Football: Newboy Resino Puts Atletico Back On Winning Trail
Posted February 9, 2009on:
MADRID: New Atletico Madrid coach Abel Resino had a memorable debut as his side defeated Recreativo Huelva 3-0 on Sunday to record their first win in 2009.
Resino replaced the sacked Javier Aguirre this week and the change of manager had the desired effect as Atletico closed to within two points of fourth-placed Valencia.
Sergio “Kun” Aguero scored after just two minutes and Diego Forlan hit a quick-fire brace, in the 26th and 34th minutes, to wrap up the points.
Forlan and Aguero now have 24 goals between them but Resino, a former Atletico goalkeeper, will be happy about a rare clean sheet.
“We had a lot of opportunities to increase the scoreline,” said Resino. “We scored our goals when their defence was off guard and we knew how to take advantage of that.”
Villarreal stay two points ahead of Atletico in fifth after a 2-1 triumph over Numancia.
Giuseppe Rossi scored both Villarreal goals to secure a much-needed win for a team struggling to emulate last season’s second-placed finish.
“Before Numancia equalised we could have had five or six and the final scoreline should have been more,” said Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini.
On Saturday, champions Real Madrid notched up their seventh successive win with a 1-0 victory over Racing Santander, but the home crowd jeered their team who were trying to hang onto a lead rather than going for a second goal.
“I don’t think we bore the crowd,” said goal-scorer Gonzalo Higuain. “The important thing is we won again and took three more points.”
Real sit nine points behind leaders Barcelona who host Sporting Gijon later on Sunday looking to restore their 12-point gap at the summit.
Barcelona have been outstanding this season and that was reflected in the Spain squad with the uncapped Gerard Pique and Sergi Busquets called up for Wednesday’s friendly with England in Seville.
“Everyone has congratulated them in the changing rooms,” explained Bojan Krkic, another of Barca’s youth stars capped by Spain.
“Five players from Barcelona?s youth system are in the squad and that shows just how good the young players here are.”
Pique is suspended for the Gijon match but Pep Guardiola can count on Brazilian Dani Alves who won his appeal to have a yellow card rescinded and avoid suspension.
Sporting are one of the most adventurous teams in the league going for win or bust and that is reflected in their record of nine wins and 12 defeats from 21 games.
Valencia, above fifth-placed Villarreal on goal difference, play later on Sunday at strugglers Osasuna and their coach Unai Emery called for an improvement in their away form which has seen them lose their last four games on the road.
“The team are certainly on a bad run away from home but we have a chance to end that sequence against Osasuna,” explained Emery.
Malaga 3 Almeria 2
Valladolid 2 Athletic Bilbao 1
Recreativo Huelva 0 Atletico Madrid 3
Getafe 1 Espanyol 1
Villarreal 2 Numancia 1
Real Mallorca 1 Deportivo La Coruna 1
Barcelona 3 Sporting Gijon 1
Osasuna 1 Valencia 0
Channel News Asia