La Liga: Real Sociedad 2 – 1 Atlético

Atleti lucky to leave the Anoeta without a bigger deficit

Defending Spanish champions Atletico Madrid delivered arguably their worst performance under Diego Simeone against a Sociedad team that prior to the match had only a single win all season. 

The opening segment of the game was probably the only positive time for the Madrid side but Gabi’s over hit free kick in the 4th minute to Raul Garcia foreshadowed what was to be a lacklustre performance from Los Rojiblancos.

A deep ball pumped up by Moya was cushioned down to Juanfran by Raul Garcia who returned the ball to the number 8 and without looking up unleashed a cross that seemed to be magnetically attracted to Mandzukic’s boot. The Croatian tapped it in to round off an excellent piece of play and put Atleti one nil up on the 10th minute.

It seemed that Atletico would be able to relax into the game and assert themselves with their one goal lead but this was not to be.

Exactly 5 minutes later Carlos Vela, typically a thorn in Atleti’s side, found himself a few yards out from the box with enough time to produce a stunning long range effort that even the best of goalkeepers would have struggled with. Gabi and Mario Suarez’ inability to close down the Mexican proved costly as the Basque club were back in the game.

The game was a heated affair to say the least and Turan was the first of seven Atleti players to enter the book when he got up close and personal with the linesman. Juanfran soon followed as he appealed the prior decision.

Although the referee was extremely quick to produce yellow cards, even a red, for Atletico the Madrid side can feel lucky that he failed to award Sociedad a penalty as Godin brought down Vela in the box in the 22nd minute, who subsequently drew a yellow card for diving. That was the first of three different penalty claims, all of which could have been given.

The performance from Atleti seemed laboured from a group of players who were visibly jaded. Although we should not be shocked that a rarely rotated side are showing signs of fatigue, it is a far cry from the band of brothers who played at 100mph every match day over the course of last year. Griezmann, Tiago and Gimenez were all players that could have injected the enthusiasm and fitness that was missing from the red and white champions.

This was epitomised by Miranda’s back pass to Moya int he 34th minute which could only be described as lazy. Agirretxe couldn’t believe his luck as he skipped past Moya and slotted a shot which was heroically cleared off the line by Godin.

The half time break did not regenerate Atleti as Siqueira picked up his second yellow 3 minutes into the second period of the game. The Brasilian could have no complaints as he had been caught out of position on the left wing and got none of the ball.

Another penalty claim for Sociedad came in the 53rd minute as Vela twisted and turned in the box until he was brought down by Mandzukic who clumsily collided with the Mexican. It was hard to accuse Vela of diving this time as blood trickled down lip.

A moment of brilliance and madness ensued for Ansaldi who was brought on to cover the left flank vacated due to Siqueira’s dismissal. The Argentine stormed down the left wing leaving his marker for dead and cut back the ball to Mandzukic who failed to get the ball on target. 3 minutes later the Argentine seemed to use his elbow to intercept a cross from Sociedad, luckily for Atleti and Ansaldi neither the linesman or referee spotted it.

The desperation to leave the Anoeta with a measly point was displayed by none other than Diego Simeone when he headed a loose ball behind him, almost earning himself a yellow.

After heavy bombardment, Sociedad took the lead for the first time in the game as Agirretxe latched onto a cross and headed past Moya in the 82nd minute. The burly centre forward found himself in the Atleti box with a free header as Miranda attempted to challenge for the ball in vain.

A very dissapointing night indeed for Atletico Madrid for whom the international break could not come sooner. Los Rojiblancos face Malaga at home in two weeks which we hope should be enough time for Simeone to rally his troops.

Did Simeone get his tactics wrong or were La Real simply too good? 

Real Sociedad Atlético Madrid
Real Sociedad 21 Atlético Madrid
Vela 15'Mandzukic 10'
Agirretxe 82' 
Competition Liga BBVA
Location Anoeta
Date 09 November 2014
Kick Off 21:00 CEST

Team Lineups

Real Sociedad
Zubikarai
C Martinez
Mikel
I Martinez
Berchiche
Bergara
Granero
Prieto
Vela
Castro
Agirretxe
Substitutes used
Berchiche
Zurutuza
Hervias
Atlético Madrid
Moya
Godin
Siqueira (OFF)
Juanfran
Miranda
Suarez
Koke
Arda Turan
Gabi
Raul Garcia
Mandzukic
Substitutes used
Ansaldi
Griezmann
Rodriguez

Match Stats

Possession
5545
Shots
114
On Target
52
Corners
21
Fouls
1717
Yellow Cards
26
Red Cards
01
  • Urban

    Thank you Cholo, now I am going to walk pissed for the next two weeks….

    This was our last years Almeria/Osasuna I hope.

    Well deserved win by Sociedad. With Cholo I think we can have a squad of 14 man and sell all the excess players. Maybe this way we could go forward with the stadium?

