Atlético Madrid have set a new record in Spain’s top flight but it is not one they are particularly happy about: Diego Simeone’s side have not had one penalty awarded in their favour in 2017-18 and not one opposition player has received his marching orders in 22 league games against the Rojiblancos.
Not since 1975-76 has a side reached this stage of the season without being awarded at least one spot kick or playing against 10 men at some stage, Real Betis getting to week 22 without either circumstance happening.
On the other hand, Atlético have had Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann sent off in the league while Atlético keeper Jan Oblak has faced three penalties, saving two from Las Palmas’ Jonathan Viera and Athletic’s Aritz Aduriz and being beaten by Real Sociedad striker Willian José.
Godín incident latest Atlético gripe
The latest incident to incense Atlético took place during Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Valencia. Diego Godín and visiting keeper Neto went up for an aerial challenge and the Atlético defender was missing three teeth when he returned to the floor with Neto failing to make any contact with the ball. Referee Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva did not point to the spot or brandish a card of any colour in the direction of the Valencia keeper despite Godín suffering a triple fracture of his upper jawbone.
The manner of Griezmann’s red card on the opening weekend of the season also annoyed Simeone, the France striker being booked for a dive when it appeared Girona keeper Gorka Iraizoz had made contact with his foot and then getting a second booking for protesting, although calling referee Juan Martínez Munuera “a fucking bottler” probably did not help the striker’s cause.
Atlético are second in LaLiga and the only viable challenger to champions-elect Barcelona after victory over Valencia left Simeone’s side nine points adrift of the leaders and nine ahead of Los Che.
But there must be a few inside the Metropolitano wondering if that could be a little less had Atlético received the same treatment as their top-four rivals. Barcelona have been awarded four penalties, Valencia five and Real Madrid four already this season. Elsewhere, Athletic have had six, Sevilla and Villarreal four each and Eibar, Málaga, Celta, Real Sociedad, Betis, Leganés and Deportivo three apiece.