Sevilla and Atletico Madrid were coming off decent European results earlier this week heading into this game. Los Nervionenses escaped with a 0-0 draw against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League, while Atletico comfortably dispatched FC Copenhague in the UEFA Europa League. The ingredients were there to have a great Liga match between two teams that have enjoyed lots of success in recent years.
One would have thought the game was going to be even, but it wasn’t that way. In fact, Atletico took advantage of Sevilla’s defensive problems and they walked with an easy 5-2 win on the road. Antoine Griezmann was the star of the game thanks to a hat-trick, while Diego Costa and Koke each chipped in with a goal. Pablo Sarabia and Nolito scored for Sevilla, but they did it when the game was all but over late in the second half.
This win further solidified Atletico’s status as a LaLiga contender, while Sevilla once again proved they’re not quite there yet when it comes to competing with the big teams in the legue.
Los Colchoneros grab a first-half advantage
Atletico decided the game in the first half thanks to Costa and Griezmann. Sevilla were forced to make an early substitution when Miguel Layun replaced Jesus Navas, who left the game with an injury. This created a void on the right side of the defence (Atletico’s left wing) and Los Colchoneros exploited it early and often.
Atletico’s supremacy was palpable when they found the back of the net in the 29th, although it didn’t came thanks to a play from Atletico. An horrendous defensive mistake from Sevilla gifted Diego Costa a chance, and the Spanish-Brazilian didn’t waste it. Sergio Rico tried to play the ball to Ever Banega, and surprisingly the Argentinian midfielder lost the ball inside his own penalty box. Costa was all alone to pounce on the opportunity. Out of nowhere, Sevilla made it 1-0 midway into the first half.
Los Nervionenses could not react once they were down on the score, as they barely threatened Jan Oblak. Atletico didn’t take the foot out of the gas, and they made it two-nil just before the break thanks to Griezmann. The French international produced an absolute moment of magic for this wonderful goal: he grabbed a rebound outside the box, left three defenders behind, and placed the ball into the upper top corner out of Rico’s reach. The first half ended 2-0, and Los Colchoneros were in cruise control of the contest.
Griezmann’s show lifts Atletico in the final 45 minutes
Sevilla started the second half with a more attacking approach, but that strategy didn’t pay off. Instead, the home side left too many spaces at the back and Los Colchoneros took advantage of them every chance they could. Atletico wanted revenge after Sevilla knocked them out of the Copa del Rey, and they fully delivered. It didn’t take long for Diego Simeone’s men to add a third goal, when Griezmann converted a penalty following Rico’s (questionable) foul over Diego Costa.
Griezmann was far from over, though. He set up the team’s fourth goal with a delightful backheel assist to Koke in the 65th minute to make it 4-0, and then the French forward sealed his hat-trick in the 81st when he placed the ball out of Rico’s reach from close range after an assist from Saul Niguez. Griezmann was all over the place and Sevilla’s defensive line will have all sorts of nightmares with him. The French star was directly involved in three of the team’s four goals in this one.
Sevilla had some pride though, and they didn’t give up. Two late goals from Pablo Sarabia and Nolito made the scoreline closer, but we shouldn’t kid ourselves here. Atletico Madrid fully dominated the game, and the 5-2 was a fair reflection of the difference that separates both sides. Atletico remains the only side capable of posing a threat in the title run to Barca, while Sevilla remain very inconsistent.
Griezmann was the undisputed Man of the Match. The French star had three goals and one assist, proving he can be one of the most decisive, dominant players when he is on his game.
Sevilla: Sergio Rico (4); Jesus Navas (6) (Layun (4), 18′), Mercado (4), Lenglet (5), Escudero (4); Banega (4), N’Zonzi (5); Sarabia (6), Vazquez (4) (Nolito (7), 70′); Correa (4) (Ben Yedder (6), 60′); Muriel (5)
Atletico Madrid: Oblak (5); Vrsaljko (6), Gimenez (7), Godin (6), Filipe Luis (7); Saul (7), Thomas (6) (Correa (6), 64′), Gabi (6), Koke (8) (Vitolo (5), 71′); Griezmann (10), Diego Costa (7) (Gameiro (-), 76′)
Goals: Diego Costa (ATM 1-0, 29′), Griezmann (ATM 2-0, 42′; ATM 3-0, 51′; ATM 5-0, 81′), Koke (ATM 4-0, 65′), Sarabia (SEV 1-5, 85′), Nolito (SEV 2-5, 89′)
Yellow Cards: Correa, Escudero, Vazquez (SEV); Diego Costa, Gimenez, Saul (ATM)
Red Cards: None
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