Atletico Madrid 3-0 Celta Vigo: Griezmann guides Rojiblancos back to winning waysMarch 11, 2018
Atletico Madrid got back to winning ways as they brushed aside a lacklustre Celta Vigo to keep the gap to La Liga leaders Barcelona to eight points.
It has now been seven games in all competitions since the Wanda Metropolitano last saw their side concede and the victory maintains the seven point lead over third place rivals Real Madrid.
Celta Vigo find themselves ninth and losses for the surrounding Getafe and Eibar means nothing too disastrous for Juan Carlos Unzue’s side.
With their Europa League hopes very much alive, their hit and miss form of two wins in their last five needs to be improved.
Head coach Diego Simeone may have feared a repeat of the 1-0 loss to Barcelona he endured last week where his team struggled to make a breakthrough and again, the Argentine witnessed his side fail to make any real openings for a majority of the first-half.
Despite the slow start, the hosts broke the deadlock moments before half-time. Koke delivered an inch-perfect cross to Jose Gimenez, who cushioned his header into the path of Antonio Griezmann.
The Frenchman stood composed and pretended to shoot and left defenders Ruben and Jonny for dead before finding the top right corner with an emphatic finish.
Unzue sent his team out in the second-half wanting a reaction and in the 55th minute he so nearly received it.
Emre Mor dispatched an inviting cross to Pablo Hernandez although his headed effort could only hit the woodwork.
The visitors’ were to rue the missed opportunity instantaneously as Atletico were to double their lead shortly after.
Griezmann would turn provider in the 56th minute, his expertly-weighted pass found Vitolo who fired home for his first league goal in the red and white jersey.
Nine minutes later and they added a third, this time it was a great solo effort by Angel Correa for his seventh strike this term.
He danced passed Celta’s centre-back pairing and momentarily lost control of the ball, on reclaiming it he saw his first shot block only to see his second ripple the back of the net.
Shortly afterwards, Simeone opted to remove Griezmann to a standing ovation and in order to prevent the accumulation of a fifth yellow card.
Celta Vigo were unable to create any consolation whatsoever and have the opportunity to bounce back when they play bottom place Malaga next Sunday.
For Madrid, they can now travel to Lokomotiv Moscow for their second leg Europa League last 16 tie in good stead.