Atletico Madrid 1-0 Real Sociedad: 6 Things We Learned
Atletico Madrid played host to Real Sociedad Sunday night with both sides looking to earn very important points to improve their current places in the La Liga table. However, the night would belong solely to Atletico.
The hosts managed to pull off a stunning 4-0 victory at the Vicente Calderon to seal three key points and finally move to the top spot of the La Liga table.
For Real Sociedad the result was very disappointing. The Basques are fighting to make it to Champions League play for the second straight year, but that may be harder than ever at this point.
In this article we will take a look at six things we learned from the match in Madrid and what the results means for both clubs. Enjoy.
* All statistics are courtesy of WhoScored.com
David Villa Is Filling His Role Perfectly
Since joining Atletico Madrid, former Barcelona star David Villa has done everything asked of him. He has been the most reliable player in the squad and manager Diego Simeone knows exactly what he is going to get out of the striker every time he is on the pitch.
Against Real Sociedad, the 32-year-old was able to put himself in scoring position several times and really make the defense work hard. He even managed to find the back of the net to open up the scoring late in the first half before leaving the field with an injury.
Time and time again Villa manages to score important goals. He has already scored 10 goals this season, including a spectacular strike against Barcelona at the beginning of the season, and has shown no signs of slowing down.
Due to his reliable form this season and willingness to play backup to Diego Costa, Villa is the perfect man for Diego Simeone's system. Atletico Madrid have a history of doing wonderful business with strikers and Villa is no exception.
Real Sociedad Are Much Better with Carlos Vela on the Wing
Carlos Vela has been an absolute monster going forward for Real Sociedad during his career with the Basque club. It makes sense that he should be able to feature as a striker, but it does not benefit the club in the long run.
Vela normally lines up on the right wing as is his preferred position, but against Atletico Madrid he was pushed up into the center-forward position.
In truth, Vela played quite well up front. He won nine dribbles and created a few problems for the opposing defense. But Real Sociedad did not perform as well as a unit with the Mexican leading the attack.
Once Imanol Agirretxe was brought on in the second half, things become much more organized for the Basques. It is very clear that while Vela can play as a striker, it is better that La Real keep him on the right where they have gotten consistent results as a team.
Atletico Madrid's Defense Continues to Perform in Every Way Possible
Another match, another clean sheet for Atletico Madrid. Los Colchoneros have arguably the best keeper in the world in Thibaut Courtois, but what makes things even better is the fact that they may also boast the best back line in the game as well.
The Atletico back line continues to show that they are organized, experienced and very difficult to beat in every match they play. But defending is not the only thing the back four have to offer.
Juanfran, Filipe Luis and Emiliano Insua have the ability to go forward and even play as wing-backs. However, no matter how far forward they may go, they are never caught out of position.
At the same time, center-backs Juan Miranda and Diego Godin have proven themselves to be extremely dangerous in the box for Atletico Madrid.
Godin has already managed to head home a goal this season and Miranda added his first of the year against Real Sociedad. As a whole the back line have found a way to get involved in the offensive side of Atletico Madrid and the club is benefiting greatly because of it.
When you have one of the best defensive units in the world that can also help score goals, you have a good thing going.
Atletico Keep Finding Ways to Tear Defenses Apart
No matter who they play, it just never seems as though opponents have an answer for Atletico Madrid. Diego Costa and company just keep scoring goals and big scorelines have even become expected.
Like Atletico, Real Sociedad are known for having a wall in front of the keeper. Yet despite their best efforts, the Basques were just unable to handle the attacks from their hosts.
The 4-0 scoreline really does not tell the whole story for the match in Madrid. The game was actually much closer than the score would suggest, but in the end there was just no way of stopping Atletico from creating terrific chances.
It is quickly becoming very difficult for anyone to beat Los Colchoneros. Their incredible defense mixed with a deadly front line is just too much for most teams. At this rate, Atletico could very well be lifting the La Liga trophy at season's end.
Real Sociedad Are Still Fighting for the Champions League
Their disappointing loss to Atletico Madrid aside, Real Sociedad are still very much in the mix for the last Champions League spot in the La Liga table.
La Real currently find themselves sixth in the table trailing both Villarreal and Athletic Club Bilbao in their search for a fourth-place finish. Though they may not be favorites, they still have a good shot of reaching their goal.
In truth, the race for the last Champions League spot will come down to the final two weeks of the season.
Real Sociedad will travel to the San Mames to take on Athletic Club one week before the season ends, and then they will face off with Villarreal to end their campaign. Everything else is building up to those two weeks.
La Real showed a lot of bright moments against Atletico Madrid. They may have been beaten in a disappointing way, but fans must still be encouraged by how the club has been performing as a whole in 2014.
Atletico Madrid Finally on Top
It is official. Atletico Madrid are finally at the top of the La Liga table. After Barcelona dropped all three points in yesterday's defeat to Valencia, Los Colchoneros took their chance and now lead the league unrivaled for the top spot.
Atletico Madrid have now taken 57 points from 22 games, leading Barcelona by three points and Real Madrid by four unless Los Blancos are able to win at the San Mames later today.
Though the season is a long way from being over, the fact that Atletico Madrid are actually alone at the top of the table shows that La Liga really isn't a two-horse race anymore. There are three teams fighting for the trophy, and Diego Simeone's men may actually be considered favorites now.
Atletico Madrid fans, soak it up and celebrate. For the first time in a very long time, Barcelona and Real Madrid do not lead the table and that can only be a good thing for Spanish football.
What did you take away from Atletico Madrid's 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad? Can Diego Simeone lead his side to the La Liga trophy? Leave your thoughts and comments below!