After an underwhelming run across competitions last season, Atletico Madrid aim to bounce back stronger in 2022/23. It is safe to say that of the three giants in La Liga, Los Colchoneros have made the most dominant start to the new season.
A 3-0 win over Getafe sees them atop the La Liga table with the joint highest goal difference. Needless to say, the club do not plan to part ways with any of their players as they look to assemble a formidable squad.
According to AS, Los Rojiblancos rejected three blockbuster offers in recent days. They turned down a €40 million proposal from Manchester United for Matheus Cunha and declined the same amount from Juventus and Chelsea for Alvaro Morata and Marcos Llorente, respectively.
Morata starred in the team’s win over Getafe, scoring two goals this past weekend. Interestingly, Juventus had a €35 million purchase clause on his loan deal last season that expired.
Llorente too started on the night in midfield and played until the hour mark. The Spaniard has grown into one of the club’s most vital players under Simeone and will be crucial this season.
While Cunha played just 11 minutes in the league opener, the manager rates the Brazilian highly and has spoken about giving him more opportunities this season. It is not surprising that he outright declined the chance to join United.
It has also been reported that Atletico Madrid rejected a €130 million offer from the Red Devils to sign Joao Felix. If anything, this is the sign of a team willing to put everything on the line to win on all fronts.
Atletico lash out at referee’s decision during Real Madrid clash: “They create such pressure”
Real Madrid’s win over Atletico Madrid once again showed the European Champions’ ability to fight back even from the deepest of troughs and come back on top. The men in white were a goal down with 15 minutes to spare but forced extra time and managed to advance to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.
However, the game was not without its own share of controversy. One of the biggest moments came in the 71st minute when Dani Ceballos avoided a red card that would have changed the course of the game. Ironically, Atletico Madrid had Stefan Savic sent off in extra time to help Real Madrid progress.
To give context Ceballos was already on a yellow card for making an unnecessary challenge in the 69th minute of the game. Two minutes later, he appeared to have caught Thomas Lemar near the knee.
Atletico Madrid thus demanded that he get a second yellow and receive his marching orders. Given that the Rojiblancos were already up a goal, it could have changed the course of the game. But the referee did not show a second yellow to the Real Madrid midfielder.
Los Rojiblancos are far from happy with the refereeing at Santiago Bernabeu and have released an official statement via their CEO, Miguel Angel Gil Marin, regarding their displeasure. The statement is as follows:
“With 0-1, in the 71st minute, playing the place for the Copa semifinals in their own stadium, leaving Real Madrid with 10 players is big words.
“Real Madrid is a club with a very strong environment, with many interests around it. They create such pressure that it’s normal to affect the people who must make decisions. They [referees] are aware of what awaits them if they made a mistake.”
Clearly, the accusation from Diego Simeone’s side goes far beyond the events of the derby and makes a contentious general statement about Real Madrid’s influence on matches.