MX23RW : Tuesday, September 25 13:29:47
Oct 19, 2014 at 11am UK at ​Vicente Calderon Stadium
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Tiago (43'), Suarez (71')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Live Commentary: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Espanyol - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of Atletico Madrid's 2-0 La Liga victory over Espanyol at the Vicente Calderon.

Atletico Madrid and Espanyol met at the Vicente Calderon in La Liga on Sunday afternoon.

The home side led 1-0 at the interval following a looping header from Portuguese midfielder Tiago.

Atletico's second came 20 minutes from time, when Mario Suarez tapped home from close range.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

10.31amHello all! We have La Liga football for you this morning as Atletico Madrid welcome Espanyol to the Spanish capital. The champions are already playing catch-up this season, but they will not have it easy against an Espanyol side that are in good form. Right, before anything else, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from the Spanish capital.


Atletico: Moya; Juanfran, Godin, Jimenez, Ansaldi; Tiago, Gabi, Koke; Turan, Mandzukic, Garcia

Espanyol: Casilla; J Lopez, Colotto, Gonzalez, Fuentes; Vasquez, Sevilla, Canas, Alvarez; Garcia, Caicedo

10.36amSo there we have it. Atletico boss Diego Simeone has given a rest to Brazilian defender Miranda following his international exertions, with Jose Gimenez coming into the back four. Cristian Ansaldi also starts at left-back, but Antoine Griezmann remains on the bench. Mario Mandzukic will once more lead the line for the Spanish champions.

10.38amEspanyol, meanwhile, line up as expected, with skipper Sergio Garcia providing support to lone forward Felipe Caicedo. There is no place in the XI for Cristian Stuani, but Lucas Vasquez and Jose Canas both start for the visitors in what is a 4-4-1-1 formation.

10.41amIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, Atletico have won four of the last five fixtures in La Liga - including the corresponding match last season. Espanyol did beat Atletico 1-0 in Barcelona last season, however, which will hand them confidence ahead of this match. Interestingly, each of the last four matches between the pair have finished 1-0 (three wins for Atletico, one for Espanyol).

10.44amIndeed, Atletico would take a 1-0 win in this match, with three points just vital for the home side. As it stands, the current champions are fifth in the table on 14 points. They are four points behind second-place Real Madrid and eight behind leaders Barcelona, but both of those teams have played one game more. It is Valencia and Sevilla that occupy third and fourth respectively at this stage of the season.

10.47amAtletico's home form this season has been pretty strong, but they slipped up against Celta Vigo, who secured a 2-2 draw at the Calderon last month. Since then, they have beaten Almeria and Sevilla in the league, but they lost 3-1 at Valencia last time out, with that result a big blow at this stage.

10.50amEspanyol, meanwhile, will enter this match in a strong run of form. Following a shaky start to the season, which saw them fail to win any of their first three games, they have gone unbeaten in four, winning twice in the process. That run of form has moved them onto nine points and into 10th position in the table.

10.53amEspanyol are yet to win on the road this season, however, with two draws and one defeat. They have conceded just four times on their travels in the league, however, and will feel confident of upsetting an Atletico side that are still not in full flow at this stage. Right, little over five minutes remaining until kickoff.

10.56amPREDICTION: I have a feeling that this could be a very frustrating afternoon for Atletico and their supporters. Espanyol enter the match in a strong run of form and have the personnel to cause problems. That said, I am just backing the home side to come through 1-0 winners in Madrid.

10.58amHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first period. Atletico need to stay in touch with the top two at this stage of the season, it is just vital that they win.

0 minThe pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. We are just about ready for kickoff here, with the away side getting the first 45 minutes underway.

2 minIt is a beautiful early afternoon in the Spanish capital and as expected, there is a brilliant atmosphere inside the stadium. It has been a fairly low-key opening couple of minutes, with both teams attempting to feel their way into the match. The first goal - if there indeed is one - will surely be vital in this type of match.

4 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Atletico to take the lead as Turan meets a loose ball inside the Espanyol box, but Casilla is on hand to make a brilliant point-blank save. That is why the goalkeeper has been called into the Spain squad. He is one of the best stoppers in La Liga that is for certain.

6 minEspanyol are under siege in the early stages of this match as Atletico force their third corner in quick succession, but Ansaldi can only clip his effort high of the crossbar. Espanyol have not been allowed to breathe in the early stages of this match, with the home side intent on making their mark in the early exchanges.

8 minNot too much from Espanyol in the opening eight minutes of this match, with the home side forcing the issue. Atletico boss Simeone will be pleased with his side's start to proceedings.

10 minIt's good work from Vasquez as the Espanyol winger drives through the heart of the Atletico midfield before advancing to the edge of the box, but he runs out of ideas and loses possession to Juanfran. Gabi leads a break for the home side moments later, but Canas comes across to fell the Spaniard.

12 minHalf-chance for the home side as Ansaldi combines with Koke outside the Espanyol box, but his effort is blocked by Javi Lopez. Another cross comes towards Mandzukic from Juanfran, but Casilla is out to collect. Still goalless with 12 months played, but plenty of intent from the champions thus far.

