La Liga: Rayo Vallecano 0 – 0 Atlético

Super Cup hangover limits Atleti to goalless draw in Vallecas

Griezmann in disappointing draw debut (pic: EMD)

Griezmann in disappointing draw debut (pic: EMD)

Defending Spanish champions Atlético Madrid could only manage a 0-0 draw in their third Madrid derby of the week, in a match that could easily have gone completely against the away side.

Predictably, Rayo dominated possession, and despite a flurry of chances for Mario Mandzukic, they always looked the more likely team to score.

With Simeone in the stands following a one-match suspension, (and with a further four to serve), Atleti lacked any real passion and drive going forward.

Los rojiblancos capitalised on a number of Rayo defensive errors midway through the first half, but couldn’t find the back of the net.

Ansaldi, starting in place of Siqueira who was injured in the warm-up, broke quickly down the left wing and crossed the ball in to Mandzukic, who threw himself toward the ball at the back-post. A well hit half-volley was off target though, and the Croatian should really have worked the goalkeeper.

Just a few minutes later, another great change fell into the lap of our new number nine.

Rayo had a defensive lapse and the ball ended up with Raul Jimenez on the edge of the area. Instead of shooting however, the Mexican laid the ball off to his fellow debutant Mandzukic.

The Croatian got off a poor shot, and it rolled into the arms of Cristian Alvarez in goal for Rayo.

Despite starting with the three new attackers up-front; Mandzukic, Griezmann and Raul Jimenez, Atleti couldn’t fashion many more chances, and it was Rayo who looked more likely to score after the break. In fact, all three were replaced before the match was over.

Rayo made the first change, bringing off Jonathan Pereira and replacing him with Mateus Manucho, the former Manchester United striker.

The Angolan had a number of chances to give Rayo all three points – the best coming midway through the second half. A cross into the box from Aquino on the right wing was met brilliantly by the head of Manucho, steered delicately toward the bottom left hand corner.

It was Miguel Angel Moya at full stretch who got a strong hand behind it, and prevented the opening goal.

In truth it was a poor performance for Atleti, with Mario Suarez and Koke in particular failing to capture the imagination of Atlético supporters.

Even the introduction of Hector for Mandzukic couldn’t spark any fresh ideas from the Atlético side.

Without the suspended Raul Garcia, and of course Diego Simeone, Atleti lacked the fight that they displayed so regularly last season.

It could have been fatigue, as this was effectively the same side that played twice against Real Madrid over the last 6 days.

At least it wasn’t a loss for Atlético, who never really looked like scoring in the second half. It’s an undefeated start to the season in what was a tricky away encounter.

We can address what went wrong here and rest up ahead of our match with Eibar on Saturday evening.

Who underperformed for you? Mandzukic, Mario or Koke? Or somebody else? 

Was it the Simeone effect we were missing, or was it a hangover from our Super Cup triumph?

Rayo Vallecano Atlético Madrid
Rayo Vallecano 0 0 Atlético Madrid
Competition Liga BBVA
Location Estadio de Vallecas
Date 25 August 2014
Kick Off 22:00 CET

Team Lineups

Rayo Vallecano
Ze Castro
J Pereira (54')
Substitutes used
Manucho (54')
Atlético Madrid
Griezmann (83')
Raul Jimenez (61')
Mandzukic (74')
Substitutes used
Saul (61')
Hector (74')
C Rodriguez (83')

Match Stats

On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
  • Sierra

    Felt Mandzukic underperformed, but Koke lost the plot a few times toward the end there. More people thinking it was fatigue but I blame the lack of Cholo presence more.

    Thanks for tweeting the game, it was nice to watch and tweet at the same time the frustration— and the hope!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Told you I hate this fixture, it’s never easy !
    No reason to freak out though ..
    The team is tired after a very tough game on Friday
    Both RG8 & Arda were out for suspension & injury
    Jimenez-Mandzukic-Griezmann (JMG) still need time, all of them were replaced in 2nd half
    And while I believe that Siqueria should have played, I don’t think he was physically ready after the 2 super cup games,
    Profe Ortega hasn’t “tortured” him enough yet !
    And I don’t think Simeone presence on the bench would have changed a lot

    We must drop some points against weaker opponents every season .. it’s normal
    But the only negativity I saw was Mario Suarez, I guess I’m going to hate him again like I used to few seasons ago, when he had that ridiculous Afro haircut
    He should be number 4 choice after Gabi, Tiago and Saul, maybe even number 5 after Koke

  • starvs

    Koke was really awful, not at all himself.

