ALL SPORTS Breaking News Soccer Top news

Atletico Madrid to secure a vital win in San Sebastian

On Sunday evening, Atletico Madrid faces a potentially tough trip to San Sebastian to face Real Sociedad, who are still be eying a European spot.

Real Sociedad are just two points outside the European spots in La Liga after an unbeaten run of eight matches in the Spanish top-flight, consisting of four wins and four draws. La Real’s good recent results have been built on solid defensive displays, as they have kept clean sheets in four of their last five league outings.

The visitors meanwhile have emerged as the most likely title rivals to reigning champions Barcelona. However, Los Rojiblancos are seven points behind the Blaugrana after a few recent slip-ups. Diego Simeone’s team now look to be back on track in the Spanish top-flight with straight wins over Rayo Vallecano and last time out Villarreal.

Atletico’s recent La Liga games have been low scoring, with four of the visitors last five away matches producing under 2.5 goals. With Sociedad’s recent defensive record, their recent run of low scoring games could well continue at the Anoeta.

Sociedad have been slightly inconsistent at the Anoeta this season. However, La Real have now won three of their last four home league games, including their last two matches against Athletic Bilbao and Leganes.

Their recent home matches in La Liga have been relatively high scoring, with five of their last seven league games on home soil producing over 2.5 goals.

Atletico have a rather inconsistent recent away record in La Liga. However, Simeone’s side has lost just one of their last ten games on their travels. The visitor’s recent away matches in the Spanish top-flight have been low scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in 12 of their last 14 away matches.

Sociedad will not be easy opponents for Atletico. However, Forebet predicts that the visitors will record a victory in a low scoring clash.

ALL SPORTS Breaking News Top news

Real Madrid meet derby rivals Atletico Madrid in UEFA Super Cup

Champions League winners Real Madrid clash with derby rivals and Europa League winners Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.

The fixture will see Real Madrid compete for their third straight Super Cup.

Los Blancos have won the trophy in each of the last two seasons.However, this year’s Real Madrid squad is far different than the previous incarnations.

Atletico Madrid go into Wednesday night’s game having had a tremendous summer in the transfer market. The club signed highly-sought after French winger Thomas Lemar and exciting defensive midfielder Rodri. Most importantly, the club kept all of its major players.

Antoine Griezmann, Diego Costa, and Jan Oblak all stayed with two of the three signing new contracts. While Atletico had so-so preseason friendly results, their losses to Paris Saint-Germain and Internazionale could be down to the club’s top players still recovering from the World Cup and not playing in most cases.

Real Madrid’s summer was dominated by the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus.Thibaut Courtois arrived from Chelsea, however, his signing won’t replace the goals of Ronaldo. Real Madrid are in a transition phase and it doesn’t look likely the club will replace Ronaldo’s goals before August 31 when the transfer window closes.

Ronaldo’s exit will give Gareth Bale more of a starring role. The Welshman lobbied for a move away last May, but seems to be content with both manager Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo having left. Real Madrid also have a new manager in the dugout. Julen Lupetegui takes over for Zidane and he has big shoes to fill. Lupetegui was sacked on the eve of the World Cup as Spain’s coach. His decision to join Real Madrid had disastrous effects on the Spain team.

There is a power shift taking place in Madrid and La Liga. Atletico finished in second last term while Real Madrid ended in third. Manager Diego Simeone has turned Atletico into a world power and the club has financial backing on the same level as other major European clubs. Griezmann has proven himself to be a big game player. He scored 29 goals in all competitions last term including two in the Europa League final win.

Although Real Madrid have just as good of players as Atletico, the loss of Ronaldo is a major factor. Too often, he carried Real Madrid over the line when the team was struggling. There is no guarantee Real Madrid will be the same as they were in the last few seasons with Ronaldo, so could Wednesday night’s fixture finally see Atletico get the best of their rivals or the dominance of Real Madrid in European matches will continue ? Sportseconds predicts that Champions League winner still have the chance to win another European trophy.

ALL SPORTS Breaking News Soccer Top news

Atletico Madrid 2 Athletic Bilbao 0: Gameiro and Costa settle cagey clash

Kevin Gameiro came off the bench to score and create Atletico Madrid’s goals as Diego Simeone’s men maintained the pressure on LaLiga leaders Barcelona with a battling 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Barca won at Eibar on Saturday to build their cushion back up to 10 points after Atletico had reduced the deficit thanks to successive draws from the Catalan giants.

An out-of-form Athletic side had frustrated the hosts for large periods at the Wanda Metropolitano and seemingly looked set to hold Atletico to a goalless draw.

