La Liga: Atlético 3 – 1 Levante

Griezmann at the double as Atleti start 2015 with a bang

Godín celebrates in the style of Kiko and El Niño himself

Godín celebrates in the style of Kiko and El Niño himself

Fernando Torres watched from the stands as Atleti ushered in the new year with an impressive 3-1 home victory over Valencian side Levante on Saturday afternoon.

The last game of 2014 was a 4-1 win over Athletic, with a second half performance that instilled a sense of optimism among fans and players alike. Atletico Madrid, despite a two week break, carried their momentum on into this game as they started sharp and showed no signs of rustiness. Gimenez and Griezmann both started the match and were pivotal in the success.

Atleti first had the ball in the back of the net as Turan knocked in a flick on from Godin just after 10 minutes of play, but the Turk was adjudged offside by the linesman.

The Madrid outfit did not have to wait long for another as eight minutes later Griezmann was alert in the box and headed home a perfectly weighted cross from Siquiera. The Frenchman’s 4th goal in two games was a relief, none more so than for Griezmann himself as the youngster battles to regain the form that made him lethal whilst playing for La Real.

Atlético outclassed their opponents for the opening 45 minutes, with passing displays that would have any of the elite clubs in Europe envious.

The whole team weighed in with excellent performances but it was Arda Turan who acted as conductor out on the right wing. His nonchalant style proved too much for Levante as he combined fellow right sider Juanfran to set up Mandzukic in the 30th minute, but the Croatian strayed offside.

Our number 9 was inches from doubling the lead in the 36th minute but his effort was stopped by an outstanding reflex save from Diego Marino, who was extremely busy for the remainder of the first 45.

Despite creating chances at will, the score remained 1-0 to Atleti as the referee brought the first half to a close.

Levante were allowed a brief breather during the interval ,but again the home side picked up where they left off in the first half and applied pressure from the get go.

Diego Marino found himself in the mix again as he beat away a powerful header from Mandzukic, only to be picking out the ball from the back of the net as Griezmann nodded home the rebound to grab his second of the game.

The stage was set for Griezmann to secure his second hat trick in two games but the Frenchman had to settle for a brace in the end.

Atleti refused to take their foot off the accelerator as they pushed on for a third. Tiago saw his effort fly into the crowd after an excellent piece of interplay between Mandzukic and Griezmann in the 55th minute.

Levante were reluctant to go down quietly and started to apply some pressure of their own in the second half.

It was Moya this time who was the busiest of the two goalkeepers. The Spaniard just about dealt with a header from inside the box but no sooner was the ball cleared away, was it cannoned back into the chaotic 10 yard area, striking the unaware El Zhar and nestled itself into the bottom corner.

The joint frustration of conceding, by fans and players, was epitomised as Mandzukic lashed out at the post.

Raul Garcia entered the game in the 66th minute replacing the majestic Arda Turan who was later followed off the pitch by Mandzukic, who made way for Mexican forward Raul Jimenez in the 78th minute.

As Levante chased the equaliser Atleti sat back, soaked up the pressure and launched counter attacks of their own. After a plethora of failed attempts at catching out the Valencian side, Raul Garcia looked to buck that trend. Although his cross which had Griezmann’s head written all over it was dealt with, it gave Los Rojiblancos a corner.

Koke, so often the provider, played the ball out to Tiago who had positioned himself just outside the box. The Portuguese lofted a ball through a sea of players which found the forehead of Diego Godín. The Uruguayan got himself on the scoresheet and put the game to bed.

Godín’s archer goal celebration, aswell as the two from Antoine Griezmann tonight, were a homage to new team mate Fernando Torres (which itself was a homage to former Atlético, Kiko). It looks like it’s not only the fans who are excited about the homecoming of El Niño.

After a few more half chances the game came to a close and Atlético start the new year with 3 points.

A confident performance Atleti go into their midweek clash with crosstown rivals Real Madrid in high spirits. The win leaves Atleti third, level on points with Barca and one point behind Real, both of whom play tomorrow.

Who was your man of the match? What did you make of Griezmann’s performance?

Atlético Madrid Levante
Atlético Madrid 31 Levante
Griezmann 18'El Zhar 62'
Griezmann 47' 
Godín 82' 
Competition Liga BBVA
Location Vicente Calderón
Date 03 January 2015
Kick Off 16:00 CET

Team Lineups

Atlético Madrid
Arda Turan (66')
Griezmann (84')
Mandzukic (79')
Substitutes used
Raúl García (66')
Raul Jiménez (79')
Saúl (84')
Karabelas (73')
Pape Diop
Martins (60')
Substitutes used
El Zhar (60')
Barral (73')

Match Stats

On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
  • Bench Grizi again Simeone .. I dare you .. I double dare you !

    Griezmann now has 11 goals in 1288 minutes, a goal every 117 minutes
    That’s better than the average of Costa with Chelsea, 14 goals in 1750 minutes, a goal every 125 minutes
    and Mandzukic scored his 14th goal 2 weeks before Costa, and he needed less minutes
    anybody still miss him ?!

