display up front. Spectators were left baffled by the decision to have Griezmann playing the lone striker role while Raul Garcia was deployed out on the wing. The fact that neither Griezmann and Garcia made a pass to each other in the entirety of the first half highlighted that error.

An increasing occurrence so far this season has been Atleti’s reliance on goals from either crosses or set pieces. This game was no exception as Griezmann and Godin both had headers on target in the opening minutes.

Tiago attempted to buck this trend however with a powerful long range effort that forced goalkeeper Ruben into a diving save in the 29th minute. Raul Garcia followed suit ten minutes later by a firing a volley at Ruben who again made the save.

The lack of movement up front didn’t allow Turan and Koke to produce their usual defence splitting passes which was highlighted with Turan finishing off a silky run with a low cross in the 42nd minute which whistled in front of goal but no one could get on the receiving end.

The break ended a drab first 45 minutes which placed pressure on Atleti to come up with the goods that the many colchoneros watching on were expecting. Almeria sensing this, grew in confidence as the half time began to loom and created chances themselves.

Mario Suarez was replaced by Saul for the start of the second half and immediately made a difference in the centre of the pitch injecting enthusiasm into the Madrid side. His introduction saw Atleti launch more attacks through the middle and the youngster nearly had a shooting opportunity but was ruled offside in the 55th minute.

Griezmann nearly put the visitors ahead in the 51st minute as he latched onto a pass from Tiago who caught the Almeria defenders out by playing advantage which put Griezmann through on goal. The young Frenchman did well to steer the ball out of the reach of the goalkeeper but was too nonchalant and lost the ball through a mistimed pass to Koke.

The breakthrough eventually came in the 59th minute and Atletico Madrid’s top goalscorer of the campaign so far, Miranda, scored it. An inviting corner from Koke was too good to turn down as the Brasilian headed the ball into the back of the net from the near post. Yet another goal from a set piece but one that they would not turn down as goals were always going to be hard to come by in this game. The assist from Koke took him to 40 in his career, an outstanding achievement for the 22 year old.

Both centrebacks were on top form tonight both in a defending sense but also in attack. In the 41st minute Godin chased down a loose ball, turned his defender and put a ball into the box. Skills that we are more accustomed to seeing from Arda Turan not our number 2. Miranda also got in on the act as he skipped past 2 defenders before getting a shot off, albeit a tame one, at the keeper in the 71st minute.

Cerci was brought on to replace Griezmann, both players who are yet to meet expectation, in the 67th minute. Cerci exploited gaps in the Almeria defence but it was evident that he would be more useful playing a supporting role as opposed to being the main focal point of the attack.

Gabi replaced Arda Turan in the 84th minute which switched the emphasis of Atleti’s game into a more defensive one to see out the remaining minutes and hold on to all 3 points. An Almeria corner in the 85th was the last problem Atleti had to deal with as they saw out a 1 nil win away, moving them to within 1 point of Barcelona at the summit of La Liga.

Atletico amassed a total of 6 yellow cards in a game that was riddled by refereeing interference’s throughout. The three points will be welcomed especially as the same fixture last season was so disastrous for Simeone’s men.

Los Rojiblancos are back in action Saturday night as they face Sevilla at home.

Almeria Atlético Madrid
Almeria 01 Atlético Madrid
 Miranda 60'
Competition Liga BBVA
Location Estadio Mediterraneo
Date 24 September 2014
Kick Off 20:00 CET

Team Lineups

Velez Jimenez (64')
Wellington (74')
Hemed (64')
Substitutes used
Bfouma (64')
Soriano (64')
Edgar (74')
Atlético Madrid
Mario Suarez (45')
Arda Turan (84')
Griezmann (68')
Raul Garcia
Substitutes used
Saul (45')
Cerci (68')
Gabi (84')

Match Stats

On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
  • Urban

    Nevermind the style, we needed those 3 points and here we have them. Good job by the lads. Saul should get more chances in the pivot role in place of Mario or Tiago. He is our new Gabi, but he has to further improve his defensive work rate.

  • The draw vs Celta left a bitter taste in our mouths, BUT we won at the Bernabeu for the 2nd time in a row in La Liga, something that happened for the first time in our history
    and we won at the infamous “El Estadio de Los Juegos Mediterraneos” also for the first time in our history
    (although it was opened just in 2005 and we had our first game there in 2007)
    We will drop some easy points, and we will win some difficult points, this is how all football leagues work
    The important thing is how many points you have in the last day, and I still insist that we will get at least 80 points, more than enough to achieve our logical goal : direct qualify to UCL

    And despite dropping 4 points in the first 5 weeks we still 3rd (could drop to 4th tonight after Valencia play their game), and this is still our 3rd best start of La Liga since the doblete, when we also had 11 points in 5 games

    This is a weird season, most big clubs are dropping points, Bayern dropped 4 in 5 games (just like us), BVB dropped 6, Man City dropped 7, Liverpool dropped 9, PSG dropped 8 in 7 games & Real dropped 6 in 5
    only Brca & Chelsea are doing relatively good, but both aren’t really tested yet, they are very happy about Costa’s 7 goals and didn’t realize that he scored 2 of them against 2 newly promoted teams and a hat-trick vs Swansea who finished 12th last season, but he couldn’t score any vs Man City (or vs France in the last friendly game with Spain)
    I guess the reason for the shaky start for many big teams is that it’s a post world cup season, and a one that also comes after a very active transfer window where many teams changed a lot of their squads, even the one that won UCL, just because Perez want to !

