Sep 24, 2014 at 7pm UK at ​Juegos Mediterraneos
Almeria
0-1
AtleticoAtletico Madrid

Dos Santos (65'), Zongo (88'), Soriano (89')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Miranda (60')
Turan (8'), Suarez (34'), Siqueira (36'), Miranda (74'), Godin (78'), Garcia (85')

Live Commentary: Almeria 0-1 Atletico Madrid - as it happened

Atletico Madrid's Turkish midfielder Arda Turan (top) celebrates with Atletico Madrid's French forward Antoine Griezmann after scoring during the Spanish league football match against Real Madrid on September 13, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole's live text coverage of the La Liga fixture between Almeria and Atletico Madrid.

Atletico Madrid returned to winning ways on Wednesday night as they secured a 1-0 victory over Almeria.

The La Liga champions were left frustrated for long periods of the match, but broke the deadlock in the second half when Joao Miranda headed in his third goal of the season.

Despite finishing the game strongly, there would be no late response from Almeria as Atletico picked up all three points.

Read below to find out how events unfolded.


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6.30pmGood evening everyone. We've got live coverage of two La Liga games coming your way tonight, and up first is Almeria vs. Atletico Madrid. It's been a bit of a mixed start to the new season for the champions, but can they hit top form against Almeria?

6.32pmThe frustration was clear on Saturday evening as Atletico were held to a 2-2 draw by Celta Vigo. They showed flashes of producing their best, but Diego Simeone knows that there is a lot of work to do if they are to defend the La Liga title.

6.35pmAlmeria are big underdogs tonight, there's no doubt about that. However, Francisco Javier Rodriguez will be pretty happy with how the team has started the new season. They currently sit 10th in the table on five points, and are full of confidence after beating Real Sociedad on the weekend.

6.37pmALMERIA: Rubén; Navarro, Trujillo, Dos Santos, Mané; Verza, Fran Vélez, Azeez, Wellington Silva, Jonathan, Hemed

SUBSTITUTES: Julian Cuesta, Michel, Thievy, Quique, Edgar, Teerasil, Soriano


6.39pmATLETICO: Moya, Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Siqueira; Mario Suarez, Tiago, Koke, Arda, Raul Garcia, Griezmann

SUBSTITUTES: Oblak, Ansaldi, Giménez, Gabi, Saúl, Cerci, Raúl Jiménez


6.41pmNot too many surprises from Rodriguez as he prepares for the daunting task ahead of him, but has handed recalls to both Fran Velez and Wellington Silva, who both started the win over Sociedad on the bench.

6.44pmSimeone has reacted to the draw with Celta Vigo by making three changes to his side. Guilherme Siquiera returns to the side at left-back in place of Cristian Ansaldi. Gabi misses out in midfield as Mario Suarez returns, while Raul Jimenez, who was the subject of a few jeers on Saturday, is replaced by Raul Garcia.

6.46pmThe lack of a top-class striker was clearly a problem in the draw with Celta as Jimenez struggled to make an impact before eventually being taken off late on. Garcia's return may improve the side, but there's no doubt that they miss Mario Mandzukic, who is still on the sidelines after suffering a broken nose. The sooner the Croatian returns, the better.

6.50pmA quick reminder to all of the fans of Spanish football that we will have live text coverage of Malaga vs. Barcelona as soon as this game is finished. There will also be plenty of analysis and reaction on a busy night in La Liga.

6.52pmPREDICTION: Kickoff is less than 10 minutes away now, so it's time for Sports Mole's prediction. Atletico are firm favourites for a reason, and I can't see them dropping more points after struggling on the weekend. I'll go for a 3-1 victory for Atletico.

6.55pmIt's a big night for Atletico. With Barcelona playing later this evening, they can't afford to lose further ground, even at this stage of the season. Simeone will be in the stands for the final match of his touchline ban, and he is desperate for a victory.

6.59pmHere we go then. Both teams are out on the pitch now, and it will be Atletico who get the match underway.

1 minThe match kicks off at a frantic pace, with neither side able to get the ball under control in the opening minute. Atletico might enjoy playing at this tempo.

3 minAtletico are starting to relax now. Suarez and Tiago are seeing plenty of the ball, but Almeria are preventing the visitors from making much progress going forward.

5 minGriezmann is making a point of not sticking to one area of the pitch early on as he looks to get involved as much as possible. Garcia has started centrally, but it looks like the two will rotate positions regularly.

6 minAtletico have certainly started the better of the two sides. Suarez lobs a clever pass into the box to find Griezmann, who heads wide under pressure. Nothing more than a half-chance for the Frenchman.

8 minSAVE! Atletico's first corner almost brings a goal as Godin finds space in the box before heading straight at Ruben, who saves well. Moments later, Arda picks up a yellow card for a late challenge on Azeez.