It was down to Gameiro to earn Atletico their fifth straight win in all competitions, the forward drilling a shot into the bottom corner after being set up by fellow Frenchman Antoine Griezmann.

Gameiro then set up Diego Costa to mark his latest return from injury with a goal, wrapping up the points with 11 minutes to go, beating Kepa Arrizabalaga at the goalkeeper’s near post.

Athletic are now winless in six games and, after they failed to create a clear chance in the game, Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak recorded his 16th LaLiga clean sheet of the season, putting him top of the charts for Europe’s top-five leagues.

Atleti blew Copenhagen away 4-1 in the Europa League on Thursday but took until the 14th minute to record the first effort of note, Jose Gimenez directing Griezmann’s free-kick wide at full stretch.

The hosts should have had a penalty, however, Unai Nunez losing his footing and bringing down Costa, only for referee Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez to wave away strong appeals.

Athletic failed to score in their last two LaLiga games and, shorn of the attacking threats posed by suspended duo Aritz Aduriz and Raul Garcia, they failed to record a shot on target in the first half, with Atleti having also failed to work Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Costa went to ground again immediately after the restart but the referee decided a touch in the back from defender Nunez was not enough to send the striker crashing to the turf.

The Spain striker recorded the first shot on target of the match after 50 minutes, finding space in the box to volley Sime Vrsaljko’s cross at goal, but Kepa saved easily to his left.

Atletico were gradually finding more space but Costa headed over, Kepa was not troubled by Angel Correa’s ambitious 30-yarder and Griezmann fired wildly off-target.

Simeone turned to Gameiro to provide more spark and the striker scored within eight minutes of his introduction for the out-of-sorts Koke.

Atletico’s speed of thought resulted in an overload on the right wing after Athletic stopped in expectation of winning a free-kick, with Griezmann timing and weighting the pass out to the unmarked Gameiro perfectly for his compatriot to take a touch and rifle a low shot across Kepa.

And with Athletic leaving too many gaps at the back, Gameiro slipped Costa through on goal to wrongfoot Kepa and ensure Atletico keep LaLiga’s title race very much alive.

Key Opta stats:

– Griezmann has assisted the last three Gameiro’s goals in LaLiga.
– Since his return to Atletico, Diego Costa has been involved in six goals in his eight games in all competitions (four goals and two assists).
– Atletico have kept clean sheets in 16 games in LaLiga this season, more than any other team in the top 5 European Leagues (equal to Juventus).
– Atletico Madrid are unbeaten in their last 10 LaLiga games against Athletic Club (W8 D2), their longest ever run without defeat against them in the top flight.
– Diego Simeone has won 13 games as a manager against Athletic in all competitions, more than he has against any other opponent as Atletico’s boss.

ALL SPORTS Breaking News Soccer Top news

Atletico Madrid 2 Real Sociedad 1: Last-gasp Griezmann winner cuts gap to Barca

Antoine Griezmann scored a dramatic winner with two minutes remaining as Atletico Madrid salvaged a 2-1 comeback victory over Real Sociedad in LaLiga.

The France international did not celebrate against his former club as Atletico continued their unbeaten start to the league season and closed the deficit to Barcelona to six points after the leaders drew 2-2 with Celta Vigo earlier on Saturday.

Willian Jose scored his seventh league goal of the season with a first-half penalty as Real threatened a shock victory.

But Filipe Luis responded after the break by netting for the first time since April as Atletico’s club-record beginning to a LaLiga campaign progressed to 14 matches without defeat.

An inspired goalkeeping performance from Geronimo Rulli looked like it would deny Atleti a winner until Griemzann bundled in from close range in the final moments, giving the in-form hosts a fifth win in six matches across all competitions.

Real sit seventh, 11 points behind Atletico, after a run of only one win in six league games.

Atletico squandered an early chance when Kevin Gameiro broke the offside trap but took too long to pull the trigger, eventually opting to pass to Griezmann in a worse position.

Real were next to threaten when Thomas Partey, playing at right-back, lost possession in a dangerous area, allowing Xabi Prieto to set up Willian Jose, who could only blaze his left-footed strike over from 12 yards.

Willian Jose turned creator when his cross found Prieto at the far post in the visitors’ next attack, but a combination of goalkeeper Jan Oblak and a backtracking Filipe Luis denied the Real captain.

The visitors were on top and their spot-kick was awarded when Mikel Oyarzabal latched on to David Zurutuza’s throughball and attempted to round Oblak, who was adjudged to have fouled the winger.

