Mel wants challengers

Real Betis coach Pepe Mel admits it would be great for Spanish football if Atletico Madrid can become title challengers.

Last Updated: 28/10/13 at 09:28 Post Comment

Raul Garcia: Celebrating a goal for Atletico Madrid

Raul Garcia: Celebrating a goal for Atletico Madrid

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Real Betis coach Pepe Mel admits it would be great for Spanish football if in-form Atletico Madrid can break the duopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid this season, but does not believe they will.

Atletico made it 27 points from a possible 30 so far this campaign with their 5-0 mauling of Mel's Betis on Sunday night, and the Rojiblancos are now just a point behind reigning champions Barca and five above city rivals Real in third.

Having already beaten Real at the Bernabeu this season, while drawing twice with Barca in the Spanish Super Cup in August, expectations are high that Atletico could finally end the domination the big two have had in Spain for most of the last decade.

However, while he would like to see that, Mel expects Barca and Real - as they have done in eight of the last nine seasons - to occupy the top two positions come the end of the campaign.

He told reporters: "Atletico are the only team capable of getting between Madrid and Barca and the only team who have players who are capable of getting between Madrid and Barca in a national team.

"They go out giving it everything, they work very hard, deserve what they are getting and right now are a very difficult team.

"I would like to say they are a candidate for the title, but in the end it will be Barcelona and Madrid, one first and the other second.

"Last season Atletico had a great season and finished third. The other two teams have more in their closets.

"(But) we hope that at the end of the season they can continue at the same level because it would be good for Spanish football."

Atletico swept aside Betis at the Vicente Calderon through a first-minute strike from teenager Oliver Torres, and second-half efforts from David Villa (two), Diego Costa and Gabi.

Villa's brace ended a barren spell stretching back to six weeks for Spain's record goalscorer and he was understandably pleased to be back on the scoresheet, although he insisted getting the three points was the most important thing for him.

"I'm happy, not for the goals, firstly for the team's victory and especially for the good feeling I've had," said Villa, who was forced to pull out of the last Spain squad with an ankle injury.

"Today I felt fine after suffering a long time on the pitch. I had to stop for a bit because of the ankle. At the end of the day I've stayed calm, because I'm beginning to feel good and I've recovered from the discomfort and I knew that sooner or later I would score goals.

"It is always important for a striker to help the team with goals but the team's victory is the most important."


New Sky Bet customers: Claim free £5 bet every week


More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

L

oved the article. i remember at school, after failing an exam, I would become obscenely secretly happy if I discover that others failed as well. Misery loves company...Now here is to hoping Chelsea joins the party and Stoke city wins the league...Cheers!

gabu
The Premier League: As Crazy As A Bag Of Snakes

C

haos reached its ultimate reckoning last weekend with Tony Hibbert looking assured at left back and Osman looking like a cultured ball playing midfielder before busting a gut to get to the back post for a Samuel Eto'o ball. Different chaos but chaos. If Kone scores the winner tonight I fear the world will end.

jelasfirsttouch
The Premier League: As Crazy As A Bag Of Snakes

A

beautiful demonstration of why stats mean diddly-squat in football.

cheshire-gooner
WhoScored's PL Team Of 2014 So Far...

Footer 365

La Liga: David Moyes says he wants to 'excite' Real Sociedad fans ahead of Elche clash

David Moyes wants to "excite" Real Sociedad fans in his first home game in charge of the Basque club against Elche.

Europa League: Benjamin Stambouli fires Tottenham to win over Partizan Belgrade

Benjamin Stambouli's strike earned Tottenham a 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade and a place in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Europa League: Trabzonspor and Fiorentina among teams to reach last 32

Trabzonspor and Fiorentina were among the teams to progress to the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday night.

Mail Box

Arsenal Fans Are Full Of Hope Again...

Arsenal fans have been sucked back into believing Wenger can bring the glory years back after beating Borussia Dortmund. Plus, more on Liverpool's worrying decline...

Makes Sense To Make Gerrard Liverpool Manager

That's the thoughts of one Mailboxer, who wants Jamie Carragher as defensive coach. Plus views on Arsenal, Malmo v Juventus, Alexis Sanchez & tremendous improvement...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property