La Liga: Atlético 2 – 0 Getafe
Griezmann at the double as rojiblancos grind out the three points
Atlético Madrid were 2-0 winners against local rivals Getafe on Tuesday night, although it wasn’t a vintage performance from Diego Simeone’s men in the Vicente Calderón.
Antoine Griezman was the difference, striking at the beginning and end of the match to make sure of the result and add another two goals to his already impressive tally.
Cholo opted to make six changes from the side that beat Eibar on Saturday, bringing Fernando Torres back into the line-up and giving rests to a few of his key players ahead of a big run of games before the upcoming international break.
The Argentine was also without midfield engine Koke, who will be out for up to three weeks after being forced off with a hamstring problem at the weekend.
Atleti started brightly, and were ahead early on through a familiar method, and familiar source.
Yannick Carrasco – starting for the first time in red and white – saw his corner fall to Gabi, and although the captain didn’t get hold of his shot, it fell for Antoine Griezmann to control, turn and caress the ball home.
It was the type of goal we have gotten used to seeing from him since the turn of the year, and demonstrated just how much of a predator he has become inside the box, sniffing out any hint of a scoring chance and finishing with confidence.
However, as the home crowd descended into a party atmosphere, the team didn’t quite match their enthusiasm and struggled to really create any real openings during the remainder of the half.
Getafe it was who came closest to scoring before the interval, as Stefan Scepovic capitalised on a mistake from Óliver and tested Oblak’s reflexes. Thankfully, the Slovenian star was alert.
Much of the second half followed the same pattern, with the home side looking a little disjointed without some of their household names.
Simeone mixed things up, sending on Correa for Carrasco at half-time and giving Jackson Martínez a half hour run out, but despite dominating possession they were struggling to find a link between midfield and attack.
Fran Escribá knows Atleti better than most having worked as an assistant at the club under Quique Flores, and perhaps used some of his inside knowledge to frustrate the hosts, letting them have the ball but leaving little space to exploit on the counter attack.
Up at the other end, the Azulones had their chances to draw level most notably through Pedro León, but he couldn’t finish under pressure from the defender after pouncing on another error, this time from Guilherme Siqueira.
As time fizzled out, Cholo’s men looked happy to settle for their one goal lead and allowed Geta to come at them, but just as they started to put on a bit of pressure on the home goal, Atleti did what they do best.
Jackson was bright in his brief cameo, and was able to claim an assist as a reward for his persistance and hard running as the ball broke for him in injury time.
Slightly wide of goal after a pass forward wasn’t cut out, he pulled the defender away from the centre before laying it on a plate for Antoine Griezmann to pop up once more and apply the simple finish for 2-0.
The goal put daylight between the sides and perhaps made the scoreline look a little more flattering than it actually was, but was an important one and his fifth of the season, a figure he didn’t reach until December last year.
On the whole, it wasn’t a performance that fans will remember for years to come, but this was to be expected with lots of players still adapting. Come the end of the season, all that will matter is the three points
We can expect the ‘once de gala‘ to return for the trip to Villarreal on Saturday, and then it’s back to the Calderón for a crunch double bill against Benfica and Real Madrid in the space of four days.
|22 September 2015|
|Juan Rodríguez (81')|
|Pedro León (70')|