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Atletico Madrid logo
La Liga
May 11, 2014 at 6pm UK


FT(HT: 0-0)
Samuel (66')
Angeleri (88')

Match Analysis: Atletico Madrid 1-1 Malaga

Sports Mole dissects the action as Atletico Madrid miss the chance to win La Liga after drawing 1-1 at home to Malaga.

Atletico Madrid missed the chance to win the Primera Division title this evening after drawing 1-1 at home to Malaga.

Toby Alderweireld cancelled out a Samuel header 15 minutes from time to leave the scores level in the Spanish capital.

As it transpired, victory for Atletico would have secured the title after Barcelona were held at Elche, but the home side could not find a winner.

The title will therefore be decided next weekend when Atletico travel to Barcelona.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two Spanish rivals.

Match statistics

Shots: 17
On target: 5
Possession: 56%
Corners: 11
Fouls: 13

Shots: 10
On target: 4
Possession: 44%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 16

Was the result fair?

In truth, Atletico did not really do enough throughout the contest to deserve all the points this evening. They really missed the presence of leading scorer Diego Costa, with David Villa, who struck the crossbar early on, struggling in front of goal at the Calderon.

Malaga had their moments and perhaps deserved their goal, but it would have been unjust if Atletico had suffered defeat this evening. Overall, a share of the spoils was just about the correct result when reviewing the match as a whole.

Atletico's performance

It has been a truly remarkable season for Atletico, but the capital outfit have shown signs of tiredness in recent weeks. They were well beaten at Levante last weekend and were far from their best this evening. As it turned out, three points would have been enough to secure their first league title in almost 20 years, but they struggled to a draw against a team that entered the match all but safe from relegation.

As touched upon, the loss of Costa really hurt them, while Malaga's goal came from a mistake from Alderweireld, who replaced the suspended Diego Godin. Arda Turan, Koke and Gabi have all been key players this season, but struggled to influence proceedings, with Malaga comfortable for long spells in defensive areas.

Atletico will feel that they created enough opportunities and applied enough pressure to deserve all the points, but it was a seriously lacklustre performance from the leaders. Luckily for Diego Simeone's side, Barcelona also slipped up and, as it stands, a point at the Camp Nou next weekend would be enough to pick up the title.

Malaga's performance

Malaga entered the match not mathematically safe from the drop, but in a comfortable position with two games remaining. It would not have been a surprise if a number of their players already had their thoughts elsewhere, but that was simply not the case in the capital.

Last season's Champions League quarter-finalists were solid in defensive areas and also boasted a serious attacking threat on the counter. They also had plenty of energy in the middle of the park with Sergi Darder and Ignacio Camacho, while Roque Santa Cruz provided a physical presence in the final third.

Granted, they had to ride their luck for spells and indeed call upon the services of goalkeeper Willy Caballero on a number of occasions, but overall it was a solid performance from the visitors, who are now safe from relegation.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Willy Caballero: The 32-year-old is widely considered as one of the best goalkeepers in Spain and had Atletico's Thibaut Courtois not had such a fine season then the Argentine might have been voted the best stopper in this campaign.

The veteran made a number of terrific saves this evening, but he left the best until last. Atletico forward Adrian Lopez thought he had won the match and indeed the title for the capital outfit in stoppage time, but Caballero somehow clawed the Spaniard's effort over the crossbar. It was a tremendous display from the former Elche stopper.

Biggest gaffe

Alderweireld has not had too many chances for Atletico this season and while his header secured a point for his side this evening, the Belgian international was at fault for Malaga's goal. The centre-back completely misjudged what was a fairly routine long ball, allowing Samuel to nip in and eventually head into the back of the net after Miranda had clashed with Courtois in an attempt to rescue the situation. It was a really poor moment from the former Ajax defender.

Referee performance

It was a busy night for referee Jose Teixeira in Madrid. The Spaniard issued seven yellow cards throughout the 90 minutes and also sent Malaga defender Marcos Angeleri from the field in the latter stages. The away side might have strong grounds for appeal, however, with the centre-back appearing to play the ball in a challenge with Diego Ribas.

It was not an easy match to officiate due to the intensity surrounding the stadium, but Teixeira did get the majority of the decisions correct, including booking Atletico's Turan in the first period for simulation.

What next?

Atletico: It is the title showdown next weekend as Atletico travel to Barcelona. Simeone's side need a point to secure their first league crown for almost 20 years.

Malaga: Malaga, who are now safe, host Levante next Sunday.

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Atletico Madrid's Toby Alderweireld celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against Malaga during the La Liga match on May 11, 2014
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