Evening all! Week 33 in La Liga continues this evening as Getafe
welcome Atletico Madrid
in the Madrid derby. The home side have one just one of their last five in the league, with that run of form leaving them in 18th spot in the table. Atletico, meanwhile, enter the match knowing that victory would move them three points clear of second-place Real Madrid in the division. Right, the team news is already in.
GETAFE: Codina; Arroyo, Rafa, Alexis, Lago; Mosquera, J.Rodriguez; Castro, Lafita, Leon; Ciprian
ATLETICO: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Luis; Gabi, Suarez, Koke; Garcia, Costa, Villa
So there we have it. No real surprises in the Getafe XI, with Ciprian Marica once more leading the line. Pedro Leon also skippers the side from midfield, while Diego Castro is in the lineup. Atletico, meanwhile, are still without the injured Arda Turan. Leading scorer Diego Costa
does return, however, with the Spanish international joined in attack by Raul Garcia and David Villa. Two attacking teams on display.
In terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, Atletico have won three of the last five matches, with the further two fixtures ending in draws. Atletico were 7-0 winners on their own patch earlier this season, but two of the last three games between the pair have ended in goalless draws.
In truth, it has been an extremely disappointing season for Getafe, who are in serious trouble at the moment. A change of manager has brought little in terms of progress, with the capital outfit sitting in 18th position in the table. However, such is the closeness in the bottom half of the table, victory this evening could move them into 16th. It really is a fascinating battle at both ends of the division.
Getafe's home form this season has been fairly solid in relation to the teams around them, with four wins, four draws and six defeats. However, they have really struggled on the road, losing 11 of their 16 matches and scoring just 11 times on their travels. If they are to survive this season, home form becomes imperative in the final weeks of the campaign, but they face a serious test against Atletico this evening.
Scoring goals has been a problem for Getafe this season with just 29 in their 32 matches. Atletico, meanwhile, have struck 70 times thus far. Down the other end, Getafe have conceded 49 times, keeping seven clean sheets in the process. Atletico, meanwhile, have the best defensive record in the league with just 22 conceded and 17 clean sheets. It has been another watertight season for the Atletico back four.
Atletico will also enter the match full of confidence following their 1-0 win over Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final during the week. That victory booked Diego Simeone's side a spot in the final four of the competition - where they were drawn against Chelsea - as the capital outfit target a historical end to the season. As mentioned, Barcelona's defeat at Granada yesterday means that Simeone's side are still top of the table with a game in hand over their title rivals, but they have been joined on 79 points by Real Madrid, who put four unanswered goals past struggling Almeria last night.
Atletico's home form in La Liga this season has been sensational, with 14 wins and three draws from their 17 games. Their away form has also been strong, but they have lost three times and scored just 24 times, which is significantly less than fellow title rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Getafe are in desperate need of the points, but they will not hold too much hope against an Atletico side that is in fine form. I am expecting a feisty affair, but I just cannot see any way how Atletico do not pick up all the points. My score prediction is 2-0 Atletico in the Spanish capital.
Here we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first period. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be vital in this type of match. Right, the home side get the action underway.
Not a full house inside the stadium this evening, but there is a strong atmosphere in the capital. Bright start from Atletico as Simeone's side gain immediate control of the possession. It could be a long afternoon without the ball for the home team. It is a beautiful early evening in Madrid it must be said.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the opening four minutes as both sides attempt to settle into the contest. The referee has been more involved than he would have liked, meanwhile, due to a number of late challenges. Atletico are in control of the ball, but Costa has been well marshalled thus far.
CHANCE! Wonderful chance for the away side as Costa drives into the Getafe box before rolling a low cross towards the far post, but Villa cannot make contact at the vital moment.
Not too much for the home supporters to get excited about thus far as Atletico continue to dominate the ball in forward areas. Castro has delivered a couple of crosses into the Atletico box, but it has been easy pickings for Godin and Miranda thus far. Still goalless with seven minutes on the clock in Madrid.
Wonderful support for Atletico inside the stadium, but the league leaders have not really started thus far. You just get the feeling that there is a chance for Getafe this evening, but they really are in poor run of form. Costa attempts to find Villa with another low cross moments later, but Alexis is on hand to clear.
Half-chance for the away side as Garcia finds some space outside the Getafe box, but his effort is high and wide of the target. The Spaniard has 16 goals for Atletico this season, which is a brilliant total. Still goalless with 12 minutes on the clock, but the pressure is building as Costa becomes more involved.
Opportunity for Getafe to threaten from a free kick as Lafita is felled just outside the box by Godin. The resulting set piece is taken by Leon, but his effort is straight into the Atletico all. The pressure continues from a corner, but Godin rises to clear. Much better from the home side in Madrid.
BOOKING! The first yellow card of the match is handed to Atletico centre-back Godin, who jumped into the back of Marica. It has been that type of game thus far, with neither side able to find any sort of tempo due to free kick after free kick. Still goalless with 16 minutes on the clock.
