In their third friendly of the day, Atlético Madrid were 2-0 winners on Saturday evening against fellow La Liga side Real Sociedad in Alicante.
Kick-off was delayed by 80 minutes due to the Basque side being hit with a flight delay, but it didn’t distract Diego Simeone’s side as they impressed in their first real test of the pre-season campaign so far.
After playing a mixture of fringe players and canteranos this morning – along with Jackson Martínez – Cholo opted for his trusted eleven at the Rico Pérez stadium, handing a first start back at the club to new signing Filipe Luís.
The Brazilian full-back had a hand in the opener as well, and provided a reminder to Atleti fans of just how good an outlet he is down the left flank.
His shapely cross wasn’t dealt with by the La Real backline, and after pressure from Griezmann, defender Markel Bergara inadvertedly looped a header over goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli and into the back of his own net.
Manager David Moyes will have been kicking himself, as his side withdrew the colchoneros to minimal amounts of chances in a close first half.
However, the game began to open up towards the end and Atleti started to take control. Torres almost doubled the lead on the hour mark, but headed just wide after a Filipe cross.
Fifteen minutes of the end, Antoine Griezmann put daylight between the two teams with a clinical volleyed finish, rounding off a neat team move involving Juanfran, Koke and Correa.
He should’ve had a second against his former club soon after, but fired against the crossbar from close range after substitute Correa spurned a great opportunity of his own moments earlier.
In front of a predominantly red and white crowd, Atleti saw out the final stages and held on to a comfortable 2-0 win, which will stand them in good stead ahead of the La Liga opener in two weeks.
Next up, we put the finishing touches on a successful pre-season campaign in Cádiz, competing in the Trofeo Carranza for the second year running. We play the hosts on Friday night, before either Betis or Granada the following evening.
Line-up: Oblak; Juanfran, Godín, Giménez, Filipe; Gabi, Tiago, Koke, Óliver (“59 Correa); Griezmann, Torres.
Goals: 0-1 Bergara o.g. (“17); 0-2 Griezmann (“75)