ATLÉTICO MADRID 2-0 REAL SOCIEDAD
Atlético consolidate third position
Atleti had the game resolved in the first ten minutes with an own goal from Mikel González and a Griezmann strike.
Atleti signed up for that underhand tradition of taking advantage of visitors to the city. Instead of taking the tourist directly to the Plaza Mayor, they take the scenic route via Majadahonda. In the case of tonight’s game it has to be said that the victim played their role with the starting line up just waiting for their pocket to be picked. Moyes started with no forwards and no style of play and after ten minutes were taken apart by the side of the Manzanares River. At that moment in time, Atleti were 2-0 up and already counting their winnings. With the club now focused on next week’s Champions League match, Simeone is like Paul Newman in The Sting,: six points without using a drop of petrol and the team are once again in third position. The plan is working.
Real Sociedad started without a recognizable center forward and with the usual forwards playing in strange positions: Chory Castro in attack, Canales just behind him, Zurutuza on the right side and Xabi Prieto on the left flank. A set up that lost it’s appeal as quick as a Betamax video. Koke has recovered his fine dead-ball touch and la Real experimented with an innovative method of playing football: that involved not defending. Surprisingly it didn’t work.
With just two minutes gone, Koke took a corner from the right hand side, after bouncing about, pinball style, the ball fell to Arda who volleyed against the post and provoked another corner. Koke placed the ball, this time on the left side. A perfect strike and a glancing header from Mikel González was enough to put the home side ahead.
After 10 minutes, the curtain came down on one of the shortest acts that the Calderon has witnessed in recent times. Koke tried his luck from outside the area and Rulli, one of the better news stories for the Basque side recently, spilled the shot. Griezmann had the simple task of slotting home from short range, but didn’t celebrate his goal against his former team. If Moyes had a plan, it was flawed. This was the French player’s sixteenth league goal this season and whilst Mandzukic is healing his physical and emotional scars, Simeone should place Griezmann in a cabinet the minute games are over.
The second half left three stand-out points. The first that Gámez is pure ‘Cholismo’. After starting off on the left, he then moved to what is normally Juanfran’s position and offered more attacking prowess. Siqueira did what he had to do, but taking him out of the team for the Malaga game will be a difficult thing to do. Later, Simeone surprised us all when he took Torres off for Raúl Jiménez in the 61st minute when it was felt that he may give Griezmann a break and let Torres have a run-out.
And finally, Granero, received with a degree of hostility by the Calderón crowd after the comments about a move from la Real to Atleti not being one of quality. Right at the death he sweetly struck free-kick was expertly saved by Oblak, who is now 367 minutes without conceding a goal since Moyá picked up an injury against Leverkusen.