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Atlético de Madrid play strong against Osasuna and win easily (3-0)

José Antonio Camacho's squad finishes with ten men

Atlético de Madrid earned three important very points towards reaching their European goals. Their convincing win over Osasuna allows them to believe in their chances in the league championship. Two goals from Forlán and one Kun Agüero were enough to take down Camacho’s team, which finished the match with ten men.

After wrapping up their qualification for the Copa del Rey round of 16 against Universidad de Las Palmas this past Wednesday, Atlético de Madrid received a visit from one of the teams that plays them the toughest at home, Osasuna. With Domínguez and Assunçao on the bench, Quique Sánchez Flores again placed his confidence on Mario Suárez in the central midfield and Valera at right back. The three points were vital for the ‘rojiblancos’ to stay close to the group at the head of the table and to earn them they needed to give their all on the pitch.

The match began very even, with neither De Gea nor Ricardo getting much work in the opening minutes. The play from both sides took place in the midfield. The first clear scoring chance came in minute 18 from the boots of Uruguayan Diego Forlán. ‘El Cacha’, after a nice wall pass with Agüero, shot just wide of the near post with his right foot, as the ball went into the side netting.

Little-by-little, Atleti began to find holes in the Osasuna defense. Kun Agüero, all alone and in the six-yard box, was unable to finish in front of Ricardo, who did a great job of holding his ground. The follow-up shot from Reyes was deflected wide for a corner. The goalkeepers went from having almost no work to becoming the protagonists of the match. De Gea made an amazing save in the 24th minute when he parried away a header from Masoud from close range.

Joy returned to the Calderón stands in the 26th minute when Forlán tallied the first of the night, as the Uruguayan got back on the score sheet. It all began with a nice play from Agüero, who dragged two defenders with him. The Argentine’s shot wasn’t wrapped up by Ricardo and the rebound was hunted down by Forlán, who didn’t miss. It was clearly good news for the squad and for the striker, who ended his goal-scoring drought.

With the lead on the scoreboard, Atlético began to control the match and keep the ball in their possession. Osasuna didn’t give up on the game, but had a tough time breaking through the home defense. Quique’s lads were creating good attacks, as the Kun-Forlán association was working once again and five minutes before the half, the Argentine headed in a very precise cross from Forlán, who had taken the ball down to the endline to assist his teammate. Halftime couldn’t have come at a better moment. On the final play, Kun almost notched another when he tried to finish off a nice pass from Filipe Luis. The Argentinean didn’t make it to the ball by a tad, and Atlético headed into the dressing room up 2-0.

The second 45 minutes began the same as the first, with a left-footed chance for the Argentine striker that was just off-target. The home squad dominated the encounter and created very dangerous chances. The visitors tried to attack Atlético’s area by playing with a high intensity, but the ‘rojiblancos’ were well-placed and well-organized. The best chance for Osasua came in minute 53 from the feet of Masoud, but again David De Gea made a fine save to save Quique’s men.

Then the ‘colchoneros’ threaded together a nice attack, finished with José Antonio Reyes shooting the ball wide of Ricardo’s right post. The visiting defense once again found itself in trouble, just saving itself from disaster. Monreal was then sent off for two yellow cards, and José Antonio Camacho made some substitutions in an attempt to try and minimize Atlético’s difference on the scoreboard.

The night turned magical for Atlético. In the 69th minute, Forlán showed that he’s still a ‘matadoro’ in the area. The Uruguayan scored an extraordinary goal with his right foot by sending the ball into Ricardo’s upper-right corner. It was undoubtedly a true show of skill. The lead was too much for Osasuna to overcome, as they began to drop their heads. The fact is that it’s very tough to fight back from a three-goal deficit with only ten men.

Atlético de Madrid looked to increase their lead, although with more tranquility and taking closer care of their passes. The ‘rojiblancos’ played calmly with the score in their favour, and Mario Suárez headed a ball off the crossbar with a minute to play. And with that, Atlético earned an important victory which boosts their confidence as they head into next week without a European match, and will instead turn their focus to their next fixture against Real Sociedad.

ATLÉTICO DE MADRID, 3 (Forlán, 2, and Kun Agüero); OSASUNA, 0.

Atlético de Madrid: De Gea; Valera (Antonio López, 46’), Ujfalusi, Perea, Filipe Luis; Tiago (Raúl García, 68’), Mario Suárez, Simão, Reyes; Kun (Fran Mérida, 77’) and Forlán.

Osasuna:
Ricardo; Damiá, Lolo, Flaño, Monreal; Puñal, Nekouman (Vadocz, 80’); Juanfran, Soriano (Nelson, 61’), Masoud and Aranda (Leka, 69’).   

Referee:
González González. For Atlético de Madrid showed a yellow card to Filipe Luis (18’); for Osasuna sent off Monreal for double yellow (20’ and 59’), and booked Damiá (82’).
Incidents: Estadio Vicente Calderón. Week 11 of the Liga BBVA First Division.

Goals:
1-0 (25’). Forlán pounces on a deflection by Ricardo after a strong shot from Kun Agüero to score the first.
2-0 (40’). Kun Agüero heads in an inch perfect cross from Forlán, who had gotten past the visiting defense.
3-0 (69’). Forlán scores a beautiful goal in Ricardo’s upper corner.
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