    The teams who find their balance faster than the others will have better season, I wish we are one of them

    After “Ya Caera El Atleti” (Now Atleti Will Fall) the phrase that was widely used by Atleti enemies in the Spanish media last season, which was replaced this season by “Atleti are violent”, now the slogan is “Atleti only score from set-pieces” .. like it’s a bad thing !
    with his usual cleverness, El Cholo replied to that : ” to win a set-piece you must be attacking very hard ”
    when a team wins 10 corners and 10 free-kicks every game then they must be doing something right, even if they didn’t score from them
    and why are they only counting La Liga goals, what about the one in the super cup and the two in the CL which all came from open plays ?!
    the open-play goals will come, and they will come in big numbers and in beautiful ways. and you all haters will wish that you never asked for them !
    but even if they didn’t come, I would sign on to win all matches on set-pieces, just like Tiago said today

    It bothers me when I hear or read that Jimenez watched the whole game from the bench because of the whistles in Celta game
    so was Gabi whistled at as well ?!!
    this is ridiculous, and it’s an insult for Simeone .. if he was a coach who chooses his line-up according to the fans then he would never has won 5 titles in two and a half years
    some people are even bragging about it : “we send Jimenez to the bench” they say .. outrageous
    I won’t get tired of repeating this :
    it has nothing to do with his performance, but with him being a (former) fan of Real Madrid, because the kid only played 267 minutes
    Diego Costa who had only one great season with us was given the chance for 5 years and was loaned out to 4 different outfits
    The club knew Jimenez’s Real Madrid (issue) before signing him but they signed him anyway, so they must support him very hard, more than they do with any other player, more than they did with Adrian .. but until now I don’t see them supporting him hard enough

  • Chewie

    I agree with almost everything, however seeing us struggle in every game – even against Rayo, Celta, Eibar and Almeria! – is a bad sign. After watching the Sociedad – Real game and a couple of other games from EPL and La Liga I caught myself on a thought that I’m starting to forget how entertaining football can be. Yes, we beat Real twice and we got anothet two wins but the football was barely watchable. I do not wish Atletico players to be ONLY struggling hard workers. I want to see brilliance and playfulness, a game, not a tactical opposition. This can be achieved in two ways: the first one is to make the team work as a flawless mechanism, where the beauty lies in the precision, understanding of the game and outstanding teamwork – just like it was last season; the second is to allow more creativity and test some other player combinations up front.

    Hope that by the end of the UCL’s group stage we’ll have much more to show.

  • Neptune´s Aya

    So real loose against Sociedad and you don´t like it. Then they loose against Atletico again and it´s not enough for you. I´ll rest my case. And you get two votes!!!!!!. It makes me shiver. Any Atletico website for their fans?. Aúpa Atleti!!!

  • atletico-palestine

    Valencia are realy strong team this year… i see them competitive for the title..

  • Chewie

    Sorry, mate, I thought it was clear that I was referring to the drive with which Sociedad, for instance, played. It has nothing to do with Real.

  • Neptune´s Aya

    Sorry, mate, you are saying that Atletico hasn´t got enough drive?. You want to see Kasparov dancing la lambada. It denotes that you haven´t got the slightest clue of what Atletico is. One that makes me laugh and one that makes me cry…Sorry “mate” but you are a bit of a clown.

  • Neptune´s Aya

    You don´t support Atletico. You are an scary sadist. Aúpa Atleti!!!

  • Neptune´s Aya

    And there were two different atletics for last year. No clue mate.

  • Neptune´s Aya

    There were two different atleticos for last year. No clue mate.

  • Neptune´s Aya

    Flawless mechanism. AHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Chewie

    Seeing Kasparov dancing lambada would be awesome. I love when people know how to have fun. Instead of shitting on the discussion boards.

  • Kris

    @Neptune’s Aya, you seem like you haven’t a clue at socializing with others. Instead of giving him a proper argument to why you don’t believe in what he says, you insulted him. So, using your logic, if I disagree with what you are saying, you are not an Atletico fan. Please grow up and stop acting like you’re the only person on earth.

    About finding another website, please find another one. We don’t need immature trolls on this website. Thanks.

  • Israeli Atletico fan

    I only hope Griezmann will get better. He still struggles to co-operate with the other players.