Antoine Griezmann inspires Atletico Madrid to crucial win over Real Betis

Real Betis 1-2 Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid travelled to the Benito Villamarin on Sunday afternoon knowing that the two could well be competing for Champions League place at the end of the season and for the most part, everything came up Diego Simeone.

The first half was as much a poker match as anything else, with Atleti sitting deep, while Betis looked for holes in the defence. Luiz Felipe also limped off injured for Victor Ruiz.

After just two minutes of the second period, the match burst into life. Betis capitalised on a Reinildo Mandava mistake to break up field. When Borja Iglesias cut in against the last defender, Luiz Henrique ran onto the ball and powered it to Oblak’s left. However on VAR review, Iglesias was narrowly offside in the build-up.

Enter stage right Antoine Griezmann. His corner curled all the way in via German Pezzella, an Olympic goal for the Frenchman. Los Colchoneros were in control now and while they held the ball on the right side of the box, Nahuel Molina, Griezmann, Angel Correa and Matheus Cunha exchanged passes quickly in a tight space to snap Griezmann in behind. From the angle he slipped the ball under Rui Silva, the Portuguese unable to simply collapse on the ball.

The game flipped when Nabil Fekir came on though. Returning from injury, his close control had Betis anchored outside the Atleti box. Winning a free-kick, he thumped it to Jan Oblak’s side and the Slovenian could not keep it out of the top corner.

In the final minutes, Aitor Ruibal served a cross on a plate to the back post, but Alex Moreno could only hit the bar. Moreno wandered off the pitch looking as if he didn’t want to come back on it, cursing himself. Silva would make an excellent save in stoppage time too, time had run out though.

Atleti took all three points and save for the final 15 minutes, Simeone will be pleased with his team. Manuel Pellegrini will be unable to escape the feeling that just one or two less injuries might have meant a point in this match.

Tags Atletico Madrid La Liga Real Betis

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