Atletico journey blueprint, Griezmann to Europa glory

LYON, France — Three ideas on Atletico Madrid’s Three-Zero win over Marseille within the Europa League remaining.

1. Atletico win first trophy in 4 years

Antoine Griezmann’s double and captain Gabi’s late purpose secured a Three-Zero victory for Atletico Madrid over Marseille in Wednesday’s 2018 Europa League remaining — with Diego Simeone’s facet deserved winners each on the evening and of the competitors.

A spirited Marseille group gave it their all, however Atletico have been simply too streetwise and in addition simply too good. Both Griezmann’s objectives have been beautifully completed after naive errors from the French facet, whereas Gabi’s late clincher got here simply after substitute Clinton Njie had butchered his facet’s final probability to make a sport of it.

Cheered on by what gave the impression to be about 80 % of the 59,000 crowd on the Stade de Lyon, Marseille made by far the higher begin — just for an important error on 20 minutes from younger midfielder Andre Zambo Anguissa to be punished ruthlessly by Atletico’s quantity seven.

The temper swing contained in the stadium swung fully with the purpose, and issues fell even additional Atletico’s method when Marseille’s greatest participant Dimitri Payet was quickly compelled off injured. Rudi Garcia’s group had two-thirds of the possession within the first 45 minutes, however Atletico scored their solely actual probability.

Simeone’s facet scored their first alternative of the second half too — as simply 4 minutes in Saul Niguez was quickest to a free ball close to the midway line, and inside seconds Koke launched Griezmann to exquisitely elevate the ball over Steve Mandanda and into the web. Marseille saved making an attempt, however the breaks saved going Atletico’s method, and substitute Kostas Mitroglou’s deft late header beat Jan Oblak however not the submit.

Atletico captain Gabi then wrapped up the scoring late on, and celebrated like a person who would favor to neglect he referred to as this competitors “sh*t” when his facet dropped into it from the Champions League final December. However, they rapidly refocused their marketing campaign round this comparatively achievable goal. In reality the semi-finals towards Arsenal offered an even bigger problem for Simeone’s facet, who didn’t even have to be at their easiest right here.

Winning the Europa League was not how Atletico deliberate their 2017-18 season to finish, however they proved tonight that they have been clearly the perfect group on this season’s competitors, and a four-year wait for an additional main trophy is lastly over.

2. Griezmann delivers potential parting shot on huge stage

If that is to be Griezmann’s remaining huge sport for Atletico then the France worldwide delivered in an enormous method –making a case that he might effectively be the world’s third greatest particular person participant.

The Rojiblanco facet’s build-up to the sport was dominated by speak over Griezmann’s future, with a €100 million summer season transfer to Barcelona reportedly lined up. He was then among the many Atletico gamers who didn’t appear fairly proper by the opening levels, as simply minutes earlier than the sport’s key second he uncharacteristically misplaced possession deep in his personal half. But when Anguissa’s error was anticipated and pounced upon by Gabi, the regionally born, boyhood Lyon fan was tremendous cool as he tricked his France teammate Mandanda and rolled the ball nervelessly into the web.

Even with Diego Costa again, Griezmann has clearly been Atletico’s most necessary participant by this season — along with his dip in kind in the beginning of the marketing campaign a serious purpose they ended up within the Europa League within the first place. But he has been wonderful by 2018 and decisive in every spherical of this competitors: scoring the important thing away purpose within the semi-final first leg and helping Costa’s clincher within the return leg towards Arsenal.

That brings Griezmann to 29 objectives and 15 assists for 2017-18, and you may see why even teammate Filipe Luis considers his €100m launch clause a steal. Maybe successful a primary trophy alongside the teammates with whom he has suffered a lot within the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals would possibly make him determine to remain. But if he does depart this summer season, he’ll not less than go having delivered the group main silverware.

Three. Pain for Marseille, and doubtlessly for France

Tonight was Marseille’s 19th Europa League fixture this season, and realistically this one was a step too far towards an opponent ranked 44 locations above them by UEFA in the beginning of the season.

Not that OM didn’t make an actual go of it. Their followers made an actual racket contained in the stadium pre-game, smuggled-in flares and firecrackers included. The white and lightweight blue majority have been bouncing up and down all through the opening levels, with their group faster into challenges, and Valere Germain lacking an amazing probability to actually shock Atletico after simply three minutes.

But then actuality settled in — with each Mandanda’s cross and Anguissa’s first contact simply not of the usual for a serious remaining. Payet quickly succumbing to damage was one other big blow, because the France worldwide was his group’s most definitely to magic a method by the super-tight Atletico defence. Conceding a second so quickly after half-time realistically meant all was over bar the singing, which continued proper till the top.

Marseille (ranked 46th by UEFA preseason) have been aiming to be the primary Ligue 1 group to win any European trophy since Paris-Saint Germain gained the 1995-96 Cup Winners’ Cup. In the top, they may not fairly ship what would have been an actual increase for French soccer — whereas Payet’s damage may very well be an extra drawback for Les Bleus with the summer season’s World Cup now lower than a month away.

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