  • First off, Sociedad deserved the win. Team wise, Atletico look lazy or tired or just in the wrong frame of mind. Specific complaints:
    1) Manzu scored, but missed a gimme later in the game. This would have obviously changed the out come.
    2) Cholo should have started Griezmann/Cerci and maybe even Jimenez. My other complaint is subbing so late in the game that there was no way to get back onto the game.
    3) Referee was HORRIBLE! He even messed up when not calling the penalty against Atleti. He was to quick to pull out the yellow card and thus handicapping players.
    Praise: Only person that I thought was above the mark, was Godin. He is definitely one of the top defenders in the world.

  • Dear Cholo, if you couldn’t find a single reason to make a sub last night then let me tell you some :

    1- The players were exhausted, thanks to your lack of rotation
    2- 7 players were on yellow, against very skillful side, so they couldn’t even make a tackle to stop them, except stupid Siqueira
    3- We were playing very badly
    4- It sends a clear & loud message to the players on the bench : ” I don not trust you ”
    5- It is a waste of money (that we don not have a lot of)
    6- It makes you look like a fool
    7- It annoys me !!

    All of the above is just one of your mistakes last nights, and here are some others :

    2- Siqueira is very bad in defense, anyone can dribble him, and that’s why he has a record of 7 red cards for the 2nd yellow in the last 4 seasons (did you know about it Simeone ?!), and last night he made them 8
    Ansaldi should have started this game, or at least came on after Siqueira’s first yellow
    you saw it coming in the super cup Cholo and replaced him in the second half, so why didn’t you see it last night ?!!

    3- Miranda is bad, not just vs Valencia or last night, but even in some of the games we won, and some of the games in which we kept clean sheets
    I don’t know what’s the reason, is he thinking about leaving or regretting not leaving last summer ?!
    But what I do know is that he should sit his ass on the bench for a while and leave his spot for Gimenez, we all have been asking for that since a couple of weeks
    You know what, even if Miranda was Miranda of last 2 seasons, he still should sit on the bench in many games to give a chance for the very talented, very promising Gimenez, who already made a great partnership with Godin in Uruguay national team, and who is already getting a lot of offers

    4- Mario Suarez is OK for some games in the Calderon against some weak opponents, but not in Anoeta, especially when both Tiago & Saul are available

    5- Maybe you don’t know this Cholo (but you should) : the night before the game, Arda posted a picture on instagram at 3 am

    6- You’re gonna kill Koke

    What’s wrong with you dear Cholo ?!
    Are you thinking about Man Ci£y or P$G ?!
    Did you give up the title already and only thinking about wining the champions league and the 3rd place in La Liga ?!
    I don’t know

    I f**ing hate losing before the international break .. now I have to wait for 2 weeks to overcome this
    I was hoping to start making a gap between Valencia & Sevilla, but now Valencia have one more point than us and Sevilla have the same as us
    And the worst of all : Granero went home last night with a big smile on his filthy mouth

    I Am Mad .

  • Αθανάσιος Νικηταράς

    Same think!
    I ‘steal’ you post 😛
    I said the same yesterday and i have the same feeling! About Arda, i didn’t knew about the foto but yesterday he was out of the game, he didn’t passed at all and he was loosing easily the ball…
    I disagree a little about Siqueira! He took the 2nd yellow after 3 minutes so Simeone didn’t had a lot of time

  • Amr Misir Mukadaffi

    I don’t think that was Arda posting a picture on Instagram, just a fan.. Just like Facebook, alot of people use Facebook to pretend to be a soccer player, but it’s never them. They don’t have time for that. ( i think )

  • It was his official account .. I only follow official accounts

  • Adnan Khan

    Mandzukic is not the right one for this team. He is a great striker, no doubt about that. But he is great when he play with players like ribery, robben, lahm, schweinsteiger and so on. They can get the ball in the opponents 16 meter where mandzukic can receive and score. But in Atleti we don’t have those kind of players. We should have gone for a striker who is more mobile. Diego costa could take the ball with him, therefore we got so many goals last season. Mandzukic will score alot of goals for atleti but that is if we put all the focus on him all the time. Sometimes he looks so lazy on the pitch even tho i have heard he is a hardworker :/
    Honestly i don’t think he was the right replacement for diego costa. I just had to get this out

  • AaX

    We Lost that match and that’s that. Sometimes one must accept that as much hard it was. Soceidad deserved their goals and rose their game similar to when they beat Real. We didn’t deserve the win and there were CRITICAL mistakes made. To be objective I plead please consider some into perspective :

    1) Team inevitably is in a transition phase. From WHAT? From playing counter attacking defensive game to a more direct attacking
    game because of the absence of certain key players. We are shifting from our fundamental core strength style to a complimentary
    One. I have started noticing the potential of this problem since they decided to sell them.

    Many have mis-noticed this. Not a simple easy transition but will happen successfully given the Right managerial Decisions and

    Time. And the Fans Support and Patience of Course.

    2) It will leave gap of concentration especially when team is repulsing attacking pressures for a long duration of time as that what
    exactly happened the last, since the defenders were switching they orientational focus and weren’t being as defensively focused as
    they use to be solely in focus in previous time.

    3) The two central defenders Godin and Miranda were exhausted because overplaying. Crucial replacements needed and not only
    Gimenez, someone Equal or better. And without a player like Courtois, Atletico can’t afford further defensive compromisation.