Atletico have not blown teams away on their travels this season, but they always seem to find a way to pick up all the points - mainly due to their sensational defensive record. Atletico have a free kick of their own in the Getafe half following a late challenge from Castro on Gabi, but the set piece comes to nothing.
Good spell of pressure from Getafe in the last couple of moments as they force back-to-back corners, but Miranda and Godin take it in turns to clear the danger. Alexis arrives in the Atletico box moments later, but his header is wide of the post. Not too much from Atletico in the last few minutes, meanwhile.
BOOKING! Mosquera is in the book for the home side as the midfielder dives into a really poor challenge with Costa, leaving the Spanish international in a heap on the ground.
The less said about the opening 24 minutes of this contest the better. It has not been great to be honest. There appears to be a slight hangover for Atletico following their Champions League exploits against Barcelona last week. Getafe, meanwhile, continue to struggle to find that elusive final pass.
Another half-chance for the home side as Alexis meets a high ball inside the Atletico box, but once more his header is high and wide of the crossbar. The centre-back has had two of those in the opening 26 minutes. Still goalless, but Getafe are now on the front foot, which will certainly not please Diego Simeone.
BOOKING! Alexis enters the book for Getafe following a late challenge on Costa, who has been in the wars - as usual!
CHANCE! Clear opportunity for Atletico from a free kick as Castro brings Koke to the ground in a wide position. Koke rises to his feet before delivering onto the head of Godin, but Codina is on hand to make a brilliant close-range save with his legs. That is the closest that either side has come thus far.
Getafe continue to kick lumps out of Costa as Rafa brings the Spaniard to the ground outside the box. Once more Koke stands over the free kick, but the midfielder plays it short before Rafa is out to block.
Sensational noise inside the stadium at the moment as both sets of supporters make their voices heard. It has been a lively last 10 minutes or so, with both teams starting to commit numbers in the final third. Getafe work the ball down the left with Lago, but his cross is headed clear by Atletico centre-back Miranda.
CHANCE! Wonderful chance for Atletico as Costa dances into the box before attempting to curl one into the bottom corner, but Rafa is across to smother at the vital moment. Luis goes down under a challenge from Alexis seconds later, but the referee is not interested as the score remains goalless.
The free kick count continues to rise as Koke fells Leon outside the Atletico box. Leon delivers into the area, but Courtois is on hand to claim. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining in Madrid.
Good pressure from Atletico in the last couple of minutes, but Simeone's side just cannot find that final pass inside the box. Not too much of a threat for Getafe, meanwhile, with the home team struggling for possession. Villa has a half-chance for the visitors after meeting a cross from Juanfran, but his header is straight into the back of Rafa, who stood his ground. Still goalless in the capital.
GOAL! Getafe 0-1 Atletico (Godin)
Atletico open the scoring in the latter stages of the half as Godin meets a cross-field pass from Juanfran before heading into the back of the net. Poor goalkeeping from Codina, who came and got nowhere near the ball.
How do they do it? Atletico have been fairly poor in this first period, but will seemingly take a lead into the interval. A sign of champions? As it stands, they will be three points clear at the top of the table. Just a reminder that their final league game of the season is away to Barcelona. Gulp!
Half-chance for the home side as Leon finds Marica in space inside the Atletico box, but the striker's effort is high of the target. Not too much time remaining in the first period this evening. Atletico lead 1-0.
BOOKING! Villa has his name taken for Atletico in the latter stages of the half following an off-the-ball incident with Alexis. There was nothing in it as the players went chest to chest.
HALF-TIME: Getafe 0-1 Atletico
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Atletico leading courtesy of a powerful header from Godin. Clear chances have been at a premium, but the league leaders have dominated for long spells and deserve to enter the interval with a one-goal lead in this Madrid derby.
STATISTICS: Atletico have had more of the ball in the first period with 63%, while they hit the target with two of their five attempts. Getafe, meanwhile, have had four attempts, none of which have been on target. There has also been four bookings issued in what has been a ill-tempered first period.
BENCH WATCH: Getafe boss Contra has a number of attacking options on his bench this evening in the shape of Colunga, Sammir and Sarabia. Meanwhile, Atletico have the likes of Adrian, Diego, Rodriguez and Sosa in reserve. Plenty of talent on both benches this evening that is for certain.
Here we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. As it stands, Atletico are moving three points clear at the top of La Liga, while Getafe will remain in the relegation zone. However, you just get the feeling that we have not seen the last of the goals. Atletico get the half underway.
No changes for either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise at this stage of proceedings. However, I suspect that both managers will consider alterations if the score remains 1-0 for the next 20 minutes or so. Early free kick for Getafe, but Leon plays it short to Castro - allowing Godin out to block.
