Griezmann fires Atletico to Europa glory

Atletico Madrid were crowned Europa League Champions following their 3-0 defeat of Marseille in Lyon on Wednesday night.

Marseille 0 Atletico Madrid 2
Griezmann steals in on 21′
Griezmann slots home his second on 49′
Gabi adds a third on 89′

Match summary

Atletico maestro Antoine Griezmann bagged two goals ahead of a late third from Gabi in a thrilling final that certainly lived up to its billing.

The first half saw the attacking flair of Marseille against the more wily Atletico, and it was the Spaniards who scored against the run of play after a mistake from the otherwise excellent André-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

Griezmann then finished off a quick breakaway at the start of the second half, in what was a more controlled second half against a deflated Marseille, who conceded again late on.

Full report

It was a frenetic start at the Groupama Stadium with Marseille first in with a great chance that striker Valere Germain skied wide from the edge of the 18-yard area, having been played in by Dmitri Payet.

The French side were certainly up for this match with Bouna Sarr lively with his runs down the right flank, but he was off the mark with his first attempt after 11 minutes.

Atletico though were starting to find their feet although Koke was unable to finish a volley on the jump ahead of an underhit effort from Payet after the ball dropped to him some 25 yards from goal.

But then very much against the run of play, a horror touch from Anguissa following a pass out from Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda handed Atletico possession as the ball hit Gabi before rolling for Griezmann to fire past the sprawling shotstopper.

Jan Oblak had a looping header fro the impressive Lucas Ocampos well covered as Rudi Garcia’s side looked to respond.

There was more bad news for Marseille as Payet, who was an injury doubt before kick-off, was replaced for Maxi Lopez on 32 minutes after pulling his hamstring.

Griezmann came close to playing in Diego Costa down the left channel as the half drew to a close, only for Sarr to intercept, but punished Marseille just four minutes after the break.

After the ball broke for Koko on the half way line, he played in Griezmann on the right who cut towards goal and beat Mandanda with an exquisite dinked finish.

The Spaniards were buoyed by the striker and came close to a third only for Diego Godin to power his near post header over from a corner, all the while pressing a rattled Marseille side.

Garcia withdrew the dangerous Lucas Ocampos for Clinton N’Jie as he looked for a different way back into this game, ahead of a period of some niggle from both sides as tempers heated up.

Griezmann blocked an N’Jie volley on 66 minutes prior to another spell of pressure from Atletico, while Marseille introduced Kostas Mitroglu for Valere Germain for a last throw of the dice.

Luck wasn’t on their side though as Mitroglu’s flicked header on 81 minutes from a whipped in cross from the right came crashing back off a post.

Jordan Amavi was unable to beat Oblak with his snapshot minutes later, and after N’Jie wasted a real opportunity to hit the target as a cross from the left dropped to his feet, Atletico went up to the other end of the pitch and put the game to bed.

Diego Simeone’s side strode forward, with Gabi arriving perfectly to meet a square ball into the box and finish well past Mandanda.

And with the trophy firmly secured, Fernando Torres came Griezmann for the final few minutes of a thoroughly entertaining and well deserved final victory.