La Liga: Atlético 1 – 0 UD Las Palmas
Griezmann with only goal of the game as Atleti take all three points
Atlético Madrid got their 2015/16 La Liga campaign off to a winning start on Saturday evening, after a muted performance from Diego Simeone’s men.
It’s the three points that matter most for Atlético, despite predictions of a high-scoring match before the game. A win is a win.
Antoine Griezmann got the only goal of the game for Atlético in the 16th minute, after winning a free kick on the edge of the Las Palmas box.
The Frenchman’s free kick took a big deflection on the way through and wrong-footed the Raúl, but the goalkeeper should have done better with it.
It was Los Rojiblancos’ first goal from a direct free-kick since October 2012 – a shocking statistic considering their record from set-pieces.
Atlético’s build-up play was fantastic on occasions, with Óliver Torres particularly impressive in his starting role. (Once again, Arda who?)
Las Palmas did have some opportunities to go level, hitting the woodwork on a number of occasions.
David Simón was left completely unmarked by Filipe at the back post, and was unlucky to see his header scrape the top of the crossbar on it’s way over.
A corner a bit later from the Islanders was pushed onto the post after a spectacular reflex save from Jan Oblak. I’m not sure how the big Slovenian got anything on it.
In terms of the players that Cholo selected, Filipe had a great turn to the Vicente Calderón. He was consistently involved in all of the attacks down the left hand side of the field, offering some symmetry to support Juanfran who likes to push forward on the right.
Twice the returning Brazilian could have ended up with the ball in the back of the net. He almost certainly had the most shots of any Atlético player this evening.
Jackson Martinez saw little of the ball, and wasn’t involved in too many of Atlético’s passing plays. He was eventually replaced on the hour mark by Fernando Torres. It will be a few more weeks before the Colombian is fully match-fit and firing on all cylinders.
Óliver, after a fantastic showing, came off in the 64th minute and was replaced by Ángel Correa for his long-awaited debut. The young Argentinean’s first real involvement almost ended in a goal if it wasn’t for a fantastic last-minute block by Alcaraz.
After some excellent intricate passing between the 20-year-old, Griezmann and Gabi, Correa fired a shot towards goal but it was no trouble for the Las Palmas ‘keeper.
Filipe with another opportunity, drove into the box, beat two players and smashed it across goal hoping for the best, pushed behind for a corner.
The final substitute of the game saw Antoine Griezmann make way for Raúl García. This meant there was no Atlético debut for Luciano Vietto, who joined this summer from Villarreal.
Koke hit the post from another free kick late on, before Atleti saw the game out to claim the victory.
Important three points for Atlético, in a season where the expectations get higher and higher with every win.
1-0 Griezmann (16′)
|Atlético Madrid||10||Las Palmas|
|Estadio Vicente Calderón|
|22 August 2015|
|F Torres (59')|
|Raúl García (81')|
|Dani C (80')|
|Willian José (80')|