ATLÉTICO DE MADRID 0-1 REAL SOCIEDAD
Atlético de Madrid: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe Luis; Gabi, Koke (Adrián, 70´); Cristian Rodríguez (Raúl García, 65´), Arda, Diego Costa & Falcao
Real Sociedad: Bravo; Carlos Martínez, Mikel González, Iñigo Martínez, De la Bella; Illarramendi (Ansotegi, 90´), Markel; Zurutuza (Estrada, 69´), Xabi Prieto, Griezmann & Vela (Agirretxe, 80´).
Min.53. 0-1: Xabi Prieto .
On a cold evening on the banks of the Manzanarez it was the home side who started the stronger of the two side and in the 8th minute, Koke cut inside and struck the ball with power but the effort was always rising and failed to trouble the Real goalkeeper. Seconds later in almost a mirror image of Koke’s chance, Costa cut in from right & let go with his left boot, but that effort was also off target.
The visitors fired an early warning shot when a freekick was whipped in from left in to a dangerous area and as the ball dipped in front of Courtois. The Belgian was alert and reacted quickly to punch the ball clear.
After just 10 minutes, the first booking of the game was given to the Mexican forward Carlos Vela for deliberate handball and just a few minutes later, Mikel Gonzalez brought down Diego Costa who was racing away on the counter attack. As the Brazilian was getting away from this man he was fouled in a dangerous position and the defender was also shown a yellow card.
From the resulting freekick Atletico Madrid game close to opening the scoring. The set piece was worked short and the ball found Adra Turan inside the penalty area, the Turkish midfielder found space to strike at goal and his well struck shot went inches wide, ruffling the side netting.
Neither side had control of the game with the visitors creating chances without really troubling the Atleti goal until the 27 minute when they played a nice counter attack and a good cross from the right was met by Griezmann, but the young French winger couldn’t get enough on it and the Belgium collected.
In the 33rd minute an historic moment passed and another record was broken. 800 minutes had passed since the last goal had been conceded in the league in the Calderon, meaning that Thiabut Courtois passed the milestone set in 1991 by legendary Atleti goalkeeper Abel Resino.
Atleti had been limited to long range shots and with 10 minutes to go before the break, Gabi tried his luck with a speculative effort which the keeper collected easily and two minutes before the break, Koke tried to open the scoring but his shot was well over the bar to end a frustrating first half for Atletico Madrid.
After the break Atletico came out the far stronger side and created 3 or 4 chances inside the opening 5 minutes. Simeones side were playing with more intensity and almost when in front when Costa intelligently chipped the ball across the goalmouth but there was no red and white shirt there to turn the ball home.
From one of the Atleti attacks, the vistors broke to the other end with real pace and Griezmann played in Javi Prieto in an offside position, the striker was composed in his finish as he slid the ball under Courtois to make it 1-0 to the side from San Sebastian after 52 minutes. A goal against the run of play.
The rojiblancos looked for an immediate reply and just moments after the goal, Cristian Rodriguez raced through but dragged his shot wide. They came even closer after the hour mark when a freekick from Koke was swung in to a dangerous area and Falcao looked to get his head on the cross but couldn’t get a strong enough connection on the ball.
With 25 minutes left to play Simeone made his first change, introducing Raul Garcia for Cristian Rodriguez and 5 minutes later changed Koke for Adrian, but not before Atleti came close to getting the equaliser, a quickly taken corner was well worked and Koke drove the ball just wide of the visitors goal.
The fresh legs brough an extra push to the home side and just moments later el Tigre Falcao came close, prodding the ball over the bar from outside the area. The chances continued to come but it just wasn’t to be Atleti’s night and when Adra cut inside with the ball after a corner was sent straight back to him, the Turkish midfielder engineered the space to shoot but the effort lacked the precision that seemed to have had deserted the home side. Simeones men see the end of a fantastic run which had seen them go 14 consecutive games without losing in the league at the Vicente Calderon.