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5 things we learned at the weekend

La Liga Sep 29, 2014
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10 hours ago

Unsung hero Diego Godin warrants a mention as a Ballon d'Or contender

Cristiano Ronaldo's club stats this year could make him a lock for the Ballon d'Or, but does Portugal's poor performance at the World Cup hurt his chances? FC's Sid Lowe and Steve Nicol debate.

In the wake of Atletico Madrid's thumping 5-0 win over Malmo on Wednesday, there were a few tongue-in-cheek comments by fans about a certain Uruguayan. No, not that one; Atletico Madrid's own Diego Godin.

"Diego Godin for Ballon d'Or," were the cries from the Vicente Calderon faithful. Strange when you consider their side had just put five past the Swedish champions and that local lad Koke scored one and set up three to pick up the man of the match award.

Yet Godin's was the name on their lips, and...

2 days ago

Diego Godin again infallible as Atletico Madrid blitz Malmo in the Champs Lge

Diego Godin scored for Atletico from a set peice again. Is the Uruguayan a Ballon D'Or contender?

Atletico Madrid produced a sensational second half as they dismantled Swedish side Malmo 5-0 on Wednesday evening at the Vicente Calderon.

Having created the better chances for no reward in the opening 45, a sense of frustration was starting to seep in as the second half kicked off. Up stepped Koke -- the academy graduate not only opened the scoring but he laid on three more as the La Liga winners gave their Allsvenskan counterparts a harsh Champions League lesson.

Atletico MadridAtletico Madrid
Malmo FFMalmo FF
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Goals from Mario Mandzukic, Antoine...

5 days ago

Atletico's interchangeable parts expected to handle Malmo

Diego Simeone was delighted with Atletico Madrid's attacking use of the flanks in their 2-0 win over Espanyol on Sunday.

What do Zenit, Porto, Austria Wien, AC Milan, Barcelona, Chelsea and Juventus all have in common? The answer: They have gone to Vicente Calderon Stadium on a Champions League night and come away without a win. The best result was Chelsea's 0-0 draw, and even that was not enough to see them through over the two legs.

Atletico Madrid do not lose often in front of their home fans. The most recent time -- save for last season's Copa del Rey second leg to Real Madrid, which was mostly an afterthought...

6 days ago

Diego Godin leads stout Atletico Madrid back line against Espanyol

Diego Godin led Atletico's largely untested back line and proved a threat from set pieces going forward.

Another game at the Calderon, another headed goal, another clean sheet as Atletico Madrid topped Espanyol 2-0 on Sunday. It is becoming something of a staple for the Atleti faithful. The La Liga champions were not unduly troubled by an enthusiastic, but ultimately inferior Espanyol side.

The Catalans came to frustrate, and they initially succeeded.

With goalkeeper Kiko Casilla repelling almost everything thrown at him, it took a wonderful piece of ingenuity from Tiago to break the deadlock,...

Oct 16, 2014

Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone look to reset versus solid Espanyol

Diego Simeone won't be eager to hear from players that they are tired from international duty over the last week.

There is always a hangover when players go away on international duty, especially for a squad with several players from South America. Everyone who follows football knows that coaches are not happy about having to cede their players out globally, with fans back home sweating it out, hoping their star men come back unscathed for club duty.

The "FIFA Virus," as the Spanish media have coined it, was back in full force over the past couple of weeks, and took a particular toll on the Atletico Madrid...

Oct 12, 2014

Atletico Madrid may have to wait to see best of Antoine Griezmann

When Atletico Madrid announced the signing of Antoine Griezmann in the summer, it was seen as something of a coup for the Spanish champion. The 23-year-old had been a shining light at Real Sociedad, scoring 16 times for the Basque outfit last season before starring for France as they reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Brazil.

He was hot property, with Arsenal heavily linked, but Atleti acted both quickly and astutely in signing him up, meeting his release fee -- believed to be 30 million...