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Morning stroll for Atleti as lacklustre Getafe disappoint: Tactical Analysis

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Atletico Madrid moved up to seventh in the Primera Division after bouncing back from last week’ s stoppage-time loss against Zaragoza, to cruise to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Madrid rivals Getafe at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday morning.

Goals from Eduardo Salvio, Diego and Radamel Falcao proved too much for Luis Garcia Plaza’s side, who had come into the game on the back of a four-match unbeaten run.

First Half

Atleti boss Diego Simeone made four changes to his side that beat Hannover 2-1 at the Vicente Calderon on Thursday with Godin, Miranda, Adrian and Koke all rested.  Meanwhile Diego started after a seven week absence and slotted in as the playmaker in their 4-2-3-1 formation. However, the tactics were not very rigid with Salvio keen to move up top with Falcao, especially when Getafe had the ball, and Diego would move to the right.

Getafe started the match well; maybe Atletico took a few minutes to wake up from a Europa League hangover. The away side in the highlighter kits played a rigid 4-2-3-1. Gavilán found space on the left and crosses were coming in to Miku. However, the striker was not able to connect; the crosses lacked precise accuracy. In the 7th minute Getafe nearly broke through after a counter attack from an Atleti corner. Miku and Sarabia combined through the middle but Diego made a last ditch, and fairly risky, sliding challenge inside the area to prevent Miku from shooting.

The attacking strategy of Atletico was clear. Get the ball to Diego and he would find the fullbacks bombing forward who would then cross for Falcao and Salvio. The first of these attacks nearly resulted in a Falcao header but Cata Díaz just got a head to it first.

The Rojiblancos opened the scoring in the 24th minute from a Felipe Luis cross. Atleti had a throw-in in the right corner. They quickly rotated the ball across to the left side which provided Felipe Luis with enough time to pick out a cross at the back post. Salvio out jumped Mané and sent a looping header over Moyá and into the far side of the goal.

Atleti were able to suppress Getafe for the remainder of the half through aggressive defending. They were eager and quick to win the ball back after they lost it. This swarming of the ball from Suárez, Gabi and Diego in the center aggravated the Getafe midfield. Atleti pressured when they give the ball away because their players were already in an advanced position. This pressure frustrated Getafe because they were forced to play it long. This tactic by Simeone effectively quashed the counter attack and gave nothing easy to the visitors.

Getafe was not able to exploit the Atletico Madrid fullbacks bombing forward. They needed to put more pressure in midfield to win the ball and counter down the flanks. Instead, Atletico had time to possess the ball which allowed time for the fullbacks to get forward. For example, in the 30th minute Arda Turan tucked inside and linked with Diego who had plenty of space and time to send a through ball over the top for a sprinting Felipe Luis. He sent a threatening cross to the back post that was cleared by Alexis.
Getafe’s lone shot came in the 38th minute. A cross from Mané on the left found a diving Diego Castro but he narrowly missed the target. With only one shot for each side, the first half was not very memorable.

Second Half

After the break, the home side immediately pushed for a second goal. Falcao had four decent chances in 10 minutes. Two were from crosses from Felipe Luis and Juanfran. The other two were from free kicks, one was a goal ruled correctly offside and the other was inches from his sliding left foot. Getafe were being completely dominated and a goal was coming. In the 57th minute, Lacen gave way to Casquero, most likely to sure up the midfield.

The inevitable second goal finally came three minutes later from Diego. Falcao found space on the left after a surging run from Suárez. Diego found space between Torres and Alexis and headed the Colombian’s cross off the crossbar. The rebound fell back to him and he buried it home. The Brazilian exited after his goal and could be a critical player in the Thursday trip to Germany. He was impressive going forward but his defensive work was more important and uncommon from a flair player.

The Atleti midfield was only caught out once, when Casquero got around Suárez but his shot was easily collected by Curtois. Getafe offered nothing going forward in the entire half.

With thirteen minutes to play, the Rojiblancos knocked out Getafe. After a long spell in possession, Juanfran made a run from the right and played a one two with the substitute Koke. The right back squared a pass to Falcao who comfortably slotted home his 20th Liga goal of the season.
Overall, Atletico turned in a professional second half performance. They worked vigorously for a second goal straight after halftime and then killed off the match with persistent midfield play and even added a third via Falcao. Simeone’s men are now five points from fourth spot. Getafe will probably end in mid table, but were quite poor on the day.




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