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Deportivo La Coruña
8 February 2014
• Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos, Almería
Referee: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes
• Attendance: 10958
Verza 80', 86'
That's it from me folks, it's been a pleasure! See you next time.
For now, Atletico concede top spot to city rivals Real Madrid on goal difference, while Almeria move further clear of the relegation zone. A well taken win it was for them too.
Atletico can have no one to blame but themselves, or more specifically, Aranzubia between the posts. The visitors were unable to create anything in the way of a clear cut chance, and their reserve keeper's meltdown in the last ten minutes left them without even a point to show from this game.
90' + 6'
That's the end of the game!
90' + 5'
Last change of the game, as Jonathan makes way for Diaz. He does deserve a standing ovation, having left everything out on the pitch. His sheer hustle forced the mistake out of Aranzubia, and he's been a physical menace up front all game.
90' + 4'
Costa wriggles into space inside the area, but his shot is blocked by Rafita. Manquillo is on the loose ball and strikes towards goal, but Esteban is well positioned to thwart that one.
90' + 3'
Jonathan Sundy Zongo
90' + 2'
Deep into injury time, of which the referee signals five minutes. No surprises there, as the injury to Tiago and the penalty fiasco ate up at least that amount of time in what has turned out to be an action packed second half!
Late sub for the hosts here, and Suso gets a standing ovation as he goes off - more a result of overall jubilation with the club's fortunes than hos individual display. On comes Corona for the final stretch.
It's all unraveled in rather traumatic fashion for Atletico at the end of this game. Make no mistake, it's been a collapse of epic proportions, and with Aranzubia holding the smoking gun for both of the conceded goals, Rojiblancos fans have to ask themselves: what would Courtois have done? Surely not this!
Penalty Goal Verza
NO MISTAKE FROM THE CAPTAIN! He adds his second of the game, a well placed kick into the top corner! Game over!
Well, all three Atletico subs have been used, so Gabi is donning the gloves for the final stretch, and his first task is to stop Verza from this penalty!
Red Card Dani Aranzubia
Arranzubia's evening goes from bad to worse as he's sent off as a result of his own stupidity! He dallied for too long on the ball, and Jonathan nipped it off his toes! The Almeria man was primed to strike it home, but Aranzubia barrels him over to recover the ball! It did not look like a foul to be honest, but the keeper's decision to dither on the ball cost him, and may cost his team all three points!
ALMERIA HAVE A PENALTY!
VIDAL AGAIN! Oh my word, once again, he goes galloping down the left and leaves two men in his wake! He pokes a finish at goal from close range, but Aranzubia is there to save, and Godin recovers in time to hack clear the rebound!
That goal means that Real Madrid will go top of the table on goal difference should the score hold. It turns out that Vidal's woodwork-pinging effort moments ago was only a temporary reprieve for the visitors. Atletico have waited nearly two decades to go top, and they could well have blown it in a week.
GOLAZO! GOLAZO! Verza may well have won it for the hosts! A corner is played short, and the midfielder aims to clip it towards the far post. Aranzubia misjudges it horribly, and the ball flies straight into the back of the net!
ALMERIA HAVE DONE IT!!!!!
Atletico have just been handed a HUGE slice of luck, can they make their good fortune count at the other end. They make their final change, as Adrian comes on for the disappointing Garcia.
ALMERIA HIT THE WOODWORK! Oh my, nearly a stunning counter attack! Dubarbier wins the ball off Suarez excellently, and releases Vidal with a splendid ball. The winger takes it all the way, beating two men all ends up and sliding a low shot towards goal, only to see it cannon off the base of the near post, then off the base of the far! HOW UNLUCKY WAS THAT!
Suso gets it up and over the wall and manages to find the target, but it was watched all the way by Esteban, who manages to smother the ball with little difficulty. It's only the second effort on target for the Rojiblancos all game.
Dangerous free kick for Atletico to cone after Costa, barreling towards goal, is finally wrestled to the turf by Trujillo. The referee is having none of it, and awards a set piece. Now then...
Attack after attack has broken down in the attacking third from an Atletico perspective. Almeria have pretty much abandoned most, if not all of their attacking impetus, and are clearly digging in for the point.
Oh dear. Juanfran sums up Atletico's frustration and their general threat on goal all game by taking aim from the corner of the box and nearly taking out a floodlight with his haphazard effort on goal. Laughable, really, and desperation starting to creep in.
Diego goes off, somewhat surprisingly and one comes Sosa. The Brazilian's not been at his best, but in the context of Atletico's attacking performance, he's certainly not been the worst.
Mario Suarez replaces the stricken Tiago, who is stretchered off. The challenge looks even worse on replay, and what's more, the referee was not even 10 yards from play. Considering he booked Suso for tugging on a shirt, then it stands to reason that Almeria should be down a man.