Willian Jose took the 29th-minute penalty and drilled his effort past Oblak, the keeper guessing the wrong way.

Gameiro and Gabi presented Angel Correa with two superb opportunities in quick succession to bring Atletico level before half-time, but away shot-stopper Rulli saved with his legs on both occasions to frustrate the hosts.

Correa’s woes continued after the break when, having been provided a glorious chance by a passing move that finished with Koke playing him in, he somehow skied his close-range finish with Rulli on the way down and almost the whole goal to aim at.

There was more frustration for the hosts when Griezmann volleyed into the top corner only for an offside flag to deny him, while the France international had another effort saved soon after, as did Koke.

Atletico got a deserved equaliser after 63 minutes when Saul Niguez’s deep cross found Filipe Luis and the full-back turned inside Prieto and lashed an accurate finish into the far corner with his weaker right foot from 12 yards.

Prieto collected Oyarzabal’s delivery and fired over from a good chance at the other end, but Atletico were dominant after the break and only more heroics from a diving Rulli denied Griezmann from heading in.

Diego Simeone brought on Yannick Carrasco and Fernando Torres as he searched for a winner, with Rulli keeping out an acrobatic effort from the latter shortly after his arrival, while Zurutuza was off-target with a free header for Real as the match entered its closing stages.

It looked like there would be no winner for either side until Saul’s looping, deflected header led to a sliding Griezmann converting from a yard out at the far post for his fourth goal in three games in all competitions, delighting the Wanda Metropolitano crowd.

Key Opta facts:

– Atletico Madrid have equalled their longest ever unbeaten run in LaLiga (W11 D7), recorded twice previously (18 in 1991 and 1941).
– Atletico have won four points in the last five minutes of matches, the most for a team in this period in LaLiga this season.
– Geronimo Rulli made eight saves, the most for a keeper versus Atletico in LaLiga this term.
– Jan Oblak has conceded his first LaLiga penalty as an Atletico player.

ALL SPORTS Breaking News Soccer Top news

Atletico Madrid 3 Elche 0 (4-1 agg): Torres double sees Simeone´s men cruise through

A Fernando Torres double helped Atletico Madrid comfortably beat Elche 3-0 to secure Copa del Rey progression with a 4-1 aggregate triumph.

Atletico were only able to come away from last month’s first leg with a 1-1 draw, but they never looked in danger of being on the end of an upset at the Wanda Metropolitano, with Torres scoring twice in a strong performance.

Diego Simeone refused to jeopardise progression by playing an inexperienced team like he did in the away leg and his side looked focused as a result in making it four wins from their last five games.

Initially they wasted opportunities and began to look frustrated, but Jose Maria Gimenez finally ended Elche’s resistance with a header at the back post in the 31st minute.

And their second followed shortly after, with Torres producing a fine finish for his first goal at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The chances continued to flow for Atleti and although wasteful finishing again surfaced after the break, Torres finally doubled his tally in the 68th minute to make absolutely sure of their qualification for the last 16.

Atletico were quick out of the blocks and almost broke the deadlock after just three minutes, but Luciano Vietto – enjoying a rare start – shot just wide of the left-hand post from a tight angle after a fine run in from the right flank.

Elche had to rely on the post to save them just before the half-hour mark, with Koke’s 30-yard drive smacking against the frame of the goal.

But there was to be no denying Gimenez soon after, however, as the Uruguay defender stealthily appeared behind the Elche defence at a corner and headed just inside the right-hand post.

And with their very next attack, Atleti added a second.

Guille Vallejo failed to hold on to Yannick Carrasco’s long-range effort and Torres was there to pounce on the rebound, tucking in from a tight angle.

The wasteful Vietto should have extended the lead just before the break, but he fired over from the centre of the box after Torres’ cut-back.

Things were similarly one-sided after the break and Atletico should have gone three up shortly after the restart, but Nicolas Gaitan could only find the side-netting after a fine flowing move.

Atletico then began to sit back a little more and invite pressure in the hope of catching Elche on the break.

And they almost did so in the 64th minute, as Gaitan darted in from the left, skipped past a couple of challenges and fed Thomas Partey into the right side of the area, only for his squared pass to be cut out at the last moment.

An even better chance fell to Torres soon after, with Vietto teeing him up with an easy finish from 12 yards, yet he inexplicably scuffed wide.

He made amends a few moments later, though, slamming past Vallejo from close range after being released by substitute Sime Vrsaljko.

Torres almost got his hat-trick 10 minutes from the end, but Vallejo made a brilliant save down to his right to deny the striker, as in-form Atletico settled for a three-goal victory.

