Griezmann at the double as Atletico cruise to final glory

Doug Mendoza
May 17, 2018

Striker Antoine Griezmann figured he owed it to coach Diego Simeone to win the Europa League with Atletico Madrid.

Griezmann, who has been linked with a move away from Atleti this summer, scored either side of half-time to stake his team to a 2-0 lead over the Ligue 1 side before the 50-minute mark.

As he now looks towards World Cup success with France, Griezmann was pleased to lift a trophy under Atleti boss Diego Simeone. "I want to enjoy the moment". I tip my hat off to Marseille, they have a lot to be proud of.

"Winning with Atletico was a dream I had as a child and it has become a reality", he said.

'He gave me all he had.

A victory for Los Colchoneros in this game would see them equal Sevilla as the team to have won the Europa League on the most occasions (three). "To win you need to play well, experience helps you know what you need to do on the pitch but in the end it's still a game", he said.

"It's been a challenging season and I think the Europa League represents more than a trophy: it's a victory for everything we stand for, for hard work and industry. Even without him we'll continue to grow".

Atletico Madrid's Gabi and Fernando Torres lift the trophy as the team celebrate winning the Europa League
Atletico Madrid's Gabi and Fernando Torres lift the trophy as the team celebrate winning the Europa League

Payet had been a minor doubt for the final, but Garcia chose to start his skipper, despite admitting the French playmaker was anxious about playing.

Garcia has suggested that he could go with a three-man defence, and there is a good chance the Brazilian could again start at the back, just as he has done in recent European ties.

Marseille: Steve Mandanda 4, Malang Sarr 5, Adil Rami 5, Luiz Gustavo 5, Jordan Amavi 5, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa 4, Morgan Sanson 5, Florian Thauvin 5, Dimitri Payet 6, Lucas Ocampos 5, Valere Germain 5. We also missed him from set-pieces as Atletico, if they do ever concede, sometimes concede from set-pieces.

Simeone must have got a message through to the team at half-time telling his side to play more on the front foot, as they begin the second half in stark contrast to how they kicked the tie off, despite having to leave touchline duties to German Burgos following his ban.

Payet appeared to aggravate a recent thigh injury and was replaced after 31 minutes.

"Today we had the chance to win and we made a strong second half".

"Against a team like Atletico you can not afford to fall behind".

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