Champions League: Galatasaray 0 – 2 Atlético
Atleti leave Istanbul with all three points after European opener
Atlético Madrid enjoyed a successful start to this season’s Champions League campaign after two Antoine Griezmann goals handed them a 2-0 win away against Galatasaray.
A tough test for any team, the trip to Istanbul caused fewer problems than anticipated, and Atleti will be delighted to start this year’s competition with all three points.
Diego Simeone decided to start the trio of Jackson Martínez and Luciano Vietto up-front alongside Griezmann, but it was the Frenchman that stole the spotlight once again.
The opening goal of the game came just after 18 minutes, and on the run of play, it was no surprise that it was Atleti that took the lead.
It was the little maestro Koke that played in Juanfran down the right hand side of the pitch to set up an attacking move.
The right-back played a short pass across the edge of the area to a waiting Antoine Griezmann, who calmly side-footed the ball into the Galatasaray net, squeezing between the goalkeeper and post. A precision finish.
Atlético were certainly on top, their work-rate the obvious difference between the two teams in the first half. Simeone’s men were chasing down every ball and putting the Turkish side under immense pressure.
It wasn’t long before Griezmann picked up his second goal of the evening to double Atleti’s lead.
A lapse in judgement from the Galatasaray defence handed Atleti a corner, from which Juanfran whipped it into the area.
It was cleared at the first attempt, but the Spaniard’s second bite at the cherry sent the ball over everyone, only to meet a jumping Diego Godín at the back post.
The Galatasaray goalkeeper came for it, but was caught in no man’s land. He could only watch as Godín headed the ball back across the area to a waiting Antoine Griezmann, who got a foot up to volley the ball into an empty net.
Two goals to the good inside 25 minutes, Atleti continued to pressure and dominated the first half.
The home team did come back into the match after the interval, and showed much more aggression in their closing down and tackling.
Hamza Hamzaoğlu clearly wasn’t happy with his team’s display in the first half, and while he will be infinitely more satisfied with their second half performance, the Turkish side still struggled to create any real chances.
Galatasaray instead had to rely on half-chances that rarely troubled Jan Oblak.
Of their 23 attempts, only three were on target.
At the other end, Jackson showed glimpses of his quality in the hour that he played, but was a little off the pace and was eventually replaced by Fernando Torres.
Griezmann should have had a hat-trick as the clock wound down on the game, but he was denied the match ball after a good stop from Muslera.
Elsewhere in the group, Benfica beat Astana 2-0 in Lisbon.
Job done in Istanbul, and next up is Eibar away for Atlético.
Antoine Griezmann (18′) – 0-1
Antoine Griezmann (25′) – 0-2
|Galatasaray||0 2||Atlético Madrid|
|UEFA Champions League|
|Türk Telekom Arena|
|15 September 2015|
|F Torres (60')|