Atletico Madrid 3-2 Eibar: Impressive Atlético bounce back to defeat Eibar
Getty Images/ Soccrates Images

Atletico Madrid 3-2 Eibar: Impressive Atlético bounce back to defeat Eibar

After losing two goals early on, Atleti launch a stunning comeback to sink Eibar in the Wanda Metropolitano and take their place at the top of La Liga


Atlético de Madrid made it three wins from three on Sunday night as they saw off Eibar at the Wanda Metropolitano. 

Los Colchoneros were made to work for their victory, as they found themselves two goals down early on in the first half after strikes from Charles and Arbilla had stunned the home side. 

Atleti came out revitalised in the second half to mount a comeback which bore all the hallmarks of a team claimed by many to be serious title contenders, albeit at an early stage of the season.

Story of the game

Eibar came flying out of the traps in the opening stages of the game, taking the lead after seven minutes when Fabián Orellana's outstanding cross met the head of Charles Dias to give the Basque side the lead. 

Eibar seemed full of energy for a side playing their third consecutive away fixture of the season, and their electric start to the game would soon bear fruit in the form of a second goal by Anaitz Arbilla in the 19th minute. Some poor defending from Atlético gifted Arbilla with the opportunity to fire home from just outside the box, with the aid of a deflection from José María Jiménez

The clear favourites going into this fixture, Los Colchoneros had been rocked by two goals inside 20 minutes from the visiting side. With a serious upset seemingly on the cards, João Félix brought Atlético back into the game with a goal in the 27th minute. This key moment came largely thanks to Diego Costa, who successfully shrugged off Diego Álvarez to produce a pass which allowed the Portuguese to slot home from close range. 

Félix's goal provided Atlético with the lifeline that they needed going into the second half, and Diego Simeone's side emerged from the tunnel with the look of a team determined to make up for the sluggish performance which had cost them two goals in the opening 20 minutes. 

The star of the second half was arguably Vitolo Machín, whose introduction would prove crucial to Atleti's comeback. A clever through ball from Lodi set Vitolo one on one with the keeper, and the forward made no mistake with a wonderful finish to score for the second week running. 

At this point Atlético's tails were up, and the energy which had propelled Eibar to their two-goal advantage in the early stages was now noticeably absent as the game entered its final phase. It was another substitute, Thomas Partey, who would complete Atleti's comeback in the 90th minute. The Ghanaian showed great determination to power his way into the box and fire home after some excellent build up play. 

Takeaways from the game

Atlético's substitutes work to great effect

Vitolo Machín and Thomas Partey both came off the bench and got their names on the scoresheet. This has to be extremely encouraging for Simeone, whose sides in recent years have lacked such strength in depth.

Thomas: "Our philosophy is to take each game as it comes."

One key takeaway from this game is the way that Atlético battled their way back from an extremely poor opening to the match.  

At this stage of the season, it is perhaps too early say that this team could be genuine title contenders. However, those who remember Atlético's last league title in 2014 could be forgiven for drawing  comparisons between that side and the one that Diego Simeone has assembled for this season - at least in terms of attitude if nothing else. 

"We really suffered at the start of the game, but our heads never dropped at any moment." Thomas Partey told Marca after the match.

Partido a partido - take each game as it comes - this aspect of Simeone's philosophy has been a constant feature during his time at Atlético de Madrid. Whether the injection of new stars into this Atleti side can produce a title winning formula at the Wanda Metropolitano remains to be seen, but in light of Sunday's performance, it does at least seem possible.