If you had offered Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone back-to-back league wins - with no goals conceded and a first goal for one of his summer acquisitions all inside the first month, he would have bitten your hand off.
Atletico have started this season in the sort of fashion that fans of Rojiblancos have become accustomed to under his leadership. An opening weekend 1-0 victory over newly-promoted Las Palmas hardly set the world alight, but Simeone knows that his squad are on the peripheral of achieving greatness this year.
Sunday night was a prime example of the confidence the Argentine has instilled in a squad buoyed by the possibility of both domestic and European success. In truth, Sevilla were rather fortunate to have escaped without a more damaging defeat than the 3-0 that was inflicted upon them.
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Jackson Martinez came off the bench to score his first for the club since his arrival from Portuguese side Porto, in what Simeone described as one of the best all-round displays he has seen from his side at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Stake their claim
It would be foolish to get carried away so early into the season, but there is most certainly a lingering sense around the Vicente Calderon that a similarly excellent display against Barcelona in their next La Liga fixture could well stake their claim as the team to catch.
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While title rivals Real Madrid returned to goalscoring form with a comprehensive 5-0 demolition of Real Betis on Saturday, Simeone is under no illusion of the difficult task his side face in beating off the competition.
Overcoming Sevilla in the manner that they did is a major claim of the credentials posed by Simeone’s side. Sterner tests await, with Barcelona likely to expose a defence that has so far been unbreachable.
After the disappointing opening to the new campaign - with only 12 goals scored in the 10 matches - La Liga has certainly been brought to life this weekend. In stark contrast, 23 goals were scored with all three of the title favourites recording victories.
The international break may appear to have come at the wrong time for Simeone, as the momentum built from his side’s strong start to the campaign will have to be put on hold. A return to face the champions in two weeks time could prove to be a poignant moment even at this stage of the season.
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