Believe, for this is real. Atlético Madrid are the crowned champions of Spain, having toppled super-powers Real Madrid and Barcelona over the course of a 38-game season. With the mantra of “one match at a time”, Diego Simeone’s men have achieved the unimaginable.
Score, and hang on for dear life! This has apparently been Atlético’s game plan in their last three home games, all of which they have won by the same 1-0 margin. After getting off to a great start against Villarreal on Saturday, opening up the scoring within the first 15 minutes of action, los Rojiblancos spent most of their time warding off the Yellow Submarine.
While the rest of the universe was focussed on El Clásico, Atlético had their sights set on first place. Atleti supporters suffered through the endless Barcelona and Real Madrid fodder all week long, but, in the end, they were rewarded handsomely.
15 home games into the present La Liga campaign, and Atlético remain unvanquished at the Vicente Calderón. Espanyol, the latest visitors to ‘Cholo Castle’, certainly put up a fight, but los Rojiblancos were able to gut out the result for their third straight triumph in all competitions.
After over an hour of mostly dispirited play by Atlético in Vigo, the men in and red and white sparked back to life to abruptly terminate their foes 2-0. The game against Celta started off eerily similar to Atleti’s previous two trips in league play–the squad looked all too comfortable letting their opponents dictate play while hardly offering much of a threat in attack of their own.
Huh? What the hell was that? For the second straight league match away from home, Atlético resembled the version of themselves spearheaded by Gregorio Manzano before Diego Simeone came to the rescue.
Atlético suffered only their second loss of the present league campaign in Almería on Saturday, but it just so happened to be their second loss in the same week. Much has and will continue to be made about referee Fernando Teixeira Vitienes’ atrocious officiating on the evening, and rightfully so, but Atleti have overcome adverse or blown calls all season long. Not on this accursed night, though.
The stalemate continued between La Liga’s two giants when the first half of the campaign came to a close for the sides on Saturday. Atlético and Barcelona played to a second straight 0-0 draw, with the third version of the great battle of styles this season taking place at the Vicente Calderón.
Atlético grinded out a narrow 1-0 road victory over Málaga on Saturday to briefly take over the top spot in La Liga. For a while, it appeared as if recent history would repeat itself. Los Rojiblancos’ previous two visits to La Rosaleda had both ended in scoreless draws, so when the 70th minute mark was
Atlético fooled around with Valencia in the opening half of Sunday’s encounter, waiting until after the break to land all the heavy blows in another knockout performance at the Vicente Calderón that ended in a 3-0 rout. Valencia came into the match having scored in their previous 26 league games, but Atleti completely snuffed out their attack on the night.