Antoine Griezmann bagged the winner as Atletico Madrid celebrated their inaugural match at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium with a hard-earned 1-0 win over Malaga.
With the club embarking on a new era after 51 years at the Vicente Calderon, it was fittingly left to one of their modern stars in Griezmann to finally break the deadlock on the hour.
The France star turned in one of the game’s few real chances to seal his side’s second victory in four LaLiga outings, continuing Diego Simeone’s record of having never lost at home against Malaga.
The visitors entered the match as one of only two sides without a point, but they proved stubborn to break down and coughed up just a single shot on target in the first half.
However, Atletico’s class eventually proved too much after the restart as they extended their unbeaten run to five matches in all competitions.
Defeat for Malaga leaves them still waiting to get off the mark in their worst ever start to a LaLiga campaign.
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) September 16, 2017
The Calderon’s fearsome din had been a weapon for Atletico for years and they fed off a similarly charged atmosphere in a high-tempo start to the contest as Angel Correa and Thomas Partey both skied early openings.
Malaga soon steadied and managed to ride out the initial storm with few concerns as the two goalkeepers went untested until after the half-hour mark.
And it was the visitors who should have taken a shock lead when Borja Baston found space in the box on a quick break forward, the Swansea loanee’s left-footed effort drawing a sharp near-post save from Jan Oblak.
Correa did manage to get Atletico’s first shot on target with a tame attempt late in the first half, but the visitors held firm to ensure the contest remained scoreless at the interval.
Simeone immediately responded by introducing Yannick Carrasco in place of Partey at the break and the move sparked his side into a livelier start.
Malaga goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez did well to smother a close-range chance which broke kindly for Koke as Atletico began to knock on the door.
And Griezmann eventually made the breakthrough just after the hour, the classy attacker turning home Correa’s fine low cross after the Argentina international shimmied past his marker on the right.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) September 16, 2017
Unable to put the match beyond doubt with a second goal, Atletico were given a slight scare when Diego Rolan twisted inside the area before firing a shot that Oblak had to tip over.
But a scrappy win was secured with typical grit from Atletico, suggesting that, though many things have changed at the club in recent months, plenty remains the same.
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