Atlético were unable to hold onto victory after a spirited comeback effort against Real Madrid that had all the electricity of a heavyweight prize fight. Los Rojiblancos went down first and quickly on Sunday, but sprung back up to deliver a pair of mighty blows of their own. Atleti had their archrivals’ backs firmly pressed against the ropes, but let them evade the fatal blow and salvage a point with a late equaliser.
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.
So much for a crisis. It took all of four minutes on Saturday for Atlético to puncture a pair of mortal wounds into Valladolid at the Vicente Calderón. Los Rojiblancos then sat back and watched as their opponents bled out for most of the evening before delivering the final death blow–thereby snapping an ugly streak of three goalless losses.
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.
In one of the most enchanting nights at the Vicente Calderón in recent memory, Atlético soared to the top of the league table for the first time in 18 years by handily defeating Real Sociedad 4-0. Los Colchoneros honoured the glory days of their past by paying tribute to a fallen idol who fully embodied the spirit of the club’s halcyon days.
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 capped off the best year in club history with yet another triumph at the unconquerable Vicente Calderón, though this 3-2 win came after a vigorously-contested battle against Levante. If ever there was a match to exemplify the era of ‘Cholo’, Sunday night’s was not it. Well, at least, not the beginning of it.
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.
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.