Atletico Madrid eased to a simple victory as three first half goals saw Diego Simeone’s side beat Huesca in La Liga on Tuesday evening.
Key Talking Point
Atlético Madrid have started the La Liga season indifferently and went into this game in eighth place, already five points behind the league leaders Barcelona and Real Madrid.
However, Simeone’s side seemed to come to life on Tuesday, just in time for the upcoming Madrid derby. Atlético will be travelling to the Bernabeu on Saturday, looking to cut the five point deficit that has opened up so early into the campaign.
With that in mind, this was a great time to boost the confidence among the players and around the Wanda Metropolitana. Atlético Madrid will need all their players at their best if they’re going to steal all three points from their bitter rivals on Saturday, and Tuesday’s result will certainly have helped.
Starting XI: Oblak ( 6), Muñoz (8), Giménez (5), Godín (6), Filipe Luis (6), Correa (8), Thomas (9), Koke (7), Lemar (7), Costa (7), Griezmann (8).
Substitutes: Adán, Saúl, Kalinic (6), R. Hernández, Martins (6), L. Hernandez (6), Vitolo.
STAR MAN: In a star studded lineup, Thomas Partey was the man who stood out for Simeone’s side. The Ghanaian midfielder was instrumental in breaking up Huesca’s attacks and recycling the ball for Atlético’s creative players.
Thomas Partey with a cracker for Atletico. Superb player, his ability to play so many positions often results in him being so underated!
— Mark Pilkington (@Pilkz75) September 25, 2018
His fine long-range strike in the first half capped off what was a seamless performance by the midfielder.
WORST PLAYER: In a game where Atlético were comfortable throughout, there were no standout players who deserved the title of ‘worst player’.
Key Talking Point
In Huesca’s last match against one of the ‘big three’ in La Liga, Leo Franco’s team were humbled by Barcelona as they lost 8-2 at the Nou Camp.
With that firmly in the memory, some might have expected Huesca to wise up and change their tactics for their match against Atlético Madrid. However, this was not the case as they allowed Simeone’s players acres of space and were punished emphatically.
Whilst it is admirable that, despite being the clear underdogs, Huesca are not satisfied just to sit back and hold out for a point, there is an element of naivety involved.
Even though Franco’s side are not expected to win, or even draw these matches, by allowing themselves to be so defensively open they give themselves no chance of a result.
If Leo Franco is not willing to change his tactics against the likes of Atlético Madrid and Barcelona, Huesca fans should expect some unflattering score-lines in the future.
Starting XI: Werner (5), Miramón (5), Etxeita (5), Semedo (4), Luísinho (6), Falguera (5), Manzanares (6), Musto (6), Ferreiro (5), Hernandez (5), Longo (4).
Substitutes: Aguilera (6), Gomez, Santamaría, Pulido, Akapo (6), Ávila (5), Gurler.
STAR MAN – Huesca left back Luísinho was a bright spark for the away side. Of the four defenders, he seemed the most competent at dealing with the Atlético threat and also got forward intermittently to provide an attacking outlet.
However, a mixture of Atlético’s defensive organisation and a lack of attacking impetus for Huesca meant that Luísinho was unable to make a real difference, despite his efforts. He was forced off injured in the 68th minute and Leo Franco will be hoping it’s nothing serious.
WORST PLAYER – Semedo was the weak link for Huesca in defences this evening. Throughout the game he was bullied by Diego Costa and struggled to make any kind of impact. If you’re going to come out successful against Costa, you have to be stronger than he was on Tuesday.
Atlético Madrid reignite their bitter rivalry with Real Madrid on Saturday, in the hope of reducing the gap from five points to two.
Despite the poor quality of the opposition on Tuesday, the performance and convincing scoreline will give Simeone and his players a boost of confidence going into the derby.
Huesca, on the other hand, will be looking to forget this game as soon as possible. Leo Franco’s men will be taking on Girona at home, which represents a more feasible challenge that tonight’s opposition.