Atletico had endured a torrid seven days. Surprise defeat by Almeria had seen them drop from first to third, and they had been humbled by city rivals Real in the Copa Del Rey. To cap it all they were fined for the behaviour of their fans in that game.
Diego Simeone had urged his players to get their season back on track, and they responded. Their intent was obvious from the kick off. Slick play, and all out attack. It took just three minutes for in-form Raul Garcia to find the corner of the net, after a Koke free kick. The stadium was still rocking when hit man Diego Costa grabbed Atleti’s second just a minute later. A neat lob over Valladolid keeper Diego Marino settled the match, and any nerves.
Atletico slowed the frenetic pace, but were still too good for Juan Ignacio Martinez’s side. Valladolid had the lion’s share of position but did nothing with it, and never threatened the returning Thibault Courtois. Will he be playing with Diego Costa again next season, and if so where? Either or both of them could be at the Vicente Calderon or Stamford Bridge, when next season commences.
Godin notched Atletico’s third on 74 minutes, following a corner from impressive new boy Diego. The final scoreline could have been more emphatic, but the result will have put a smile back on Simeone’s face. His side may be out of the cup, but they’re still very much in the La Liga title race.