La Liga: Atlético 3 – 0 Elche
Antoine Griezmann with another double as Atleti win again at home
Atlético Madrid got rid of their Champions League hangover on Saturday evening as they put three past Elche at a packed Vicente Calderón.
Another brace from Antoine Griezmann handed Atleti all three points on Día del Niño, the day that celebrates all of the young Atlético fans.
The first real chance of the game went to the visitors. Diego Godín and José Giménez got into a bit of a muddle and left space for Adrián González. The striker managed to get a shot off, but it was deflected out for a corner.
Fajr then tried his luck from long range, but it was never causing any trouble for Jan Oblak.
It was the combination of Siqueira and Raúl García that almost handed Atlético the lead, on more than one occasion.
A cross in from our left-back met García at the back post, but his shot was palmed wide by the Elche goalkeeper, Tyton.
Just a few minutes later, RG8 went close again. Another Siqueira cross in and the header from the Spaniard was again stopped by Tyton.
Chances for Godín and Tiago passed them by, and frustration was starting to build in the Vicente Calderón. No Diego Simeone on the sideline, serving a one match suspension after being sent off against Deportivo, was playing its part for Atleti.
Fernando Torres missed a glorious opportunity to make it 1-0 after an outrageous pass from the outside of Koke’s boot. Our little masetro picked out El Niño but the cross bounced before he could hit it, and his volley went high into the crowd.
Atleti were piling on the pressure as the first half drew to a close, and it was Griezmann who had a chance but a low cross fizzed past the striker’s boot and out for a throw in.
The second half started as the first ended, with a bursting Siqueira run into the Elche area resulted in a fierce cross in to Griezmann. The first touch from Griezmann took the ball over Tyton’s bar.
On delivering the cross, Siqueira landed heavily on his ankle, and was substituted immediately. A shame considering the good performance he had put in so far.
Juanfran, rested for this game, was called back from his warm up to replace the Brazilian, and would swap with Jesús Gámez at right-back.
It was the replacement right-back who created the next chance for Atleti, and his cross cut out the Elche defence before falling to Fernando Torres. Number 19 delayed the shot and tried to take a touch, but was quickly hounded out by the visitors. Disappointing from El Niño!
It was some lightning reflexes from his strike partner that finally handed Atlético the lead. A fizzing shot from Koke was only palmed up into the air, and an alert Antoine Griezmann followed the shot to head in the rebound into an empty net.
The 21st league goal of an outstanding debut season for the Frenchman. It was also a goal that tempered Atlético’s frustration.
It was 2-0 shortly after, a throw in for Atleti was given to Raúl García, who drifted infield with nobody closing him down.
He let fire with his weaker foot, and caught out Tyton who wasn’t expecting the shot. The low, hard strike flew in at his near post and gave RG8 the goal he had been searching for all afternoon.
There was daylight between the two teams, and the third goal wasn’t far off. Saúl won a 50-50 ball with the Elche defence, and did well to fire a short cross low to Griezmann, who on the edge of the six yard box tucked it under the goalkeeper and into the back of the net to make it 3-0.
It was Griezmann’s third consecutive two-goal performance in the league. The only concern from Atlético will be why he hasn’t scored more hat-tricks!
Burgos was today’s reason, as he replaced Griezmann with Raúl Jiménez soon after the Atleti’s third goal. Our little Frenchman went off to thunderous applause from a packed Vicente Calderón.
Elche did have their opportunities. A nervy moment from Oblak handed them a series of corners, but the Atleti defence were on hand in their numbers to close down the opposition and put a stop to the attack.
Atlético let the game wind down and claimed their 22nd win of the season in the league.
The only downsides of the evening were the injury to Siqueira, and another performance without a goal for Fernando Torres. While it may have been Día del Niño at the Vicente Calderón, it certainly wasn’t El Niño’s day.
Next up is a visit to El Madrigal on Wednesday as Atlético take on Villarreal.
|Raúl García 63'|
|25 April 2015|
|Raúl García (69')|
|Raúl Jiménez (80')|