    But I will admit that I miss Filipe .. Siqueira is defensively terrible
    I think we should start the negotiation with Zenit to sign Ansaldi permanently

    El Frente are starting to lose the battle, and they don’t have to, they can stay in their usual seats and chant their songs but without the verbal abuse and without any shirt, flag or scarf that carries the name or the symbol of “Frente Atletico”, they can choose a different name or not use any name at all
    but no, they must enjoy their insults and they must bring their radical symbols and their Franco’s flags !!

    Their loss, and soon some respectful fans will replace them, fans who go to the stadium for football only, and leave the politics outside
    after all, El Frente are not the only ones who can write songs and chant loudly .. anybody can do that .

  • when you’re calm, happy and inspired is hard to argue with you. you are perfectly right. 🙂

  • Dircil

    Without Mandzukic, I doubt Griezmann had enough space to score so many goals lately. His goals should be tributed to Mandzukic’s endless effort of attracting other defenders!

  • I can’t agree more .. Mandzukic work with and without the ball is extraordinary

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Smh these guys who credit Mandzukic in the match are crazy… His movement wasn’t that good, one of the worst games I’ve seen from him so far

  • Luis

    I wouldn’t say one of his worst games so far but I’m far from sold in terms of how well he has adapted to the team. From performances to date, I can’t put him in that Falcao-Forlan-Aguero bracket but he seems like the kind of player that will improve as he gets more and more comfortable. The problem is that he’s the wrong side of 25 and to keep up with the big boys we’re going to need that little bit more from him.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    True but it just baffles me when people want to credit him for Griezmann’s goals, like seriously that’s ridiculous. I personally can’t wait for Leo to return to have his chance

  • tohaju thomas

    u both r kidding me !!!
    where mario been when griezman scored his ha-trick ,,
    beside how mario movements helped with the 3 scores yesterday !!!!

  • Griezmann second goal came after Mandzukic header hit the post then the ball went to Griezmann, and Mandzukic tried to pass the ball to him but the defender did it before he could

    but forget that, I will not credit him fro Griezmann’s goals, it’s enough to credit him for his own 14 goals

  • I think the key here is to realize that Mandzukic is a different player than our recent previous strikers, and we should not compare him to Costa, Falcao, Forlan, Aguero, Torres and even Greizmann
    But if you insist to compare him to them then -obviously- you will find him less than them

    The only fair comparison is the number of goals, and until now, he is doing pretty good

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    It’s not about comparisons for me, I think no matter who leads our front line will score goals because of the way our team plays. I’m just saying that yesterday he didn’t play well and he wasted chances that he may have scored on another day. So let’s not pat him on the shoulder for nothing

  • you know he didn’t mean Athletic game when Mandzukic was suspended .. come on !
    if Mandzukic goal wasn’t called offside and if his header that hit the post went to the net many would have praised him instead of Griezmann !
    This Atletico is about team work and hard work, and who scores the goals is secondary
    15 different Atleti players scored so far this season, and 12 different players made assists, it is difficult to find these numbers in any team in the world
    Greizmann himself did a great game (beside the 2 goals), and Simeone spoke about that in the post-game press conference, about his movement and his pressure on the opponent players to win the ball back

    O.K, it wasn’t Mandzukic best game, but it wasn’t his worse either
    do you know who is the player who I think he wasn’t at the top of his game yesterday ?

  • tohaju thomas

    i am not saying mario is bad ,,
    what i mean , greizman not scoring only coze of th help of mario as he said ,,
    beside i see greizman more helpful than mario ,,
    another thing ,, in my opinion raul J is much better than both of them , maybe now we cant see it , but very soon we will

  • I really believe in Jimenez, I wouldn’t say he is better than Grizi & Mandzu, but I’m sure he could be a great striker
    the only thing he needs is the confidence, and sadly, Atleti fans were the ones who made him lose it, their harsh and ridiculous attack on him just because he grew up in a Madridista family !

  • tohaju thomas

    but believe me he will be better then both ,, he is a real fighter ,,
    but we will see his chances to play now after torres comeback ,,
    3la fekra ana 3rabi w mn zman bshofak w btabe3 ta3likatak hon w 3la moke3 kooora b a5bar el atletico

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Oh btw Mandzukic’s goal was called for handball

  • 🙂

  • if I’m not mistaken, there wasn’t any replay on TV for that denied goal .. was there ?!

  • Adnan Khan

    It was. One could see mandzukic scoring with the hand intentionally.

  • Adnan Khan

    All the credit of the two griezmann goals goes to Griezmann. One could see the hunger he had for goals in this game. Never seen anything like that from him before in Atleti. He was going on raids and positioning himself in a inspiring way, even tho he lost the ball some times because of the raids, he succeded to quench his thirst for goals.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Yeah I did see a replay actually