Barbosa has just come on, and he's very lucky that he doesn't get his marching orders right away. He goes in on Tiago with a leg-shattering challenge, two footed, off the ground and right into the midfielder's thigh. Tiago needs some treatment, and it's unlikely that he will be able to continue.
The match is really slowing to a crawl as the final half hour of play trickles away. This of course is playing right into Almeria's hands, as a point against the league leaders for a side in the relegation battle is a great result. They've worked hard, and you can't really begrudge them getting something from this game.
We haven't seen much from Manquillo in the second half after a very encouraging attacking display in the first half. In fact, Atletico has a hole have showed a lot less in the attacking third than they did before the interval, which wasn't much to begin with. Should the score hold, this will be two points dropped, no question about it.
Raul Garcia loops a free header in towards goal from a long Gabi free kick, but it goes over the bar in the end. Meanwhile, Soriano is unsurprisingly replaced by Barbosa, and angrily shoves his way past his manager. Don't know what he's upset about, he was a ticking time bomb on the pitch.
Yellow Card Sebastian Dubarbier
Almeria inadvertently save Soriano from a second yellow card, as the midfielder takes out Diego, but instead of writhing in pain, the Brazilian gets up and takes a quick free kick. Had he stayed down, then the referee would have pondered the situation for longer and surely sent off Soriano!
It's getting about that time when Simeone might think about swapping things around on the pitch. A quick glance at the bench is not too encouraging though, as with Villa and Koke out, the only real attacking options are Adrian and Rodriguez.
Yellow Card Raúl García
Not a good delivery from Suso. he was clearly trying to whip a devilish ball towards the far post, but gets too much purchase behind it and the ball goes over the bar. Poor end to a promising situation.
Reckless challenge from Godin on Vidal, and a needless one as that as Vidal was going nowhere in a hurry. He's lucky to escape a yellow for that, and now Atletico have a free kick to defend.
Not a bad sighter from Costa, who takes aim from outside the box once again, and though it whistles just short of the far post, it ultimately meets the same end as all of his other half chances - off target and not good enough.
Gabi takes charge of the set piece and clips it onto the penalty spot, where Diego Costa meets it with a bullet header that's straight at Esteban. Never mind though, the offside flag chalks off the play anyway.
Very timid start to the second half. Soriano, already on a yellow, is gesticulating furiously to protect himself after tripping up Diego near the edge of his own box. He escapes further punishment, but it's a dangerous free kick for Atletico to come.
Here we go again as Almeria restart the game.
Atletico have huffed and puffed but have not really come close to blowing the door down. Plenty of half chances and snap shots, but the fact that neither side have managed to muster one effort on target thus far tells you all you need to know about the direction that this game has taken. Stay tuned for the restart in just a bit.
45' + 1'
And that's the end of the half after a very short added period.
Soriano gets a yellow card, a tad harshly, for fouling Diego in the attacking third. The same player gets up to whip the free kick in, it's not cleared properly, but Costa cannot get himself in position in time to connect with the ball.
Yellow Card Soriano
Costa is getting more and more frustrated by the second as he continues to plough a rather fruitless furrow up front. Torsiglieri and Trujillo have matched him pound for pound, and have denied the forward any genuine openings.
Manquillo for the umpteenth time gets himself to the byeline, but his delivery this time is a bit poor, right into the arms of Esteban. Costa gesticulates furiously with the young fullback to get his head up when making a cross, but it's not like the Brazilian made any effort to get on the end of that.
Jonathan bulldozes his way into the box, making a bad Suso pass look good. Tiago challenges him and they both go down in a heap, but the referee deems the play a foul on the latter by the Almeria striker - to the obvious displeasure of the crowd.
It's been a supremely frustrating game for Atletico, as they've only managed half chances in the form of snap shots from the edge of the box. They've had at least one strong shout for a penalty go unanswered so far.
Simeone is still prowling his technical area, it seems that the referee told him to take a hike, rather than a walk. Strange incident, and more annoyance for the Atletico boss as Diego whacks one in at goal from the top of the area, but it whistles off target.
Has Simeone been sent off? There's some confusion here as the Atletico coach has some strong words for the official on the touchline. The referee jogs over to deal with the situation, and it seems like he's told the manager to take a walk.
Another penalty shout, but this time it's from the Almeria ranks. Suso, at the top of the box, attempts to find the target with a stinging shot, but Juanfran gets himself in the way and blocks the shot. However, replays suggest that the ball did strike his hand, but with the pace that the ball was traveling at, it would be a very harsh call.
Slowly but surely Atletico are getting closer to a breakthrough. They've not had the breaks that they needed in the attacking third so far, but look capable of creating more danger than they currently offer.