ALL SPORTS Breaking News Soccer Top news

Atletico Madrid to record a vital against Roma

Atletico Madrid’s Champions League campaign has definitely not gone to plan this season. The Rojiblancos are currently winless from four games in Europe, having drawn three and lost one of their group games so far.

However, Diego Simeone’s side have a chance to revive their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition when they welcome group leaders Roma to the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday night.

Atletico must turn around their poor form quickly if they are to have any hope of reaching the knockout stages. A record of just one win from their last seven games in Europe is certainly a worrying one.

Simeone’s side does have a decent home record in the Champions League at least, as they have lost just one of their last 13 home games in the competition.

However, they have failed to win either of their home games in this season’s competition, losing against Chelsea and drawing against minnows Qarabag.

Roma head into this game in high spirits after a 2-1 victory over local rivals Lazio on Sunday. The win means that the Giallorossi have now recorded six straight wins in all competitions.

Eusebio Di Francesco’s team are also unbeaten in this season’s Champions League, recording two wins and drawing their other two games. However, the two victories in this season’s competition are their only wins in Europe’s elite competition in their last ten outings.

The Italian side’s recent form on their travels in the Champions League is also poor, as they have won just one of their last 12 away games in the competition.

Roma’s recent away games in the Champions League have been high scoring, though, as there have been over 2,5 goals scored in five of their last seven games.

Atletico are in desperate need of a win in this clash and Sprotseconds predicts the home side will record a victory in a low scoring encounter.

ALL SPORTS Breaking News Soccer Top news

Deportivo La Coruna 0 Atletico Madrid 1: Thomas rescues Simeone´s men

Thomas Partey scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner as Atletico Madrid salvaged a 1-0 away victory over Deportivo La Coruna in LaLiga.

Just as it looked like Diego Simeone’s men would continue a troubling run of form, Thomas beat Costel Pantilimon with an impressive curling strike when captain Gabi laid a free-kick into his path.

The late winner rescued Atleti, who were facing a fourth consecutive draw across all competitions after failing to create a clear goalscoring opportunity in regulation time.

Victory is a huge boost to Simeone, whose side had endured a disappointing home draw against Qarabag on Tuesday to leave them in huge danger of suffering a group-stage exit in the Champions League.

It is still nine games since they scored two or more goals, but Atleti remain unbeaten in LaLiga and move up to third in the table above city rivals Real Madrid, who do not play their game in hand against Las Palmas until Sunday.

And they sit within five points of leaders Barcelona, who host fifth-placed Sevilla later on Saturday.

Depor, meanwhile, remain 16th after suffering their first defeat under new boss Cristobal Parralo.

The hosts were the better side in a quiet first half, with Zakaria Bakkali firing over from one 20-yard opportunity after being fed in a set-piece that was awarded when Stefan Savic was booked for hacking down Fede Cartabia at the edge of the area.

Depor then had a penalty claim turned down when centre-back Sidnei somehow found himself on the right wing. He impressively cut inside and twisted his way into the area past Saul Niguez and Lucas Hernandez, before going down under a challenge from the latter.

After a poor first half for Atletico, Simeone made a half-time substitution, with Nicolas Gaitan brought on for the ineffective Angel Correa.

And Gaitan had an immediate impact, feeding Antoine Griezmann to fire the first shot on target straight at Pantilimon within a minute of the restart.

The substitute was then denied by Pantilimon himself from a 20-yard half volley, with Diego Godin heading just wide from the resulting corner.

Guilherme headed just wide for Depor and Cartabia’s deflected effort tested Jan Oblak before Simeone made another switch, Kevin Gameiro replacing Augusto Fernandez.

Neither side created a clear chance as the second half became increasingly scrappy, with Simeone’s final change seeing defender Jose Gimenez brought on for an unhappy Griezmann, even though he had Fernando Torres and Luciano Vietto available.

A poor game looked set to finish goalless until the first minute of added time, when Lucas won a free-kick from Sidnei in a central area 20 yards from goal.

Instead of shooting himself, captain Gabi teed up Thomas instead and the midfielder caught out Pantilimon with a curling effort into the far corner, his third goal in four games.

ALL SPORTS Breaking News Soccer Top news

Atletico Madrid 1 Villarreal 1: Simeone´s side frustrated at home

Atletico Madrid had to settle for a fifth draw in six competitive matches as they were held 1-1 by Villarreal at the Wanda Metropoliatno on Saturday.

Carlos Bacca crashed in an 81st minute header to cancel out Angel Correa’s opener as Diego Simeone’s endured another frustrating day.

