Photo credit: Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images

La Liga Round 29

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Málaga CF 0-2 Atlético de Madrid


Málaga CF: Kameni; Rosales, Llorente R., Luis H., Torres; Camacho, Rodríguez; Keko, Fornals, Juankar; Sandro. (4-2-3-1)

Atlético de Madrid: Oblak; Juanfran, Savić, Lucas, Luis; Thomas, Gabi, Saúl, Koke; Griezmann, Torres. (4-4-2)

Atlético de Madrid arrived to La Rosaleda with the mission of extending their three-game winning streak. They did it without any problem. Málaga CF were not a threat for an Atlético that have elevated their momentum in the last stretch of the season.

The visitors controlled the game from the beginning to the end. Atlético’s quick recovery of the ball was one of the keys for their victory. Antoine Griezmann had a great performance playing off the ball. He was the first one who put pressure on Málaga’s center-defenders. Griezmann also alternated positions in some moments of the game. He moved freely through the corners as an external midfielder, and obviously as a center striker alongside Fernando Torres.

The visitors punched first in the minute 26. Koke drove the ball from the left side to the middle in the last third. He passed it to Torres, who found the way to give the ball back to Koke after turning his body and making the assist while being marked by Federico Ricca – he substituted Miguel Torres – and Luis Hernández. Koke scored easily with a soft touch.

Atlético are one of the best teams when they have an advantage on the score. They drop lines and cut every passing lane with a 5-4-1 wall. It is a textbook tactical-move for them. This is what happened after Koke scored the goal. They let Málaga handle the ball to wait for them and punch back through counter-attacks. It was a logical move because Málaga is not a good team when they have to control the ball and establish the pace of the game. Málaga constantly had problems at building plays. Juankar was the only one who offered something different when driving and dribbling the ball through the left wing.

Brazilian full-backs were born to attack. It is on their nature. Filipe Luis – when he decides to do it – is one of the best players in that department. He constantly advanced lines and connected passes with his teammates up front in the second half. In fact, he was the protagonist in the second and final goal of the game. Griezmann, Torres and him made a triangle play, in which he scored an aesthetic cheap goal.

Atlético have gained 13 of the last 15 points in their last five league games. They are now tied in the third position to Sevilla FC with 58 points. Meanwhile, Málaga continue their bad league performance after only gain one point of the last 18 points in play in their last six games.

About Jose Sanchez

Journalism student at the University of Florida. Venezuelan and future sports journalist.

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