9 minTiago should be the next player booked, but he escapes further punishment after tripping Hemed, who comes close to connecting with the free kick which follows before Moya can collect.

11 minAlmeria are beginning to find their feet now. Surprisingly, Atletico are failing to apply any pressure on the ball further up the pitch as the hosts begin to enjoy an extended spell of possession.

13 minIt's not quite clicking for Atletico. They probably should have been ahead earlier on, but they're now struggling to pick the right pass, with a number of players guilty of giving the ball away on too many occasions.

14 minGreat goalkeeping from Moya, as he comes off his line to collect the ball under pressure following excellent work on the left wing by Azeez.

15 minGriezmann looks to have beaten the offside trap, but the flag is up to prevent him from slotting home after collecting Suarez's clever through ball.

18 minAtletico are furious when Mane appears to foul Garcia on the right wing. I must admit, it looked like a cynical tackle to me, but the referee ignores the protests as a promising move for the visitors breaks down.

19 minIt's not going to be easy for Atletico to break down this stubborn Almeria defence. At the moment, they're not seeing much of the ball, but the hosts are doing a very good job of defending narrowly to restrict the space on offer.

21 minJonathan fancies his chances of breaking the deadlock with a speculative effort, but his curled strike from the left wing is far too weak to cause problems for Moya.

22 minCHANCE! Siqueira somehow manages to deliver a cross, despite there being very little room on the left side of midfield, but the ball almost creates the first goal as Garcia volleys straight at Ruben.

24 minIt's been a pretty even start to this match. Almeria have looked threatening when they've managed to break in numbers, but the battle is mostly going on in midfield. Simeone will want to see more of a cutting edge from Atletico.

26 minAlmeria wasted a decent opportunity when Verza, who has seen plenty of the ball early on, fails to reach any of his teammates in the box with a free kick from a dangerous position.

28 minArda lives dangerously as he competes against Navarro for the ball with his arm high, but the referee decides it's only worthy of a free kick. The Turkey international must be careful following that early booking.

30 minSAVE! Atletico almost take the lead in spectacular fashion as Tiago's powerful strike from 25 yards is pushed past the post by Ruben. Great effort from the Portuguese midfielder.

32 minSiqueira has struggled to cement his place in the side this season, but he's looked solid in the early stages and does well again to stop Wellington as Almeria looked to counter on the right.

34 minYELLOW CARD! The referee is forced to dip into his pocket for the second time tonight as he books Suarez for a kick on Hemed as another Almeria attack ends in frustration.

37 minYELLOW CARD! I must have jinxed Siqueira, who gets cautioned for catching Wellington with a stray arm. Unfortunately, this hasn't been a great first half for the champions.

39 minReally poor from Atletico as they keep the ball for an extended spell before wasting possession when Juanfran lobs a terrible pass over the Almeria defence to make life easy for Ruben. There must be an improvement soon from the visitors.

41 minSAVE! An Almeria counter-attack breaks down when Hemed runs out of options going forward. Atletico quickly break away and work the ball to Garcia, whose half-volley is met by the strong hand of Ruben. Good goalkeeping once again.

43 minBrilliant from Arda as he drifts out wide to collect the ball in space before curling in a brilliant cross. However, Garcia decides against taking the risk, and the danger is eventually cleared.

44 minArda does well once again as he skips a couple of challenges, but his chipped cross into a congested area is headed well over the crossbar by Garcia.

7.46pmHALF TIME: ALMERIA 0-0 ATLETICO MADRID

7.48pmNot a second of stoppage time at the end of a goalless first half. In truth, it's been a pretty uninspiring 45 minutes of football, but the better chances have fallen to Atletico. Simeone will be demanding an improved display after the break.

7.51pmAlmeria should be happy with how they've performed so far. The trouble will come if they do concede the first goal because they've been to cautious when they are given the opportunity to attack. Jonathan and Wellington have the pace to trouble Atletico, but Hemed has been left too isolated in attack.

7.54pmGriezmann, Garcia and Arda have all been involved in short spells, but Atletico will be eager to apply pressure to the hosts for a longer period. Simeone could be tempted to turn to Alessio Cerci if he feels the need to freshen up the attack.

7.58pmThere are two other La Liga matches going on at the moment. Eibar are leading Villareal 1-0 after the first half of their meeting, while Rayo Vallecano are level at 1-1 with Athletic Bilbao. Three more games start at 9pm.

8.00pmSUBSTITUTION: Atletico have made a change at the break. Saul Niguez is off the bench to replace Suarez. Almeria will get the second half started.

46 minNiguez is very lucky not to be booked less than a minute into his stay on the pitch after catching Fran Jelez with a late tackle. Just a warning on this occasion.

49 minAtletico have definitely stepped up the pace of their play at the start of the second half, but most of their possession is coming in the centre of midfield. Garcia appears to be holding a central position in attack.

