An Antoine Greizmann brace was enough to see Atletico Madrid secure a 3-0 success over Olympique de Marseille and their third Europa League title at the Stade des Lumieres on Thursday evening.
The French forward netted either side of the break to ensure that the Spanish giants waltzed away with their third success in the last eight years. Long-serving midfielder Gabi also netted a late strike for Diego Simeone’s men.
Germain spurns huge chance
Despite their lifting of the trophy, it was the French club that started on the front foot in Lyon. First, Dimitri Payet released Valere Germain but his finish was wayward. Adil Rami then found acres of space from a free-kick but his finish on the turn span just wide of Jan Oblak’s goal.
The positive start continued as the ball found its way to Payet on the edge of the area. The former West Ham United man struck for goal but failed to make a telling connection and Oblak collected confidently.
Atleti lead against the run of play
Despite Marseille’s early dominance, it was Diego Simeone’s men who struck the first blow. Steve Mandanda’s clearance was charged down by Gabi, with the ball squirming its way to Griezmann. The Frenchman was quickly one-on-one and finished coolly into the net with a low finish.
Rudi Garcia’s men continued to create chances however, with Lucas Ocampos’ header looping just over the bar.
They were hampered considerably mid-way through the first-period as Payet had to be replaced through injury. The Frenchman, visibly distraught, came off in place Maxime Lopez.
Spaniards power clear
The advantage was doubled just after the break, and it was Frenchman Griezmann who got on the scoresheet again. Koke released the speedy forward down the right channel, and he took no time in bearing down on goal and expertly lifting the ball over Mandanda.
Marseille’s momentum was well and truly wiped out. From this point on, it only looked like Atletico were going to claim the victory. Rami almost put through his own net with a terrible clearance, before Griezmann and Diego Godin also went close.
Atletico Madrid secure title
A brief scuffle between Lucas Hernandez and N’Jie in the closing stages threatened to disrupt Atleti’s glorious night. The Spanish defender appeared to kick-out at the Marseille man but the referee only produced a yellow card for each.
Another substitute Kostas Mitroglou almost had an impact on the game as he struck the post. The Greek forward flicked a dangerous cross towards goal, only to see the ball deflect back off the upright. Marseille continued to probe for a lifeline and Jordan Amavi sent a dangerous effort crashing towards goal but Oblak was positioned well to hold the ball.
Despite that, the Spaniards netted a third in the closing stages to put the result beyond doubt and it was sumptuous move that saw Gabi net. The veteran midfielder was picked out by Costa, after the striker combined well with Griezmann, and slotted coolly beyond Mandanda to make sure of Atleti’s victory.
Whilst Marseille were by far the better side in the opening stages, it was Atletico Madrid’s clinical nature that was enough to see them lift the trophy. Griezmann was in excellent form and it was his two finishes that turned the tide against Rudi Garcia’s troops.
As a result, they more than deserved their glorious evening in Lyon.
Marseille: Mandanda (5); Sarr (6), Rami (6), Luiz Gustavo (6), Amavi (5); Isimat-Mirin (5), Zambo (6); Ocampos (7) (N’Jie (), 55′), Payet (6) (Lopez (6), 32′), Thauvin (7); Germain (5) (Mitroglou (6), 74′).
Atletico Madrid: Oblak (7); Vrsaljko (5) (Juanfran (6), 46′), Gimenez (7), Godin (7), Gomez (6); Correa (6) (Partey (N/A), 88′), Niguez (7), Fernandez (8), Koke (7); Costa (7). Griezmann (9) (Torres (N/A), 90′).
Goals: Griezmann (21′, 49′)
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers
Yellow Cards: Vrsaljko (24′), Amavi (38′), Gustavo (75′), N’Jie (77′), Hernandez (77′)
Red Cards: N/A
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