La Liga: Antoine Griezmann shines as Atletico Madrid thrash Real Valladolid, Sociedad beat Vallecano

Griezmann produced a sublime assist for Alvaro Morata to open the scoring and then struck the second himself.

Agence France-Presse January 22, 2023 09:00:31 IST
La Liga: Antoine Griezmann shines as Atletico Madrid thrash Real Valladolid, Sociedad beat Vallecano

Antoine Griezmann in action against Real Valladolid during La Liga match. Image: La Liga/Twitter

Atletico Madrid produced one of their best performances of the season to thrash Real Valladolid 3-0 on Saturday, with Memphis Depay making his debut.

The Dutch forward, signed from Barcelona on Friday, came off the bench in the second half but by then Antoine Griezmann’s virtuoso display had the hosts in full control at the Metropolitano.

The French forward produced a sublime assist for Alvaro Morata to open the scoring and then struck the second himself.

Mario Hermoso netted the third from the rebound after his header from Griezmann’s free-kick was parried back into his path.

Those three goals in an 11-minute spell in the first half wrapped up the points for fourth-placed Atletico.

Diego Simeone’s team have endured a tough season both in the league and also in Europe, where they were eliminated, but earned a second win in seven league games to get heading back in the right direction.

On Thursday they face rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals, important both as a derby but also their last realistic chance of silverware this season.

“I’m very happy, very pleased with the team’s performance,” Griezmann told DAZN.

“We have been doing well since the World Cup, playing with intensity, hard work, having chances up front, but we lacked a goal.

“That was largely my fault, because I was having chances but couldn’t get it in. This goal will help me a lot mentally to get scoring again.”

Invigorated by the cup draw and Depay’s arrival, Atletico started brilliantly.

Griezmann’s stunning back-flick played in Morata, who cut inside and drilled home at the near post.

Five minutes later Griezmann doubled Atletico’s lead, blasting home Nahuel Molina’s cross.

Hermoso’s third was validated after a long VAR check and Atletico spurned chances to increase their winning margin after the break.

Angel Correa hit both posts with one shot, while Yannick Carrasco twice came close.

The victory brings Atletico within 10 points of leaders Barcelona, albeit having played two extra games.

The Catalans host Getafe on Sunday, while second-placed Real Madrid travel to face Athletic Bilbao.

– Real contenders –

Real Sociedad, third, beat Rayo Vallecano 2-0 earlier Saturday to pull level on 38 points with Real Madrid.

The visitors opened the scoring at Vallecas after 15 minutes when veteran playmaker David Silva set up Norwegian striker Alexander Sorloth, who prodded home.

The striker now has five goals in his last five league games for the club, helping drive La Real into the upper echelons of the table.

Without key midfielders Mikel Merino and Martin Zubimendi, injured and suspended respectively, Real Sociedad weren’t at their best but did well to ward off Rayo’s attacks.

Ander Barrenetxea doubled the Basque side’s lead in the 36th minute with a tidy finish when a flicked-on corner found its way through to him at the back post.

It was the 21-year-old forward’s first start since a severe hamstring injury in January 2022.

“This won’t lead us to make the mistake of loosening up, there’s a long way to go, we’re not even at the half-way point yet,” said coach Imanol Alguacil.

“For now it’s true that we’ve had a great start but we have to keep that going, otherwise it’s not worth anything.”

Earlier Espanyol earned a 1-0 win over Real Betis.

Read all the Latest News, Trending News, Cricket News, Bollywood News, India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Updated Date:

also read

El Clasico: Real Madrid chief Perez snubs clash at Camp Nou amid tensions with Barcelona
Sports

El Clasico: Real Madrid chief Perez snubs clash at Camp Nou amid tensions with Barcelona

Tensions between the clubs have risen in the past week because of the corruption charge levelled at Barcelona by Spanish prosecutors for paying a former refereeing chief 7.3 million euros ($7.9 million) between 2001 and 2018

Barcelona vs Real Madrid, El Clasico Live streaming: Preview, head-to-head stat and more
Football

Barcelona vs Real Madrid, El Clasico Live streaming: Preview, head-to-head stat and more

Barcelona vs Real Madrid, El Clasico: All you need to know about the La Liga match at Camp Nou.

El Clasico overshadowed by Barcelona referee corruption charge
Football

El Clasico overshadowed by Barcelona referee corruption charge

Barca have been charged with corruption by Spanish prosecutors for payments between 2001 and 2018 to the company of former refereeing chief Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, totalling around 7.3 million euros.