50 minPoor from Juanfran as he somehow manages to pass the ball out of play, when the pass to Koke on the right wing looked a simple one. Another attack breaks down.

51 minGriezmann latches onto a through ball, but is unable to get past Ruben. The France international keeps the move alive with help from Koke and Garcia, but the opportunity to shoot into an empty net passes and Almeria clear.

53 minAtletico are dominating possession early in the second half. Almeria are defending from a much deeper position, and that could be a dangerous tactic if they plan on doing the same for the remainder of the match.

54 minGriezmann delivers a high cross to the back post for Garcia, whose header finds Koke, but he is unable to nod the ball at goal under pressure inside the six-yard box. Much better from Atletico.

55 minAtletico substitute Saul looks to be through on goal after meeting Garcia's pass, but an offside flag halts his progress. A replay proves that it was the wrong decision. Poor from the assistant referee.

58 minSimeone will be much more pleased with Atletico's start to the second half. They're passing the ball around nicely now, but need to find that cutting edge they've lacked in the final third. Almeria are offering nothing going forward.

60 minGOAL! ALMERIA 0-1 ATLETICO MADRID (MIRANDA)

61 minAtletico break the deadlock! It's no surprise to see the visitors find success from a corner as Miranda sprints to the near post to head home Koke's cross. That's the Brazilian's second goal in a week.

63 minYou'd guess that it will be difficult for Almeria to react to falling behind. Atletico will enjoy being ahead, and can take advantage of any spaces in behind the home defence when they are forced to send numbers forward.

65 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Almeria respond to the goal with two changes. Velez and Hemed are the players to be replaced as Fernando Soriano and Thievy come on. Will they make a difference?

67 minIt's turning into a real battle now, and we know Atletico have the ability win games like this one. Koke has shifted slightly wider in the past few minutes in an attempt to encourage Griezmann to come off the wing more often. It looks like another change is on the way.

68 minSUBSTITUTION: Cerci gets his chance to impress off the bench as he replaces Griezmann.

70 minCHANCE! Oh dear, it should be 2-0! Arda is too clever for Dos Santos, who has just picked up a booking, and the Turkish forward is through on goal, but his decision to delay a shot allows Ruben to eventually make a good save.

72 minAtletico threaten again with another couple of set pieces, but Almeria hold firm this time. The visitors recycle the ball well, though, and Miranda finishes the move by hitting a tame effort straight at Ruben.

73 minSUBSTITUTION: Wellington has struggled to get into the game in the second half, and he makes way for Edgar Mendez.

75 minYELLOW CARD! Miranda isn't happy, but he can do nothing to prevent the referee from booking him for time wasting.

78 minYELLOW CARD! Very silly from Godin. There isn't much contact as he brings down Edgar on the right wing, but the Almeria substitute was going nowhere.

79 minAlmeria are starting to ask a few more questions of Atletico, but they're lacking the quality they need in advanced areas of the pitch. Can they set up a dramatic finish?

81 minIt's the hosts who are seeing more of the ball now. Atletico have responded by switching to a genuine 4-5-1 when they are not in possession, and that's making it difficult for Almeria, who are adopting a more direct approach now.

84 minGarcia stupidly gives a free kick away for a late tackle on Jonathan. The protests go on for over a minute as Atletico disrupt the flow of the match. Verz eventually steps up to curl a good effort just past the post.

85 minSUBSTITUTION: Arda's night comes to an end as Gabi comes on to add another calm head into the midfield area. Garcia then goes into the book for a hauling down Jonathan.

87 minAtletico live dangerously as Dos Santos is allowed to win a free header from a corner, but his effort drifts wide of the far post. Not long left for Almeria to find an equaliser.

88 minIt's been a bit of a struggle for Cerci since coming on. The Italian has been left on his own up front as Atletico have been forced to defend from a deeper position.

89 minYELLOW CARD! A few pushes from both sides moments after Jonathan is penalised for a high foot on Godin, who does his best to make it look like an awful challenge. Soriano is booked for voicing his displeasure with the decision.

90 minThe fourth official confirms there will be three minutes of time added on.

90+2 minAlmeria are finishing strongly, but Atletico are dealing with everything which has been thrown at them late on. Simeone is pacing around in his room upstairs as he nervously waits for the final whistle.

90+3 minCerci has two goes late on as he looks to wrap up the victory, but Ruben makes the save on both occasions thanks to a lack of power from the Italian.

8.50pmFULL TIME: ALMERIA 0-1 ATLETICO

8.51pmIt's all over. Atletico may have not been at their best, but they've made sure they won't lose further ground on Barcelona. Miranda's third goal of the season is enough to hand them all three points tonight. Make sure you follow our live updates of Malaga vs. Barcelona. Thanks for joining me. Goodnight.

General view of Estadio de Los Juegos Mediterraneos pitch prior to start the La Liga match between UD Almeria and Real Madrid CF on November 23, 2013
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