First Division - Day 31

Numancia 1 - Atlético Madrid 0

Numancia: Juanma; Pignol, Palacios, Antonio, Tarantino; Miguel Pérez, Pablo Sanz (Velasco 15'), Carlos Merino (Toché 72'), Juan Carlos Moreno, Juanlu (Graff 90'); Miguel. 4-5-1.
Atlético: Leo Franco; Molinero, Pablo, García Calvo, Sergi; Gronkjaer, Luccin, Colsa (Ibagaza 60'), Antonio López; Salva, Fernando Torres. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Numancia: Miguel Pérez, Carlos Merino, Miguel for Velasco, Pineda, Pulpo González / Atlético: Molinero, García Calvo, Antonio López for Velasco, Perea, Ibagaza.

1-0. 86. Toché. Picked up ball close to goal and scored from wide angle.

Atlético Madrid's hopes of a return to Europe took a set-back when they were beaten 1-0 by bottom club Numancia, and they ended the weekend still three points away from the UEFA spots. The locals are an almost certain bet to be relegated back to the second division next season, but they started well, and Merino and Moreno both tested Leo Franco early on. Salva went close at the other end with a header, but Juanlu could have put the home side ahead just before the break when he shot wide with only the keeper to beat.

The Soria based side kept up the pressure after the restart, with Moreno in particular causing problems for the visiting defence. César Ferrando eventually was forced to turn to Ibagaza, who he had rested at the start, and the Argentine midfielder set up Fernando Torres for a shot which Juanma just tipped over the bar, and then forced another good save out of the ex Atlético keeper with a dangerous free kick.

With the game coming to an end a draw seemed to be on the cards, but the ball fell to substitute Toché, who rounded a defender near to goal before beating Leo Franco from a wide angle (his shot appeared to be touched in on the line by Miguel, but the referee awarded the goal to the on-loan Atlético forward). It was the first that the keeper had conceded in five games, and confirmed the Madrid based side's poor record away from home, where they have only picked up ten points all season. Miguel was sent off in the last minute after earning himself two bookings in five minutes, but by then it was all over, and Numancia's fans left the ground still believing in miracles.