PENALTY SHOUT? Manquillo, who has been the best player on the park so far in my opinion, drives down the right hand side once again and gets into the box. Suso attempts to keep track of him and ends up sending the fullback to the turf in the challenge for the high ball. The referee unmoved once again, but this was a more convincing case than Costa's appeal earlier in the half - Suso's a tad lucky there.
Costa is seeing a lot of the ball, but the more possession he manages, the more wasteful he becomes. Atletico's top scorer takes control of a pass near the edge of the Almeria area, and lets fly with an effort that was intended for the top corner, but ends up whistling about a foot over the crossbar.
Yellow Card Diego Ribas
The referee has allowed a few challenges to go largely unpunished so far, but Costa is not so lucky. The Brazilian picks up a yellow card for challenging for a ball and using a careless forearm towards the face of Azeez. Jeez.
Almeria attempt to counter attack straightaway from that Verza block, and it's Vidal who takes responsibility on the counter, but with space opening up, he cannot keep control of the ball and his run at the same time.
Little gaps are beginning to appear in the Almeria ranks, as Atletico manage to fashion more and more half chances. Costa again is the man on the ball, and he manages to tee up Tiago for an effort, but Verza is there to block the shot.
Rafita stays toe to toe with Costa inside the box, and after a challenge, the Brazilian striker goes down baying for retribution from the referee. However, tonight's match official is having none of it, and ignores Costa's frenzied protests.
It's hard work at the moment for Atletico, as Almeria are doing a generally good job of keeping their shape. Costa for a moment looked like he had a clear run towards the byeline deep in the box, but he's unable to get the ball out from under his feet in time.
Manquillo has really shown some encouraging signs in the attacking third thus far, and he displays great graft to ghost behind his opposite number and lovely athleticism to bring down a high ball. He manages to deliver a decent cross into the area too, but no Atletico players are ready to attack it.
Diego Costa, working and hustling as always, wins the ball deep inside the Almeria half and hits a speculative effort towards goal. The ball though moves at the last moment, and bends the wrong side of the goal. Esteban looked to have had that opportunity well covered anyway.
Dubarbier is released excellently by Suso, and he manages to ping a dangerous cross into the box. It's low and well placed, but Jonathan is too far in front of it and Miranda is able to intercept the ball with little difficulty in the end.
Godin is supremely lethargic in dealing with a high ball, which gives Jonathan a sniff of a chance at closing him down. That sniff nearly turns into a full meal as Godin continues to hesitate, and only at the last minute does he manage to hack it clear!
BRILLIANT CLEARANCE OFF THE LINE! A lovely run pass from Diego releases Manquillo to the byeline, and he lifts the ball over the advancing Esteban, but Trujillo strides ahead of Costa and Garcia to hack it clear! Great defending but some excellent play from the young Atletico full back.
Garcia gets free on the wings after an unnoticed run, and spots Costa on point inside the box. He tries to pick out the Brazilian, but Esteban is off his line swiftly to pluck the ball out of the air and relieve the pressure.
Lively atmosphere inside the ground to start the match, but some rather careless passing all around has made for a scrappy start to the match.
Here we go!
It's not been so pretty for Almeria, who sit two points clear of the relegation zone after suffering a defeat to Elche last time out. Tonight's hosts have the third worst defensive record in the division, with 41 goals conceded; not a good mark to stack up against Atletico's 56 goals scored in the league so far, which is third best overall.
It's been a ping pong week for Atletico Madrid. The Rojiblancos went top of the pile in la Liga after demolishing Real Sociedad last gameweek, but suffered a 3-0 reverse to rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey midweek. Still, Atletico can regain their three point advantage at the top with a win here, despite Carlo Ancelotti's men emerging victorious against Villarreal earlier today.
Atletico of course are missing David Villa due to an ankle complaint, while Filipe Luis is also absent with a potentially long term groin injury. Therefore, 19-year-old Javier Manquillo, a right back by trade, comes into the side to deputize on the opposite flank. Koke is suspended, meaning that Arda Turan, Diego and Raul Garcia line up behind Diego Costa. It's a narrow looking formation from the visitors.
Almeria boss Francisco Javier Rodriguez has handed a start to Bruno Soriano in midfield, while there is also a place for Verza in the home side's XI after he was initially suspected to be unavailable for selection due to injury.
ATLETICO MADRID: Aranzubia, Manquillo, Godin, Miranda, Juanfran, Tiago, Gabi, Arda Turan, Diego, Raul Garcia, Diego Costa.
ALMERIA: Esteban, Rafita, Trujillo, Torsiglieri, Dubarbier, Verza, Azeez, Suso, Aleix Vidal, Soriano, Jonathan.
Hello and welcome to another round of Liga action, where table toppers Atletico Madrid visit Almeria. I'm Keeghann Sinanan, your guide for all the action.
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