14 minCHANCE! First real chance for Espanyol as Garcia delivers a dangerous cross into the Atletico box, where Vasquez places one towards the bottom corner, but Moya makes a brilliant save. Atletico have been open to the counter attack at times this season.

16 minCHANCE! Koke is next to come close for the home side after striking one from outside the box, but Casilla is across to make a really smart save once again.

18 minAtletico continue to look dangerous from set pieces, but Espanyol have been able to repel the danger thus far. It has been an open 18 minutes, but the home side continue to look the team more likely to open the scoring, with Garcia volleying a Juanfran cross wide of the post after a spectacular effort.

20 minThe referee has still not produced a yellow card, but we must be getting close as the challenges continue to fly in. The official is just 28 years of age and this is just his fourth top-flight game. They seem to be getting younger and younger. Thus far, the referee has allowed to play continue in the correct areas.

22 minAtletico continue to force the issue in wide areas as Gabi floats one towards Juanfran, but the Spaniard cannot reach the pass. Slight frustration in the crowd at the moment.

24 minThe referee continues to become involved in the middle of the park, with the challenges flying in from both sides. Espanyol have a free kick outside the box when Gabi brings Garcia to the ground, but the resulting set piece is cut short when the referee whistles for a foul. Frustrating for the visitors once again.

26 minMandzukic comes close to meeting a cross from Juanfran, but Colotto just does enough to steer the ball away from the big Croatian. The home side have been very keen to attack down the wings in the opening 26 minutes, with Ansaldi also playing high up the pitch. Mandzukic is the obvious target in the box.

29 minEspanyol have certainly grown into this match, with the away side offering a threat each time they break into the final third. Atletico remain in control of the possession, but the referee's whistle has brought to a close a number of attacks in the last few minutes, with Mandzukic twice fouling Colotto inside the box.

31 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Juanfran drives down the right before delivering a low cross into the box, but there are no takers. Espanyol are down the other end with Caicedo moments later, but the striker loses out in a challenge with Godin. Little under 15 minutes of the first period remaining.

33 minEspanyol continue to frustrate the home side, with their back four strong in the air. Juanfran continues to deliver from a wide area, but Colotto and Gonzalez have been very strong aerially.

35 minLittle over 10 minutes of the first period remaining and still we wait for the first goal. Atletico continue to look the more likely as another cross from Ansaldi is met by Mandzukic, but his header is wide of the post. Casilla came for the ball, but got nowhere near the cross. Nervy moment for the stopper.

37 minHalf-chance for the home side as Garcia collects a cross from Koke before attempting to turn inside the move, but the midfielder cannot move away from the challenge of Colotto. Ansaldi delivers another cross into the box moments later, but this time, Casilla collects with ease before finding Fuentes.

39 minMandzukic is again the target from a Ansaldi cross, but the striker's header is just wide of the post. The majority of the home side's work has come in wide areas, with Mandzukic the target.

42 minHalf-chance for the home side as Garcia finds some space outside the box before curling one towards the bottom corner, but his effort was always moving away from the post. The home supporters continue to make their voices heard in the latter stages of the half, with the score still goalless.

43 minCHANCE! Another quick break brings a crossing opportunity for the home side as Koke feeds Turan, but his cross is cleared by Colotto. The resulting corner is delivered towards Tiago, but Casilla makes a point-blank save.

43 minGOAL! Atletico 1-0 Espanyol (Tiago)

44 minThis time Tiago is not denied! The midfielder opens the scoring as he loops a header into the far corner following a deep cross from Gabi. Breakthrough for the Spanish champions.

45 minThat is a big blow for the away side at this stage of developments. Now it is vital that they do not concede again in the final minutes of the half. The crowd are really alive now.

45 min+1Half-chance for Garcia as the Espanyol skipper drives into the Atletico box before striking one towards the top corner, but his effort was always moving high of the crossbar.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Atletico 1-0 Espanyol

11.47amSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Atletico leading 1-0 courtesy of a 43rd-minute header from Tiago. It had been a largely frustrating half for the hosts, but that goal has placed them in a strong position. Espanyol need to offer more in the final third that is for certain.

11.52amSTATS! The home side have had more of the ball with 65% possession, while they have had nine attempts, five of which have been on target. Espanyol, meanwhile, have hit the target with just one of their two attempts. There has not yet been another bookings despite some late challenges.

11.57amBENCH WATCH! Atletico have plenty of attacking options on their bench this afternoon in the shape of Griezmann, Jimenez and Rodriguez. Meanwhile, Espanyol have the likes of Alex, Stuani and Montanes in reserve. Both managers have the personnel available to influence proceedings.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second 45 minutes. You just get the feeling that the next goal - if there indeed is one - could be crucial. A second for Atletico could indeed be curtains for Espanyol. Right, the home side get the second period underway in the capital.

48 minNo changes from either manager at the interval, which is not much of a surprise at this stage of proceedings. However, I suspect that alterations will occur if the score remains 1-0 for the next 20 minutes or so. Alex in particular has been going through some serious stretching for the visitors.

