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Galatasaray 0 Atletico Madrid 2: Griezmann double seals victory

Antoine Griezmann’s first-half double was enough to seal a 2-0 Champions League victory for Atletico Madrid at Galatasaray in their opening Group C fixture.

Diego Simeone’s side dominated the opening stages in Istanbul on Tuesday, and took the lead courtesy of an exquisite 18th-minute strike from Griezmann.

France forward Griezmann then moved the visitors further ahead shortly after, prodding in from close range having been teed up by captain Diego Godin.

First-half substitute Umut Bulut did provide a spark for Gala, with the 32-year-old going close either side of the interval.

Griezmann was denied the perfect opportunity for a third in the second half when Jackson Martinez decided to shoot from distance rather than play his team-mate in.

Gala have got off to a sluggish start domestically, winning just one of their opening four Super Lig fixtures, and the out-of-form hosts were behind early on.

Following good link-up play down the right, Griezmann latched onto a low cross from Juanfran, allowing the ball to roll across his body before drilling in a wonderful first-time finish into the bottom-right corner.

Gala went close to a leveller through Semih Kaya’s header, but Hamza Hamzaoglu’s side found themselves further behind just seven minutes after the opener.

Despite having plenty of time to clear, Lionel Carole allowed the ball to roll out for a corner, and Gala were punished when Godin rose highest from the resulting delivery – his header finding Griezmann in the centre of the six-yard box, with the former Real Sociedad man duly volleying home.

After Jan Oblak had done well to parry away Wesley Sneijder’s dipping effort, Griezmann would surely have had his hat-trick had he managed to latch onto Luciano Vietto’s delivery.

Hamzaoglu introduced Bulut for Emre Colak on the half-hour mark for tactical reasons, and the experienced forward almost pulled one back on the stroke of half-time, but his glancing header crept just wide of the upright.

Gala forward Lukas Podolski should have done better after been set up by Jason Denayer on the edge of the area, but the German could not direct his strike on target.

Martinez had the chance to give Griezmann a good opportunity to complete his treble on the hour, but the Colombia striker elected to shoot from range rather than pass.

Bulut headed wide again as Gala managed to gain a foothold in Atletico’s half, but the Turkish champions had Denayer to thank as the Manchester City loanee did well to block Saul Niguez’ goal-bound shot.

But despite late Gala pressure – during which Burak Yilmaz saw appeals for a penalty waved away – Atletico managed the game well and eased to a comfortable victory.

Tue 15 Sep, 2015
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