Atletico blow title race wide open

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Diego Simeone


ATLETICO MADRID handed their cross-city rivals a firm thrashing on Saturday night, with four unanswered goals moving them to within four points of Real Madrid and just three points behind second placed Barcelona in La Liga.

Diego Simeone’s side inflicted Real Madrid’s heaviest defeat in four years, with goals from Tiago, Saul Niguez, Griezmann and Mandzukic delighting the home fans at the Vicente Calderon stadium.

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Rampant Atletico took the lead after just 13 minutes when Tiago latched onto a cross by Juanfran and blasted a low shot past Iker Casillas in the Real goal. Four minutes later and the home side were 2-0 up after a superb overhead kick by Saul found the back of the net.

Real Madrid never property threatened the Atletico goal and the team in red-and-white netted a third with 24 minutes left on the clock through a Griezmann goal, before Mandzukic rounded off a nightmare game for Real when he headed the fourth goal with just a minute left on the clock.


“I always insist that the players are the most important people,” said Atletico boss Simeone. “Today their capacity to understand what we needed was fantastic.” In contrast, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti summed up his feelings: “It is the worst game we have played since I have been coach.”

Atletico’s 4-0 drubbing of Real means they have now beaten their city rivals twice in La Liga and over two legs in the Copa del Rey and in the Spanish Supercup. Sweet revenge for losing the Champions League Final to Real Madrid last year.





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