    Ahmad, Siqueria was set to start but apparently got injured during warmups.

    Looks like we will be missing Cholo for a while, so hopefully this is not what it is like without him,

    I was impressed with Raul Jimenez’ passing, he was pretty composed and made some nice plays, didn’t think he’d be so deft given his physical presence.

    Mario was pretty bad and offered very little for us, Tiago is now a really important piece of this team because he has no good backups (why didn’t Josh G. get a chance…). Saul needs a chance ahead of Mario…

    I’m not panicked, just one game very shortly after two very intense games (SuperCup being two legs is fucking ridic), but it certainly is not helpful to get off to a slow start behind the other two.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    in fact, Siqueria getting injured while warming up just prove my point,
    he cant play 3 games in 7 days .. yet
    actually I just heard about his injury from you, but I’m almost sure it’s a muscular one .. an overload

  • palc

    Mario is and has been our weakest player for a while now.. He’s a very limited player offering nothing offensively and makes defensive mistakes. Saul should be playing instead

  • Abdullah Karam

    Speed Speed Speed im teeling this from last season we are lack of speed guys we have to buy “Cerci or Shaqiri OR Candreva” and playing koke with Gabi , Tiago or 🙁 Mario in the middle ,, We need a good wingers Arda and one of what i mentioned before Cerci Or Candreva Or Shaqiri with Mandzu and Griezmann in front ,, Wingers with SPEED and Good Control and A good Shooting that CUT INSIDE that what we need to give give Siquiera , Janfran space to cross or the wingers do it ,, Mandzukic is a BOX striker that need alot and alot of crossing to finish it thats 1 , 2 he can be a TARGET MAN and help Greizmann and the Iside Wingers to score alot of Goals and helping him to score also ,, But we are slow and this will not help Mandzu to score we need SPEED and go out and get one of those WINGERS plz ,, we are saffering from last season from the mid table teams and below teams ,, why? we scoring with to much hard work and this will tired our players ,, Saul , Hector , Cabella not a good sub in my opinion + Gabi is not doing well from pre season till now + Mario 🙂 you know what i mean + Tiago is Good and cleaver player i like him alot but he cant play to much games SO we need Koke to be our CM guy this years and the years to come ,, So we need Arda in the right Flank or Left and the other flank will be to Shaqiri i hope or Cerci to be Creative and Speedy when we attack and Mnadzukic Can score to us 🙂 ,,
    Griezmann yesterday was Acceptable but he cant defend good on the flanks and he is very good when he playing UNDER Mandzukic ,, SO guys we need this player that Winger that inside winger to be LATHEL up front and start the Engine of Mandzukic to Score and to let Wingers Scores more goals to us ,, This is my opinion 🙂
    AupaAtleti ..

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    I didn’t even get to watch the game properly to analyse it but as I said before I liked the way josuha played with the few chances he was given and in preseason I also acknowledged that saul was better than mario suarez, I think we should have sold mario and kept josuha to fight for his place along with saul while learning from both Gabi and Tiago

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Oliver to the champions league, and another full game for him tonight vs Lille
    He has played 293 minutes til now with Porto, that’s more than half of what he played with us in the first half of last season before he was loaned to Villareal (508 minutes) .. and we still in August !

    I was one of many who were against loaning him and not giving him a chance with us, but let’s admit it, we were emotional, not realistic
    Now I’m starting to see things more clearly, he would never have reached those 293 minutes before October .. maybe even not before November, even Saul who played in all 3 official games we had until now is not happy with his number of minutes and he wants more, in fact, his exact words were “I want it all” (this shows what kind of a player and what kind of a person he is by the way)

    El Cholo is under a huge pressure, in a league that have the biggest 2 clubs in the world and where 96 points are sometimes not enough to win you the title he just can’t give a chance to any youngster to grow up in Atleti, he wants only experienced players
    Koke was the only exception, but do you remember the year Koke became a starter, it was the year we only spent one million euro in the transfer market, season 2012-13 when we signed only 3 players, Cata Diaz for 1 M and Cebolla and Emre for free
    That season, Simeone was not only forced to use Koke, but he was forced to change his position to replace Diego Ribas
    and lucky for us, it worked very well

  • Wowie

    What’s with them using last year’s away jerseys? I turned on the TV yesterday and thought it was a replay from last season.