Held to a 1-1 draw at third-tier Elche in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, the Rojiblancos were made to wait for the opener as Villarreal set about proving their pedigree as contenders for a Champions League spot.

Unsurprisingly it was a flash of brilliance from Antoine Griezmann that gave the home side the lead in the 61st minute as his exquisite vision and touch enabled Correa to tuck home at the near post.

But, having spurned chances to go ahead in the first half, Villarreal continued to create opportunities and found late reward through Bacca.

The draw prevented fourth-placed Atleti from climbing above rivals Real Madrid and instead stretched Javi Calleja’s unbeaten LaLiga start to life as Villarreal boss to four matches.

Bacca was first to try his luck during a subdued opening and should have done better in shooting straight at Jan Oblak.

Atleti warmed to the contest as the half wore on, Correa drawing a sharp low save from Mariano Barbosa before Kevin Gameiro and Antoine Griezmann both failed to hit the target from the edge of the area.

Cedric Bakambu, scorer of six goals in his previous three league appearances, looked destined to continue his fine form when he was put through by Manu Trigueros, but the striker dallied over his finish and enabled Stefan Savic to produce a superb sliding challenge.

The visitors narrowly avoided paying an immediate price for the missed opportunity as goalkeeper Barbosa scampered to his far post to divert a goal-bound Griezmann volley, with Saul Niguez’s tame follow-up cleared off the line by Victor Ruiz.

And it was Barbosa who again preserved the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, the 33-year-old athletically tipping Diego Godin’s header over the bar.

Spain Under-21 international Rodri issued a reminder of the danger at the other end by forcing Oblak to parry a low effort shortly after the restart.

Griezmann’s genius eventually shone through for the home side, though, as his first-time flick out to the right found an unmarked Correa, who applied a fitting finish inside the near post.

Simeone’s side came close to doubling their advantage soon after as the ball dropped kindly for Gameiro, only for an onrushing Barbosa to smother the chance at close-range.

The hosts’ inability to extend their lead proved costly as Bacca rose high and headed in Samu Castillejo’s corner to seal a hard-earned point for Calleja’s side.

ALL SPORTS Breaking News Soccer Top news

Celta Vigo 0 Atletico Madrid 1: Fit-again Gameiro ends visitors´ winless run

Kevin Gameiro marked his first LaLiga start of the season with a goal as Atletico Madrid’s four-game winless run in all competitions came to an end with a 1-0 success at Celta Vigo.

Diego Simeone’s men are still unbeaten domestically this term, but a 2-1 Champions League loss at home to Chelsea towards the end of September preceded three consecutive draws – including a potentially costly stalemate at Qarabag on Wednesday.

However, that miserable streak was brought to a close against Celta as Gameiro found the net 28 minutes into his league return, having replaced Angel Correa in the line-up after missing the start of the campaign with a groin injury.

That goal came during a rare bright spell for Atleti with the visitors spending much of the game on the back foot and having to rely on goalkeeper Jan Oblak to keep Celta at bay.

Celta started positively, but Oblak comfortably dealt with an early strike from Iago Aspas, who then shot wide from a similar position on the edge of the area.

Oblak was tested rather more strenuously by a looping Sergi Gomez header that looked destined for the top-left corner before the keeper intervened.

Another save followed as Pione Sisto cut inside from the left to shoot hard and low, with Atleti then belatedly drawing a first notable stop from Sergio Alvarez as he smothered the ball at Antoine Griezmann’s feet on the 25-minute mark.

Alvarez was alert again to divert a low Griezmann drive around the post, but the opener came from the subsequent corner. Sergi Gomez nodded an outswinging delivery back towards his own goal and Gameiro pounced, swivelling to thrash the ball past Alvarez.

Oblak remained busy, continuing to deal with efforts from long range before smartly gathering Daniel Wass’ low strike.

Another Oblak stop followed the interval as he parried a testing Aspas volley to safety, before the Celta forward clipped the top of the crossbar with a free-kick from just outside the area.

Both sides felt they had cause to be frustrated with referee Jose Munuera with around 25 minutes remaining – Celta’s Jonny avoiding a second yellow card for a foul on Juanfran moments before Sisto’s cross looked to strike Gabi’s arm in the box.

Griezmann nodded narrowly wide at the end of a rare Atleti attack, but another siege on Oblak’s goal then saw substitute John Guidetti drill into the sidenetting.

Oblak held Aspas’ curler and fell on Guidetti’s optimistic flick in stoppage time as Atleti saw out the victory.