After drawing against Leganes and Barcelona in the league and Qarabag midweek in the Champions League, Atleti got back to winning ways with a 1-0 win away to Celta Vigo.
The home side were sitting in tenth place before the weekend’s fixtures, themselves being on an unbeaten run with 2 wins and 2 draws in their previous matches.
Diego Simeone made 5 changes to the starting 11 that drew in Azerbaijan, with Carrasco, Gaitan, Giminez, Vrsaljko and Felipe Luis dropping out and Correa, Thomas, Juanfran, Savic and Lucas taking their place in the line-up. The fixture was defender, Diego Godin’s 314th appearance for Los Colchoneros, meaning he equalled Luis Amaranto Perea’s record of being the foreign born player with the most matches for the club.
The away side were by far the strongest in the first half, with attacking duo, Gameiro and Griezmann both having great opportunities to score. In the 28th minute, a Griezmann shot from outside the box was parried by Celta keeper, Sergio. After a mix up with the home defence from the resulting corner, it landed to Kevin Gameiro who slotted in the ball from close range to make it 1-0. This was the Frenchman’s first goal in his first league start of the season.
In the second half, Coach Simeone made some changes, with Gaitán, Giménez and Filipe Luis taking to the field. Célticos were fired up and were continually pushing for an equaliser; however a couple of Iago Aspas strikes weren’t enough to stop Jan Oblak, who responded with brilliant saves. Antoine Griezmann had an opportunity to score the team’s second goal, but his header went just wide. The three points gained at Balaidos let Atleti update their points tally to 19 for the season, jumping above neighbours Real Madrid into third place before their match at home against Eibar. This was also the fourth time this season keeper Oblak has kept a clean sheet.
At his post match press conference, Diego Simeone stated that “the victory is very important. We needed it and we’re especially happy with Gameiro’s goal,” Simeone also commented on the goal scorer’s performance, saying “today, he scored a goal and his off-the-ball movements are getting better each day.”
The Frenchman commented “I’m very happy to help the team and to score goals. It wasn’t our best game of the season, but we won.”