2019/20 in Pictures: Games 21, 22 and 23

Quite a productive couple of weeks for me, two new grounds and a trip back to one of my favourites!

Game 2️⃣1️⃣

So the time had finally arrived to visit the infamous Flat Earth FC. The experience was as surreal as you would imagine but for this post I’m just going to concentrate on the game. If you want to read more about their background and the matchday experience , you can find my post about them here.

The game itself was pretty entertaining with the home team being given a bit of a lesson in incisive attacking by CD San Fernando de Henares.

The visitors raced into a 2-0 lead inside the first 2-0 minutes and although Flat Earth pulled a goal back nine minutes later, San Fernando succeeded in keeping them at arms length for most of the remainder of the game.

As the game wore on, Flat Earth increasingly became camped in the San Fernando half, launching a barrage of high balls into the box for their tall centre forward to try and get on the end of, mostly to no avail. San Fernando looked to take advantage of this with quick counter-attacks and eventually made the points safe in injury time with an emphatic finish.

Match Cost: €10 💶

Match Rating: 7/10

Game 2️⃣2️⃣

Finally I got a chance to visit a ground that’s been on my list since last August (and indeed one which made my list of five new grounds to visit this season!) and watch Unión Adarve as they bid for promotion from the Tercera.

In between showers in northern Madrid I witnessed another good quality game. Adarve went in front in the first half with a goal from centre back Gerard and could have been further ahead, clipping the post with the very last kick of the half.

They started the second half in a similarly positive fashion but as the game wore on began to sit back on their lead and invite pressure from the visitors, who previously had threatened very little. Goalkeeper Guille was forced into a couple of smart saves as El Álamo piled on the pressure late on. The home crowd were pretty relieved to hear the final whistle!

Brilliant backdrop for a game of football too. The Cuatro (soon to be Cinco) Torres have become a regular sight for me near my new flat near Plaza de Castilla and with my Adarve season ticket and a short journey to get there, the Vicente del Bosque is sure to feature a lot of this blog between now and the end of the season.

Match Cost: €25 Season Ticket 💶

Match Rating: 7/10

Game 2️⃣3️⃣

Almost exactly a year ago I witnessed Atlético Madrid ease to a 2-0 victory over an insipid Basque team wearing blue and white. And history repeated itself on my first visit of the season to A Stadium Called Wanda.

The only difference was the opposition, last year Real Sociedad were the victims, this time it was their great rivals Athletic Club, wearing their 2018/19 away strip and robbing us of a chance to see this season’s magnificent dark green alternative in action.

Athletic did make a good start, Iñigo Martinez forcing Jan Oblak into a fingertip save with just a couple of minutes on the clock, but when Saúl put Atlético ahead after 28 minutes it was all too easy for the hosts. The opener was made by Angel Correa, who drove into the box and  held off a couple of challenges before looking up and spotting Atleti’s number eight totally unmarked and he side-footed it into the net.

Atlético were mostly comfortable afterwards but after how they had self-destructed and thrown away the win against Valencia a week earlier, a second goal for security was needed and it duly arrived on 64 minutes. Correa was again the creator, delivering a great cross which Alvaro Morata just had to tap in at the far post. It’s been a good week for the centre forward, who has now scored in successive games following his winner against Leverkusen in the Champions League midweek. He’s very much a confidence player and Atleti need him firing on all cylinders with João Félix out and Diego Costa not quite looking himself these days.

Athletic looked to have more or less given up by this stage, so it was disappointing, if not entirely unsurprising, that Atlético didn’t really press home their advantage and try and get a few more goals. So 2-0 it finished and Atlético climbed to the top of La Liga (temporarily at least) just as they’d done 12 months earlier!

Match Cost: €30 💶

Match Rating: 6/10

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