Griezmann stars as Atletico wins EL
Antoine Griezmann scored twice as Atletico Madrid beat Marseille 3-0 in the Europa League final on Wednesday in Lyon.
Atletico took the lead midway through the first half as Griezmann capitalised on a poor error from Andre Zambo Anguissa, before Marseille captain Dimitri Payet was forced off with a hamstring injury on 31 minutes.
Griezmann, who is being tipped to leave Atletico this summer, then made it 2-0 with a delightful finish over Steve Mandanda (49), before Gabi drilled home the third with a minute remaining.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak (7), Vrsaljko (6), Gimenez (7), Godin (7), L Hernandez (7), Correa (7), Saul (7), Gabi (8), Koke (8), Diego Costa (7), Griezmann (9).
Subs: Juanfran (6), Thomas (NA), Torres (NA)
Marseille: Mandanda (5), Sarr (5), Rami (5), Luiz Gustavo (4), Amavi (5), Anguissa (4), Sanson (5), Thauvin (4), Payet (5), Ocampos (6), Germain (4).
Subs: Lopez (4), N’Jie (4), Mitroglu (5)
Man of the match: Antoine Griezmann
Atletico were already guaranteed a place in next season’s Champions League, and French side Marseille can still squeeze into the top three places in Ligue 1, currently sitting in fourth, a point behind third-place Lyon with a game remaining.
Marseille should have been ahead in just the fourth minute as striker Valere Germain was played through on goal by Payet, but he miscued his effort wide from 10 yards.
Atletico punished Marseille to take the lead on 21 minutes; Mandanda’s pass was miscontrolled by Anguissa, allowing Gabi to touch the ball for Griezmann to run through on goal and slot low into the net.
Marseille were handed another blow 10 minutes later as Payet was taken off injured, with the former West Ham midfielder in tears as his team-mates consoled him walking off the pitch.
Griezmann doubled Atletico’s lead just after the break in what could be his last meaningful act as an Atletico player, lifting the ball over Mandanda after being slipped through on goal at an angle by Koke.
Marseille nearly halved the deficit late on through former Fulham man Konstantinos Mitroglou, but his glancing header from Morgan Sanson’s cross came off the post.
As Marseille pushed forward late on, captain Gabi grabbed Atletico’s third, finding the bottom left corner from the right of the box after Koke had found him well.
Man of the match – Antoine Griezmann
To win what could be his last piece of silverware at Atletico Madrid, the Frenchman put in a trademark performance with two calm finishes to put his side out of sight.
For the first, after Marseille had handed him the opportunity on a plate, Griezmann waited until Mandanda had sat down before slotting low into the net, while his second was a thing of beauty. To dink the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper in a major final tells you everything you need to know about the 27-year-old.
A big-game player, but will he be at the club next summer?
- Atletico Madrid have won the UEFA Europa League on three separate occasions, the most of any side since the competition’s inaugural season in 2009/10 (also Sevilla).
- Marseille have lost each of their last three major finals in European competition, without scoring a single goal, with all of those final defeats coming in the UEFA Cup/Europa League.
- In major European Finals, French sides have now lost all five of their encounters with Spanish oppositon, with Marseille accounting for each of the last two.
- Since the beginning of the 2013/14 season, Spanish clubs have now won eight of the last nine Champions League and Europa League trophies combined.