Slightly untidy start to the second period, with both players battling for possession in the middle of the park. Atletico finally gain a sustained period with the ball in the Getafe half, but Rafa blocks a through pass from Costa, who had attempted to release the run of Villa. Still 1-0 Atletico after 50 minutes.
BOOKING! Powerful work from Costa as the Atletico forward breaks into the Getafe box, but Rafa just manages to stop the Spanish international finding an attempt on goal. Not too much in terms of tempo in the second period, but Atletico are in control of the ball. Moments later, Lafita is booked for Getafe following a high challenge with Atletico skipper Gabi.
The referee has been extremely card happy this evening that is for certain. Good pressure from Atletico in the last couple of minutes, but Getafe continue to clear their lines. A corner arrives for the home side moments later, but the powerful Godin once more rises inside the box before heading clear.
CHANCE! Getafe's best chance of the match falls to Rodriguez as the midfielder meets a corner from the right, but Courtois is on hand to make a sensational close-range save. Brilliant goalkeeping.
Getafe make the first change of the match as Adrian Colunga enters the field in place of Castro. Still Atletico lead courtesy of that Godin header towards the end of the first period.
Almost an immediate impact from Colunga as the Getafe forward collects a pass from Lafita before driving a low effort towards goal, but Courtois is on hand to make the save. Much better from the home side in the last five minutes or so as the Atletico back four are forced to drop into a deeper position.
Atletico make their first change of the match just past the hour mark as Adrian Lopez
enters the field in place of Villa, who has scored 15 times in all competitions this season.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, with both sides struggling to find that elusive pass in the final third. You just get the feeling that another goal for Atletico would secure all the points. However, Getafe are preparing to make another attacking change.
PENALTY ATLETICO, RED CARD LAFITA
Atletico are awarded a penalty and Getafe defender Lafita is sent from the field after pulling Costa to the ground inside the box. What a moment in this title race. Costa will take...
SAVE! Codina saves Costa's penalty! The rebound falls to Adrian, but the Getafe stopper makes another save from close range. Wow. Will Atletico be made to regret that miss?!
SUB! Getafe look to their bench for the second time as Mosquera is replaced by Lacen. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining and Atletico still lead 1-0 despite that missed penalty.
That is the fourth time that Costa has had a penalty saved this season. Suddenly the home supporters are full of noise as Getafe break forward with Colunga, but his low cross is straight into the arms of Courtois. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining in the Spanish capital. Are Atletico about to stumble here?
SUB! Atletico make their second change of the match as Brazilian midfielder Diego enters the field in place of Garcia, who has played a lot of football in recent weeks.
Diego does not take long to settle into the match as the Atletico midfielder finds some space outside the box before striking towards goal, but Codina is on hand to make the save. Not too much to report in terms of Getafe chances, meanwhile, as Atletico continue to control the tempo of the match. Still 1-0 Atletico.
BOOKING! Costa enters the book for Atletico after pushing Rafa to the ground. Atletico have a half-chance moments later following a low cross from Koke, but Alexis is on hand to clear the danger.
Getafe want a penalty as Ciprian goes down inside the Atletico box, but it is a clear dive from the Romanian. The referee is not fooled. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining and still Atletico lead. However, you just get the feeling that there is one more goal in this match. Can Getafe cause a late stir?
SUB! Third and final change for the home side this evening as Sammir enters the field in place of Lago. Attacking sub from Contra that is for certain.
Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last few minutes, but Getafe are attempting to commit numbers into the Atletico half. Adrian threatens on the counter for Atletico, but runs into Alexis at the vital moment. Colunga manages to find Leon at the far post down the other end, but he slices high and wide.
GOAL! Getafe 0-2 Atletico (Costa)
Atletico have their second of the match as Costa turns a low Adrian cross into the back of the net from close range. However, the Spaniard crashed into the post and has picked up a nasty cut on his leg.
Horrific injury for Costa. This could be a real blow to Atletico's season. He smashed into the post after turning into the back of the net. The striker will not finish this match that is for certain.
SUB! Costa leaves the field on a stretcher, with the striker replaced by Rodriguez. Atletico will hope that it is not a serious injury. It looked a really nasty one.
Well, that is game, set and match for Atletico. They are moving three points clear at the top of the table. Not too much in terms of a response from Getafe as a deep cross from Leon is headed clear by Miranda. Little over one minute of normal time remaining in the Spanish capital.
Half-chance for Atletico to score their third as Diego finds some space inside the Getafe box, but his effort is straight into the arms of the goalkeeper. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional four minutes and we are indeed into the second of those in the Spanish capital.
An ambulance has been spotted at the rear of the stadium, with Costa expected to be taken to hospital following that clash with the post. It could be a costly win for Atletico. Not too much to report in stoppage time as Atletico keep possession in their own half. It is going to be another defeat for Getafe.
FULL-TIME: Getafe 0-2 Atletico
So there we have it. Atletico continue their title charge with a 2-0 win over Getafe, who remain in the relegation zone. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Good evening!