A double from Antoine Griezmann sends Atletico Madrid into third place following a 2-1 win at Real Betis.
The first half was a fascinating watch from a tactical point of view but without clear cut chances. Betis dominated possession as expected but their opponents limited them to very little. Atletico looked to counter but didn’t manage many opportunities to do so.
It was the match Atletico wanted it to be, with Betis becoming increasingly frustrated with the visitors’ resolute defending.
The game burst into life in the second half, and just three minutes after the restart underway Betis thought they had made the breakthrough after Luiz Henrique found the back of the net. The goal was chalked off for offside and was the catalyst for Atletico taking control of the game.
Just five minutes later, it was Atletico who took the lead through Antoine Griezmann, who scored directly from a corner.
Griezmann was on hand again 20 minutes from time to double Atletico’s advantage with a brilliant goal after some fantastic interplay between the Atletico attackers, Griezmann finished off the move by poking the ball through Rui Silva’s legs and into the back of the net.
Nabil Fekir came on for Betis with 15 minutes to go and instantly made a difference, rifling home a brilliant free-kick just minutes after his introduction.
Betis could have taken a point but Moreno’s header crashed off the crossbar and Atletico managed to hold on and earn three valuable points.
TALKING POINT – ATLETICO CONTINUE TO TRAVEL WELL
It was an interesting match-up as Atletico came into the game with an unbeaten away record and Real Betis had won all five La Liga matches at home. Ultimately it was Atletico who came out on top and have preserved their fantastic form on the road. That’s now five wins and one draw on away from home, a run only bettered by Real Madrid. This is a huge contrast to their form at the Wanda Metropolitano, Atletico rank 13th overall in La Liga for home form with just two wins from five.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – ANTOINE GRIEZMANN (ATLETICO MADRID)
The Frenchman was a joy to watch today, playing with a freedom and a smile on his face, it was a vintage Griezmann performance.
His two goals were the difference, one directly from a corner and the other a neat finish, but it wasn’t just his goals that have earned him Player of the Match, his overall display was a cut above the rest. He was at the heart of everything good that Atletico did, linking attacks together, working hard out of possession, dropping deep to collect the ball at times and pushing his team up the pitch. A complete performance.
Rui Silva 6, Sabaly 6, Pezzella 6, Felipe 6, Moreno 7, Rodriguez 6, Guardado 7, Henrique 6, Carvalho 6, Sanchez 6, Iglesias 7
Subs: Ruiz 6, Ruibal 7, Joaquin 6, Fekir 7, Cruz 6
Oblak 6, Reinildo 6, Gimenez 7, Savic 7, Molina 6, Niguez 7, Witsel 7, Kondogbia 7, Correa 6, Morata 6, Griezmann 9
Subs: Cunha 6, Felix 6, Carrasco 6, De Paul N/A
30′ BEST CHANCE SO FAR – A really well worked move as Betis catch Atletico on the counter. Borja lays off Luiz Henrique who blasts over.
45+2 CLOSE! – Guardado fires a free-kick which is tipped over by Jan Oblak. The goalkeeper had it covered but wasn’t taking any chances.
48′ GOAL – REAL BETIS! Luiz Henrique scores but it’s being checked for a potential offside.
48′ NO GOAL! – Relief for Atletico! The goal has been ruled out for offside.
55′ GOAL – ATLETICO MADRID! Antoine Griezmann scores direct from a corner! It’s currently down as a Saul goal but that may change as it didn’t look to take a touch off anyone else.
71′ GOAL – ATLETICO MADRID! An absolutely superb goal. Great combination play between the Atletico attackers before Antoine Griezmann squeezes the ball through the legs of Rui Silva and it trickles over the line.
84′ GOAL – REAL BETIS – We said it before, Nabil Fekir has already made a difference! He fires home a direct free-kick for his first goal of the season!
90′ CROSSBAR! – Moreno has a free header but his header smashes against the crossbar! So close to an equaliser!