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Atlético let two points slip away at the Calderón against Lillo’s Almería (1-1)

A goal from Kun Agüero isn’t enough to grab the victory

Lillo’s Almería were able to stand up to Atlético de Madrid in a match in which the ‘rojiblancos’ played a good first half and the side from Andalusia was able to take advantage of the few chances they had. The solitary goal from Kun Agüero wasn’t enough to earn three points that would have been vital as they approach their upcoming fixtures.

Atlético de Madrid received Almería in need of earning the three points after the loss suffered at the hands of Villarreal at El Madrigal. With the known absence of Godín, who had to undergo an appendicitis operation, Quique Sánchez Flores was able to count on his two star strikers, Kun Agüero and Diego Forlán in his starting line-up. The Uruguayan cam out with his rifle loaded. He had two chances with which he almost surprised Diego Alves in the opening 5 minutes. The Atlético ‘7’ clearly wanted to get back on the goal-scoring path against the Andalusian squad.

After the first fifteen minutes, the match cooled down. Both teams settled in on the pitch, but the home side was the one that carried the weight of the match. The Madrid coach was aware that his players give their all to come away with the win before going into their UEFA Europa League match against Rosenborg and the derby against Real Madrid.

Luck was on Almería’s side in minute 16. Diego Forlán carried the ball to the endline after a poor clearance from Michel, cut it back and Kun Agüero’s shot in the goal mouth was saved by Diego Alves with his foot. It was an unbeatable chance to have taken the lead. The ‘rojiblanco’ control was clear, and Lillo’s lads were able to link up. In the first twenty minutes, Atlético had created five clear scoring chances. Forlán tried his luck again from outsider the area, but his shot was parried away by the opposing goalkeeper.

Kun had another chance off a nice cross from Filipe Luis. The atlético 10 got his head to it, but the shot went over. Forlán was itching for a goal and showed it on each play. In minute 31, he latched onto a nice pass from Simão, but his shot was off-target. Meanwhile, Almería only had one clear occasion in the opening half-hour of play. Uche received the ball at the top of the area, cut inside, but his left-footed shot struck off the post.

The reward for Quique’s men arrived in minute 32. The attack began at the feet of Ujfalusi, who swung in a cross in from the right flank, Reyes connected with a strong header, but Diego Alves made a diving save. Luckily the ball fell dead on the goal line and, before the gaze of several Almería defenders, Kun Agüero raced in to tap home the opener. But the joy was short-lived for the home squad, as Almería responded right before the break as Piatti grabbed the equaliser with a beautiful volley that De Gea was unable to stop.

Things became more difficult for Atlético with the score knotted at one, as the Madrid manager was forced to leave José Antonio Reyes in the dressing room after halftime due to a calf strain. In spite of the setback, Quique’s squad continued to control things on the pitch. Simão was very active during the entire game, as was Forlán. Atleti went in search for the second and never gave up in their fight.

Almería defence was closing down well and the ‘rojiblancos’ tried from outsider the area. Portuguese midfielder Tiago tried to surprise Diego Alves in minute 55 of the encounter. It seemed like the netminder got his fingers to it, but the referee called for a goal kick. Quique’s pupils didn’t want to let what happened to them in the first half repeat itself. It’s true that Atlético de Madrid dominated play and scoring chances, but Almería had already shown that they were capable of scratching a point away from the Calderón with a single chance.

Lillo’s squad didn’t want to leave things as they were. The visitors began to create problems for Atlético de Madrid on the counter-attack. The match went from being completely controlled by Quique’s lads to one that was more even and with opportunities for both teams. Nerves began to sprout in the stands of the Vicente Calderón. The supporters cheered on their players as they wanted to see another goal from the ‘colchoneros’, but things got tough.

With the score even, Quique decided to take off Forlán and give Diego Costa another chance. The Brazilian caused a questionable play on the first ball he touched as the ‘rojiblancos’ appealed for a penalty, but the official kept his whistle in his pocket. Things didn’t get better for the side from Madrid. Kun tried his best, supported by Diego Costa, but the visiting defence covered the spaces where the ‘rojiblanco’s could have done some damage well.

The wear from the game was noticeable in the final minutes of the match. Atlético had one final chance in stoppage time with a free kick, but Kun’s shot went straight into the wall. The game had started well for the ‘rojiblancos’, but little-by-little and with plenty of effectiveness, Almería were able to stand up to Quique’s squad and claw out a point at the Calderón, while the home fans were left to look forward to the much-awaited visit to Santiago Bernabéu.

ATLÉTICO DE MADRID, 1 (Kun Agüero); ALMERÍA, 1 (Piatti).


Atlético de Madrid: De Gea; Ujfalusi, Domínguez, Perea, Filipe Luis; Assunçao, Tiago (Raúl García, 82’), Simão, Reyes (Fran Mérida, 46’); Kun and Forlán (Diego Costa, 72’).

Almería:
Diego Alves; M.Macedo, C. García, Acasiete, J.Ortíz; Mbami (Ulloa, 77’), Bernardello, Corona (Vargas, 63’); Piatti (Ortíz, 83’), Crusat and K.Uche.

Referee: Texeira Vitienes. For Atlético de Madrid showed yellow cards to Domínguez (39’), Tiago (59’) and Perea (73’); for Almería booked Míchel (48’) and Diego Alves (71’).

Incidents: Estadio Vicente Calderón. Ninth matchday of the First Division Liga BBVA.

Goals:

1-0 (32’). Kun Agüero pounces on a rebound from Diego Alves after a header from Reyes.
1-1 (44’). Piatti levels on a strong shot to the near post from outside the area.
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