La Liga: Celta Vigo 0 ~ 4 Atletico Madrid
Antoine Griezmann put in a man-of-the-match performance to help Atletico Madrid to their first LaLiga win of the season as they beat Celta Vigo 4-0 on Saturday, the Frenchman scoring twice and creating another.
Diego Simeone’s men were held by Alaves and Leganes in their opening two fixtures and initially struggled at the Estadio de Balaidos, with Celta the more dangerous side in the opening 45 minutes.
Josep Sene got a fine chance to open the scoring early on after being set up by Iago Aspas, while Theo Bongonda aimed just wide after another quick counter-attack.
Atletico improved after the break, though, and grabbed the lead following Koke’s clinical finish after a fine cross from Griezmann in the 53rd minute.
Substitute Kevin Gameiro then missed a sitter to double his side’s lead, before Griezmann opened his account for the season with a brace of fine headers.
Angel Correa, on as a second-half replacement, rounded off the scoring a minute from time to leave Celta without a point to their name in 2016-17.
The hosts had made an encouraging start to the game and should have gone a goal up after just nine minutes when Sene rounded goalkeeper Jan Oblak after a superb throughball from Aspas, only for the attacker to hit the side-netting from a narrow angle.
The hosts continued to cause Atletico all kinds of problems on the counter and next threatened when Bongonda beat the offside trap in the 34th minute after a fine pass from midfield, outpacing Diego Godin and Stefan Savic before aiming just wide from the edge of the area.
Meanwhile Simeone’s men failed to really trouble Celta goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez, with Griezmann’s ambitious strike from 20 yards after cutting inside from the right their only half chance before the interval.
Atletico realised they had to step up their game after the break and they did just that, Koke opening the scoring after some great work from Griezmann. The France international chased a long ball down the right before sending in a pinpoint cross for the unmarked Koke and the midfielder coolly slotted home from close range.
The opener served as a major confidence boost for the visitors and they immediately pinned Celta back inside their own half, with Yannick Ferreira Carrasco claiming unsuccessfully for a penalty for what he felt was a trip by Hugo Mallo inside the area.
Simeone opted to bring on Gameiro for Fernando Torres shortly after the hour mark and the Frenchman almost made an immediate impact, only to inexplicably aim wide after rounding goalkeeper Alvarez.
Atletico would get their second goal in the 73rd minute, however, as Griezmann doubled their lead. Saul Niguez danced past his opponent down the right and curled in a perfect cross for Griezmann to beat Alvarez with a superb header.
There was more to come from the away side and it was again Griezmann who netted their third goal eight minutes later with another header after a cross from the right, this time Juanfran providing the assist.
Correa then made it four in the dying minutes of the game after a quick counter, beating Alvarez with an effort from close range after being set up by Koke to put the seal on a resounding victory.