  • Kris

    It was definitely me too but now I have started to see things more clearly but my only problem will be if the loaned players will still want to play for us. But a brilliant play from Oliver during the game to be able to still hold on to the ball and get away with three players on the wings with nobody else to support him
    ( )

    This is the type of midfielder we’ve been yearning for years after the brilliant Diego of that season. A player who can hold on to the ball, make plays, and make the midfield his own(even though, Oliver plays a little deeper).

    Saul though, is definitely hungry for more minutes and you can see it in the way he plays, the spirit, the willingness is all of a true Atletico player. He is going to shine and he is going to shine big. I am hoping for it to be this season. In my eyes, he should already be starting but Cholo sees things better than me when it comes to managing a team, BUT he is definitely a third choice now even to Cholo’s eyes.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I can’t understand where did your idea that our loanees will refuse to comback come from ?!
    first : they have contracts with us
    and second : who would prefer Wolfsburg and Porto over Atleti, and I can also say Liverpool because it seems that they will not go back to wining trophies again any time soon

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Let me quote Brad’s comment on “Matchday Live” Post :
    “SURPRISE ! Last year’s away kit is our third kit this year because you can’t play grey or rojiblanco against teams in white and red”

    and it’s not just grey, it’s very light grey that for some eyes it looks white
    so I guess we will wear yellow against Athletic, Almeria & Granada, the grey kit can only work against teams in red like Osasuna & Mallorca, but both are not in La Liga this season !!
    maybe we could wear grey vs Eibar who wear red and blue stripes, but we could also wear our first kit, like we did against Levante in some seasons, and like we usually do against Barca (except last season)

    It seems that those who hated the grey kit (who were a majority) have won
    bad for me, because I really like it

  • Wowie

    If they do decide to keep using the yellow kits, I’d be happy. I bought myself that kit after we won La Liga. But I actually like the grey kit! It’d be a shame for it not to see enough action.

  • Brad

    The grey isn’t a bad looking kit per se…it just doesn’t offer a decent contrast when compared with our home kit. It’s the same reason that Spain ended up playing in white in their World Cup opener because they had black and dark red kits instead of one light and one dark.

  • Brad

    I have to agree with the second, but it seems like contracts don’t matter much unless there is an absurdly large buyout clause.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Exactly, first and second kits should have high contrast to each other
    and let’s not forget that our first shirt this season has more white than red
    maybe grey should have been our third kit, with black or any shade of blue as our second

    and where was the grey when both Mallorca and Osasuna were still in La Liga ?!!

  • Wowie

    Funny you mentioned black. I wouldn’t mind for them to bring back this away kit.

  • Kris

    I never wrote they will refuse to come back to us. I said they will not want to play for us. Huge difference there. And you already know what the policy at Atleti is, if you don’t want to play for the club, you get sold. And contracts won’t do a huge deal of a work, epecially when their buy out clauses are low that even a relegation-zone team in the EPL can buy that player.

    But right, why would they choose those clubs over Atleti? They won’t. They definitely won’t decline an offer with big money from an EPL team, though. Let’s just pray they won’t get the thoughts of leaving Atleti soon, when they have been impressing every scout out there.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I wonder if La Peineta is gonna look amazing like this
    WOW .. Very Big WOW !

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    We really need a good draw today, we still searching for our balance with 9 newcomers (including Saul), at least 4 of them will be regular starters
    by the knock-out stage we will be ready to take on any team, but I don’t think we are ready now

    with BVB, P$G, Juve & Man Ci£y in pot 2, Liverpool on pot 3, Mona€o & Roma on pot 4, there will be a couple of tough groups and maybe one death group

  • Chewie

    I watched the game, Athletic played Atletico-style and got the result. The stadium looks inredible. Ours is gonna be no less awesome.

  • Guest

    Group A: Atlético de Madrid, Juventus, Olympiacos and Mälmo.

    Not easy at all but it could have been worse with Monaco or Roma instead of Mälmo.

  • Group A: Atlético de Madrid, Juventus, Olympiacos and Mälmo.

    What do you guys think?