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5 things we learned at the weekend

La Liga Sep 29, 2014
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11 hours 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...

1 day 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,...

4 days ago

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

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone admitted a slow start cost his side as it slumped to a 3-1 defeat to Valencia.

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...

Oct 8, 2014

Despite inconsistencies, progress being made at Atletico Madrid

Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid have encountered some hurdles in the first months of their title defence.
Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid have encountered some hurdles in the first months of their title defence.

It has been a long, hard slog for Atletico Madrid since the first international break.

Now as the second one arrives, with seven games gone in the club's quest to almost do the impossible and defend their La Liga crown, it seems a good time to take a step back and look at the goings-on in the Spanish capital.

Among Los Colchoneros fans, there was a certain sense of relief following the final whistle on Saturday against Valencia.

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Oct 6, 2014

Five things we learned in La Liga this weekend

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti discusses FC Barcelona's start to their La Liga campaign.

Each week we will take a look at five things we learned from the weekend of La Liga action. This week, Cristiano Ronaldo made his mark on history, while Lionel Messi and Neymar shone for Barcelona.

1. Ronaldo's eyes on the prize

Cristiano Ronaldo's latest hat trick in Real Madrid's 5-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday night was perfectly timed. Ronaldo has finally put concerns over his troublesome knee behind him, and now has 13 goals in his last six domestic games.

Real MadridReal Madrid
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao
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It is 71 years since Oviedo...