Atlético’s 2-1 loss to Mallorca on Sunday improved from what was looking like a major catastrophe to ending in a major downer, as we failed to capitalise on opportunities to turn the match on its head. A tedious first 45 minutes of play that felt like a continuation of last weekend’s performance against Granada showed
According to several media sources both in Spain and Colombia, Atlético are very close to finalising a deal for Porto striker Radamel Falcao García. Atleti will reportedly pay between €25 to €30 million for the Colombia international, with Eduardo Salvio expected to be included in the deal.
Atlético’s offer of €7 million plus midfielders Fran Mérida and Raúl García for Real Sociedad starlet Antoine Griezmann was reportedly rejected by the San Sebastián-based side. Rumours about Atleti’s interest in signing the Frenchman had gained traction on Thursday, when it was reported the winger had told website Footmercato.net that a move to the Vicente Calderón would appeal to him.
With a solid though at times nerve-racking victory over Real Zaragoza at La Romareda, Atlético finally managed to stop the bleeding as they picked up just their second win of 2011. The triumph was Atleti’s fourth on the road this season, two more than last year’s away victory total.
At some point after the triumph over Mallorca last Monday, Atlético fell into a coma. With our season placed on life support after getting the boot from the domestic cup on Thursday, the team continued to show no signs of life in Gijón en route to a 1-0 loss that left our immediate future looking bleak.
Atlético have been handed two extra chances to defeat eternal rivals Real Madrid this season after seeing off Espanyol in the Copa del Rey Round of 16. Despite this golden opportunity to finally end the winless spell against our neighbours that has been haunting our club for over a decade, the story of the evening was the dazzling display put on by Sergio Agüero.
Though we remain unbeaten in our last five games in all competitions, the draw against Racing left us all feeling like we had just suffered a loss. Our aloof but always colourful president accurately described the clash as “a mini-fiasco.” Here are some of our post-game notes.
Atlético defender Tomáš Ujfaluši suffered an ankle injury following a rough challenge by Sergio Agüero in training this morning. The Czech is now a doubt for our league match on Monday against Racing Santander. If the 32-year-old doesn’t recover in time, then Juan Valera will likely serve as his replacement.
Following yesterday’s victory over Espanyol that included Simao’s emotional farewell to the Colchonero faithful, Atlético head into the Christmas break rehabilitated having quickly amassed a four game unbeaten streak that included three shutouts. But will a return to action in 2011 without Simao on the squad spoil all the fun?
David de Gea, Álvaro Domínguez and Fran Mérida have qualified for the European U-21 Championship. If Spain U-21 manage to reach to the semi finals of the tournament, to be played in June 2011, they will automatically qualify for the Olympic Games in 2012.