After nearly 70 years of no European action, Atlético Madrid beat Gloria Bistrita 2-2 (on away goals) to clinch a place in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Cup. They won the home leg 1-0 thanks to a fantastic, in-the-box strike by Forlán in the 11th minute, a defensive error on the part of the Romanian side.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t available for online viewing at all– and trust me, I checked everywhere. I listened via a Madrileño radio station.
Here are a few notes:
-From beginning to his substitution in the 89th minute, Sergio ‘kun’ Agüero possessed immense strength, vision, and work ethic– not to mention absolute genius on the pitch. He was most unfortunate to not score a goal or two in the first half– he was on fire and no doubt had Atleti supporters at the edge of their seats with his promising performance this evening.
-Forlán and defender Pablo were also noted as having a solid first half– Forlán scoring his first goal as a rojiblanco by taking advantage of a defensive blunder by Gloria Bistrita. Indeed, I got the impression that kun and Forlán combined well– unfortunately, only one goal to show for it. All in all, the commentators noted the difference in attack with kun and Forlán when compared to the toothless front-line display of last weekend’s first leg of the Intertoto.
-Maniche was unfortunate to have his 32 min shot hit the bar.
-60% possession, and 4-5 clear shots at goal.
A lot of suffering in this half as there were defensive scares on the part of Atleti’s back-line. In the 59th minute, poor marking by– who else?– Luis Perea, almost led to an equalising goal for Gloria Bistrita.
Mariano Pernía was, to my surprise, chosen in the starting 11, but didn’t impress– from what I’ve read, it was ‘same-old, same-old’ by the Argentine left-back. Surely he’s on his way out of Atleti before the end of the summer–perhaps to Depor?
It was a usual, unimpressive performance by Luccin. Why he continues to occupy a starting 11 spot at all is beyond me. Es una verguenza.
Overall, I’m pleased: Atleti qualify for UEFA, Forlan scored his first goal for the club, and kun impressed with his performance. The best is yet to come. I can hardly wait to see Simao in action.
Complaints? The defence is still very shaky and will be our downfall if we don’t strengthen it– in desperate need of a solid centre-back! The second half was less-than-convincing than the first half.
Leo Franco; Seitaridis (Eller 88’), Pablo, Perea, Pernía; Luccin, Maniche (Raúl García 76’), Maxi, Jurado; Forlán and Agüero (Braulio 89’).
Unused subs: Abbiatti, Antonio Lopez, Costinha, & Mista