Simeone's Atletico defeats Villarreal

Simeone's Atletico defeats Villarreal

Published Jan. 15, 2012 12:00 a.m. ET

The hosts had already wasted a number of chances before Radamel Falcao finally broke the deadlock five minutes before half-time with an easy finish after great work from Adrian Lopez down the right.

The same two players combined to create Atletico's second just after the break as this time Adrian's backheel set the Colombian free inside the area and he was brought down by Gonzalo Rodriguez. Falcao subsequently stepped up to take the resulting penalty and calmly doubled his tally for the day.

The home side continued to miss a host of good opportunities in the final quarter but Villarreal offered nothing by way of a response and Diego finally added a third as he side-footed past Diego Lopez 10 minutes from time.

Atletico had been criticised for their negativity in Simeone's first game in charge last weekend in the 0-0 draw at Malaga, but back on home soil they showed the flowing football they are capable of.


Diego and Falcao wasted half-chances early on and Arda Turan should have put the Rojiblancos in front but the Turkey international tried to square the ball to Falcao and Cristian Zapata intercepted.

The goal was coming though and it duly arrived on 40 minutes as Adrian received an excellent pass from Thiago and charged towards the byline before squaring for Falcao to fire into an empty net.

Villarreal manager Jose Molina tried to change things by bringing on Mateo Musacchio and Gonzalo Castellani at the break but Atletico started the second period just as brightly and were handed the chance to double their advantage when Gonzalo clipped Falcao's heels inside the area. The Colombian calmly sent Lopez the wrong way from the spot to make it 2-0.

Adrian then missed a great chance to cap his performance with a goal as he headed wide when unmarked at the back post and Lopez denied Falcao his hat-trick on three occasions with fine saves.

However, the chances kept coming and Diego added a third as he controlled a cross from the left in acres of space before slipping the ball past Lopez into the bottom corner.