For those of you Colchoneros still alive to read this, let’s revisit Atlético’s agonising 1-1 tie versus Málaga. How close were Diego Simeone’s men from achieving eternal glory on Sunday? A Willy Caballero fingernail close.
Atlético put together a hairy-chested, stomp-your-foot-on-the-ground-and-punch-a-Madridista-in-the-face comeback performance in Bilbao on Saturday to earn their fifth straight league win. Stunned by an unexpected Athletic goal in the sixth minute — the first goal they had conceded in five La Liga matches — Diego Simeone’s hombres recovered quickly and went on to conquer the new San Mamés for the second time this season.
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.
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.
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 were able to best Elche 2-0 after a fiercely contested first half in which the scrappy hosts matched Simeone’s men in guts and intensity at the Estadio Martínez Valero. Second half goals by the Colchoneros’ dynamic duo of Koke and Diego Costa were enough to put out Fran Escribá’s charges’ fire.
Atlético soundly defeated Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, shutting out their Basque foes 2-0 for their sixth straight win at the Vicente Calderón. Defended by 52,000 strong for this ‘Fan Club Day’ encounter, ‘Cholo Castle’ remains unconquered in the 2013/14 campaign.
They say winning games when you don’t play well is the mark of a true champion, and that can certainly be said about Atlético Madrid’s 2-1 win against Granada last night. On a far from ideal playing surface at Los Cármenes, where passes went astray, attacks repeatedly broke down and several balls were lost, Diego Simeone’s team still managed to grind out three points and move back within a point of Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
There was no let up in Atlético’s 5-0 thrashing of Real Betis at the Vicente Calderón on Sunday night. Literally from start to finish, the struggling Verdiblancos found themselves picking the ball out of their own net. The Rojiblanco faithful were treated to a delightful spectacle that began with the fastest goal in club history scored by Óliver Torres–the player that sparked the most pre-game buzz given his inclusion in the starting line-up in replacement of the ailing Arda Turan.