    4) Minor mistake not starting Griezmann although understood about his doubtful mental fitness against his former team he starred for
    many years.

    5) Siquiera make foul tackles quite often and risking red,have to improve drastically his defensive game especially Tackiling. Ansaldi
    seems the more solid defensively and can give good crossings.

    6) The team has already seem to establish its first 11.

    The Break will give Simeone to mend out his mistakes and further fortify and improve the Team’s Game playing transition. They didn’t played badly last game. I think Sociedad won the game rather than we lose it.

    But lost is lost and Positive response on Improvements that will count. Just Don’t Throw the water along with the Baby.

    P E A C E

  • Mandzukic is different, not just than Costa, but different than all our strikers in recent years, Torres, Aguero, Forlan & Falcao
    But he is doing what he was brought in for, scoring goals
    Good thing you mentioned Robben & Ribery, because with them, and with Muller, Gotze and the others, Lewandowski scored 7 goals in 1374 minutes, while without the assists of all these very talented players, Mandzukic scored 8 goals in 1210 minutes

    Mandzukic is not the problem .. The system is the problem

    If Mandzukic is different than Costa, so as Greizmann than Villa, while Cerci is a bonus
    our most used system last season was 4-4-2 with Villa & Costa, or 4-4-1-1 with RG8 & Costa
    But that will never work this season with Mandzukic, so we must play with a lot of midfielders/wingers, and we have them this season, not like last one when Diego and Sosa only came in January, and they were not in the level of Griezman & Cerci

    We need to play 4-2-3-1 or even 4-1-4-1 with Gabi alone as holding midfielder and in front of him Koke, Arda, Greizmann & Cerci then Mandzukic alone in the box
    But playing with Raul Garcia and Mandzukic will never work – in my opinion –

    And if Simeone is looking for someone who is similar to Costa, he can try Jimenez, who didn’t play a single minute since Valencia game !

    I hate to say this, but some Madridistas accused Simeone of being unable to play good and beautiful attacking football and he only depends on tight and strict defense, counter-attacks, set pieces, intensity and the big support and enthusiasm of the Calderon .. I’m starting to believe that they are right

  • Αθανάσιος Νικηταράς

    Not only you opinion! Again we agree 🙂

  • thericeking

    Why do you think Miranda’s no good?

    I agree with you mostly so your probably right on the things i disagree but please enlighten me..

    Mandzukic should be an AM and siquiera should fuck off 🙂

  • AaX

    Simeone’s style help us won the Championships. These are factual realities of limitation that need to be accepted. It’s an applause right now he is improving and changing the system and style. One thing for sure he not to be ‘accused’ of anything ! except trying his best as he did and Has Done to change the fate and elevate the name of Club Atletico de Madrid high in the footballing world with the inherited circurmstances, limited resources and conditions that he has. I am not one to justify excuses but this isn’t One.

  • Adnan Khan

    Mandzukic is indeed different. Maybe too different for this team. And yes he is scoring goals and he will continue to do this throughout the season. But his style asks to much from his team mates, who have to assist him constantly. And all that becomes too one minded. It’s not that i am not a fan of Mandzukic, but i just don’t think he is the right replacement for costa. And if that makes us change the system so we can use more midfielders/wingers to assist mandzukic, then i will say he is a part of the problem

    “Good thing you mentioned Robben & Ribery, because with them, and with Muller, Gotze and the others, Lewandowski scored 7 goals in 1374 minutes, while without the assists of all these very talented players, Mandzukic scored 8 goals in 1210 minutes”. Lewandowski scoring 7 goals from 17 games is just a normal thing to expect, when his teammates can take his responsibility of goalscoring. We have Robben with 10 games 6 goals, Gøtze with 16 games 9 goals, Ribery with 8 games 4 goals and Thomas Møller with 16 games 9 goals. Mandzukic has almost all of the responsibility to score goals and none of our players have come close to these numbers yet. it is the same with Benzema in real madrid, who just stands infront of the opponents goals and tap in goals, because his fellow players way of playing allows him to do so. we don’t have those kind of players. I am not saying our players are inferior than those i mentioned but they are not the same type of players. And i think Mandzukic type of a player have a tendency to fit in teams like real madrid and bayern and so on. We need a more mobile striker.

    “We need to play 4-2-3-1 or even 4-1-4-1 with Gabi alone as holding midfielder and in front of him Koke, Arda, Greizmann & Cerci then Mandzukic alone in the box”. Playing with gabi alone as a holding midfielder will cause us to lose the midfield-battle. And that is not something we want, because that was one of our main reasons of winning so many games. I guess 4-2-3-1 would be better.

    I agree about letting Jimenez play more. When Mandzukic is just standing in front of the other teams goal in the second half waiting for balls and crosses that never seems to come, then i think switching him with Jimenez would be very productive idea.

    I honestly never even heard any of those claims about atleti beeing “unable to play beautiful football” last season. it’s this season i started to hear them. Let’s just hope the team mends together quick and prove them wrong