50 minGood pressure from the home side in the early stages of the second period as Koke attempts to dance into the Espanyol box, but Colotto is on hand to make the challenge. Juanfran delivers a low cross towards Mandzukic moments later, but Casilla is on hand to collect at the vital moment.

52 minTiago is a shade fortunate not to have his name taken as the Atletico midfielder dives into another late challenge with Canas. The resulting free kick, which is some 40 yards from goal, is taken by Sevilla, but Garcia is on hand to clear at the near post. Better pressure from the visitors with 52 minutes played.

53 minSUB! Atletico make their first change as Mario Suarez replaces Tiago.

54 minGarcia looks to have a problem for the away side as he stretches for a loose ball. Alex appears to be readying himself. That will be a big blow for Espanyol if the skipper does indeed depart.

55 minHalf-chance for the home side as Koke strikes one from outside the box following a corner, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Still 1-0 with 55 minutes on the clock.

56 minSUB! The change is indeed made as Alex replaces Sergio Garcia for Espanyol.

58 minThe home side continue to threaten from set pieces, with corner after corner causing problems in the Espanyol defence. Godin wants a penalty after falling inside the Espanyol box, but the referee is not interested. The match is delicately poised at this stage. Will one goal be enough to claim all the points?

60 minVasquez continues to look dangerous for the away side as the Spaniard drives down the right before moving past Ansaldi, but the midfielder is adjudged to have felled the left-back. Meanwhile, Griezmann is preparing to enter for the home side, with Turan the player due to depart.

60 minSUB! The change is indeed made as Griezmann replaces Turan.

62 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the second period, but you just get the feeling that the scoring is not finished here. Espanyol remain a threat on the counter attack, while they are containing the Atletico threat from wide positions. Stuani, meanwhile, will soon enter for the visitors.

63 minSUBS! Espanyol make a double change as Stuani and Montanes replace Canas and Caicedo.

65 minSo there we have it. Espanyol boss Sergio has played all his cards here. One of his subs, Alex, is involved down the left after driving past Juanfran, but the midfielder loses possession before fouling the Spaniard in an attempt to regain the ball. Little over 25 minutes of football remaining in Madrid.

66 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the home side to score their second as Koke finds the run of Mandzukic, who chests into the box before striking on goal, but Casilla makes the save. Moments before, Stuani fell inside the Atletico box, but the referee was not interested.

68 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Gabi delivers a dangerous cross towards the far post, but Casilla - on two separate occasions - manages to punch clear under serious pressure.

71 minLittle under 20 minutes of football remaining and the match remains open, with both sides committing numbers in the final third. Atletico remain in control of the ball, but Espanyol are a threat on the counter attack. You just get the feeling that we have not seen the last of the goals in the capital.

71 minGOAL! Atletico 2-0 Espanyol (Suarez)

72 minThe home side have their second of the match as Suarez converts from close range after Jimenez had won a brilliant header at the far post. That could well be game, set and match.

74 minIt is now a long way back for the away side, who have struggled to create clear chances all afternoon. Sevilla attempts to respond with an effort from distance, but his strike was always moving wide of the post. As it stands, Atletico are moving above Sevilla and into fourth position in the table.

76 minIt has been a decent response from the visitors, but they are leaving gaps in their back four by committing numbers forward. Griezmann attempts to drive into the Espanyol half moments later, but Colotto comes across to foul the Frenchman. Little under 15 minutes of this contest remaining.

79 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of moments, with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges. The latest set piece presents Espanyol with a chance outside the box, but the referee blows for a foul following an altercation inside the area.

81 minHalf-chance for the home side as Griezmann combines with Koke inside the box before striking one towards the bottom corner, but Casilla is on hand to make the save.

83 minGriezmann is again involved for the home side after collecting a pass from Gabi, but Fuentes is across to make a brilliant challenge at the vital moment. Espanyol are just holding on at the moment as the tempo continues to rise. It has been a strong and confident performance from the home side here.

85 minStuani has a sight of goal for the away side outside the box, but his effort was wide of the post. Moments before, Stuani had clashed with Godin inside the box, but the referee was not interested.

85 minPOST! Griezmann has the chance to score a third for Atletico after rounding Casilla, but his effort strikes the post. So close for the French international!

86 minSUB! Atletico make their third change as Rodriguez replaces Mandzukic.

88 minLittle over two minutes of normal time remaining and Atletico are closing in on three vital points. Griezmann continues to look for a third, but the Frenchman is denied by Colotto this time.

90 minThe fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes.

90 min+2Vasquez tries his luck for Espanyol after finding space outside the box, but his effort is high of the crossbar. That has been the story of the afternoon for Espanyol in Madrid.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Atletico 2-0 Espanyol

12.50pmSo there we have it. Atletico move fourth in La Liga with a routine 2-0 win over Espanyol. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Good afternoon!

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Atletico Madrid's coach Diego Simeone looks on prior to kick-off in the Champions League semi-final first leg match against Chelsea on April 22, 2014
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