Time now to continue our look back at Atlético Madrid’s 2016-17 by reviewing the team’s best five games and asking you, the reader, which one stands out as Atlético’s very best match of the year by performance and importance. Let’s meet the candidates, organized by date:
Sept. 28, 2016: Atlético Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich (Champions League group stage)
Atlético took control of Group D - which Bayern were favored to win - with a controlling performance at the Vicente Calderón. Despite just 33 percent possession, Atleti outshot the German champions both in total attempts (16-15) and shots on target (5-4). Yannick Carrasco netted the game’s only goal with a bullet strike off Manuel Neuer’s far post, and the full-time result flattered Bayern; Atleti could easily have added a second or even a third as Antoine Griezmann missed a penalty and Fernando Torres hit woodwork.
Oct. 15, 2016: Atlético Madrid 7-1 Granada (LaLiga)
Diego Simeone’s troops continued their unbeaten start to the season and consolidated first place with a thrashing that no other team in LaLiga replicated in 2016-17. Isaac Cuenca’s early golazo was the only positive for eventually-relegated Granada against a rampant Atlético, which got a hat trick from Carrasco, a brace from Nico Gaitán, and even late goals from substitutes Ángel Correa and Tiago. Atleti dominated possession with one of the highest marks of the Simeone Era - 66 percent - and completed 87 percent of attempted passes.
Jan. 19, 2017: Atlético Madrid 3-0 Eibar (Copa del Rey)
Atlético breezed past a very good Eibar side and all but sewed up a first Copa del Rey semifinal since 2014 with this result. This win was made more impressive when Atleti overcame a near-silent Vicente Calderón, as fans protested the club’s impending badge change by refusing to sing until the 20th minute. Goals from Griezmann, Correa and Kévin Gameiro, along with good displays from Gaitán, José Giménez and Stefan Savić, added up to one of the team’s best games of that competition and of the season.
Feb. 21, 2017: Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Atlético Madrid (Champions League Round of 16, first leg)
The stars shone brightly on this night in Leverkusen, where Atleti rode the lightning of its counterattack to a huge advantage in the Champions League Round of 16. Saúl Ñíguez scored a veritable golazo - one that meant a lot to him - and Griezmann doubled the lead before halftime before Gameiro capped his masterclass (goal, assist, woodwork) with a penalty to effectively end the tie. Bayer scored a good goal through Karim Bellarabi and made things interesting after Savić put the ball in his own net, but Torres added some gloss with a goal from a throw-in with less than five minutes left.
April 29, 2017: Las Palmas 0-5 Atlético Madrid (LaLiga)
Granted, Las Palmas had quit on the season long before this match, but Atlético still put in a five-star shift away from home. Battered, bruised and without a right back, Atleti began the demolition early with two Gameiro goals inside the first 20 minutes, with Saúl assisting the first one and thumping home a header from a Koke corner in between. Thomas Partey scored his only goal of the season in the second half (he had come on as a makeshift right back) and Torres completed the manita in stoppage time.
Which game was Atlético’s best of the 2016-17 season?
This poll is closed
1-0 vs. Bayern
7-1 vs. Granada
3-0 vs. Eibar
4-2 at Bayer
5-0 at Las Palmas