La Liga: Granada 0 – 2 Atlético

Godín and Griezmann on target as Atleti earn three crucial points

Griezmann on form once more against Granada

Griezmann on form once more against Granada

Atlético Madrid moved back up to second in La Liga on Saturday night, taking all three points in Los Cármenes as goals from Diego Godín and Antoine Griezmann secured a 2-0 win over Granada.

The red and whites put in a solid performance against the struggling, striking in each half to make sure of the win which was our sixth in a row in all competitions. We are also now up to twelve games unbeaten.

Atleti took to the field with T-Shirts bearing the slogan ‘Ánimo Tiago’, showing support for their injured teammate after he was ruled out for 4 months last week with a broken tibia bone.

The big question ahead of kick-off was who would get the nod to replace him in midfield, and it was Saúl Ñíguez who was chosen to parter Gabi in the Luso’s absence. Otherwise, Cholo lined up as expected with Fernando Torres in attack.

It didn’t take long for his side to make the breakthrough, and again they paid tribute to Tiago by holding up his shirt in celebration after Diego Godín headed home his first goal in La Liga since January.

Like on Tuesday against Reus in the Copa del Rey, Koke was the assistant and he found the Uruguayan in acres of space in the Granada area, who had the simple task of nodding past goalkeeper Andrés for 1-0.

The home side’s game plan looked to be to sit deep and try and stop Atleti from finding a way through, but that went out with the window with the goal and they were forced to look for an equaliser.

However, up against what is now statistically Europe’s best defence after Bayern conceded three earlier in the day, that proved a tough task and they struggled to create any real openings.

Their best chance in the first half came from a quick free-kick, but Jan Oblak was alert and came out quickly to make a good save and ensure the visitors went in a goal up at the break.

José Ramón Sandoval’s side did enjoy a period of pressure after the re-start and forced a few good opportunities through the lively Isaac Success and substitute Robert Ibáñez, but were wasteful and soon punished.

Atleti have been criticised in recent away matches for their defensive approach when going in front, but this time they did find the second killer goal and in some style as well.

The introduction of Óliver Torres on the hour mark helped changed the game, and for the third game running he turned provider as Antoine Griezmann finished off a fabulous team move to double the lead.

Griezmann it was who started the move, and after feeding Filipe out wide, he sold the defender a dummy before latching onto Óliver’s perfectly weighted ball and firing into the top corner.

It was no less than Atleti deserved, and it could have been more if not for some below-par finishing (suprise, surprise) and a couple of good saves from Ándres Fernández.

Substitute Thomas came close to finding the top corner but was inches off target, and Fernando Torres also missed a golden chance to finally score his 100th in red and white in what was a rare full match for him.

Cholo’s men saw out the game on the front foot, and move up to just one point of leaders Barcelona ahead of their game against Valencia this evening.

As we approach a key stage in the season, it looks as if Atleti are hitting their stride at just the right time, and despite still lacking in front of goal are defending better than ever and looking better with each game.

Next up, we look to seal top spot in the Champions League away at Benfica on Tuesday evening, before a meeting with Athletic Bilbao and Raúl García in the Calderón next Sunday.

Granada Atlético Madrid
Granada 0 2 Atlético Madrid
 Godín 20'
 Griezmann 76'
Competition Liga BBVA
Location Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes
Date 05 December 2015
Kick Off 18:15 CET

Team Lineups

Rico (77')
Rubén Pérez
Peñaranda (63')
El-Arabi (88')
Substitutes used
Roberto Ibáñez (63')
Piti (77')
Nico López (88')
Atlético Madrid
Saúl (63')
Carrasco (80')
Substitutes used
Óliver Torres (63')
Thomas (80')

Match Stats

On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
  • Kris

    Well, we really can play a solid game when we use our players to their potential. Was such a joy to watch the game. Juanfran seemed a little shaky today but Filipe Luis had an outstanding game. Oliver Torres in that free roaming role seems like a great player. Koke in the center mid was making great passes. I believe Saul with more minutes and experience will become a much calmer centre mid. Fernando Torres came close to his 100th goal, but it’s been real hard for him. Good plays but no finish.
    Aupa Atleti!

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Best Defense in Europe and #5 in Europe. Yep. This is how we should win. Granda had no offensive penetration. Thomas might be on the field more often as well. Atleti look solid and in the winter we will only get stronger. With Barca’s tie, winning La Liga is looking better and possible. I only wish F. Torres scored to get that 100 goal monkey off his back.

  • AaX

    Oliver was superb and gaining form. It’s good opportunity for him now to either start or come in as substitute. Atleti will be needing to get the benefit of his world class assists. I have seen many and this kid has it.

    FORZA Atleti !!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Last week I talked about how disappointed Simeone was at the end of Espanyol game when he asked the fans to support the team but he didn’t like their response, then I watched a Spanish program talking about that, and with their own cameras they captured many fans playing with their phones or talking to each others, this is not the Bernabeu, the Calderon fans are always faithful and always very loud, but I guess what happened was that they were very sure that if Espanyol kept playing for two days they will never score, and they also thought that we will not score the second either after struggling for months in front of the goal .
    That what made say that La Liga is still not very competitive and it’s far from being the best in the world, it just has 3 big teams and a handful of superstars, a league is about all the 18 or 20 teams and the more than 400 players in it .

    And this game made me stick more to my opinion, Granada had 3 or 4 real chances, but all of them went to the stands !, I believe if it was Stock City or Hannover or Palermo they would have scored .
    La Liga is ridiculous, I said that many times in the last 2 or 3 years, and I wish people who disagree to use a different arguments than “UEFA ranking” and “5 clubs in the CL”, again : look at the other 15 !!
    Even when they start to use the new collective TV selling system next season, which is also accompanied by a significant increase in the deal value (almost 400 million), La Liga won’t get much better, first : it will take some time, and second : the new system is not very even as in England or Germany, it still allows one team to earn 4.5 times than another, but it’s much better than the old one where Real & Barca earned 10 times more than Rayo .

    So, my point is this :
    Even with our young group, we should have between 85 and 90 points from the 102 against the 17 teams other than the “big two”.
    85 points should make us finish 3rd very easily, while 90 could be enough to win the title, even if we lost all the 4 games vs Real & Barca, which is very unlikely to happen, because despite the low competitiveness level in La Liga they will drop points too, no team can win all the time, Bayern just lost 3-1 last night .

    I got hope again, not because watching Madrid drop to 3rd or Valencia getting a draw from Barca, but because watching how awful teams like Betis, Espanyol, Granada and even Depor -despite the draw- play against us, home or away .
    We may not play the best football, and we may struggle to score, but we always score at least one goal, and it’s very difficult to score against us, so, if this is not the 3rd 100-point season, we can win La Liga .
    It’s very hard, but it’s possible .