Griezmann shines in Atlético's triumph, Sevilla's victory

Griezmann shines in Atlético’s triumph, Sevilla’s victory

Atlético de Madrid put in one of their best performances of the season by beating Real Valladolid 3-0 on Saturday, with the debut of Memphis Depay.

Third-placed Real Sociedad continued their fine form with a 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano, while struggling Sevilla cruised to a 1-0 win over Cádiz through a late Ivan Rakitic penalty.

Atlético’s new Dutch striker Depay, signed from Barcelona on Friday, came on as a substitute in the second half, but by then Antoine Griezmann’s virtuoso performance had the hosts in full control at the Metropolitan.

The French forward gave Álvaro Morata a sublime assist to open the scoring and then scored the second himself.

Mario Hermoso scored the third on the rebound after his header from a Griezmann free-kick was deflected his way.

Those three goals in an 11-minute period in the first half sealed the points for fourth-placed Atlético.

Diego Simeone’s team has had a tough season both in the League and in Europe, where they were knocked out, but they got a second victory in seven league games to get back on the right track.

On Thursday they will face Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals, important as a derby but also their last realistic chance to win silver this season.

“I am very happy, very satisfied with the team’s performance,” Griezmann told DAZN.

“We’ve been doing well since the World Cup, playing with intensity, working hard, having chances up, but we lacked a goal.

“That was largely my fault, because I had chances but couldn’t get them in. This goal will help me a lot mentally to score again.”

Encouraged by the cup draw and the arrival of Depay, Atlético started brilliantly.

Griezmann’s dazzling backhand played into Morata, who cut inside and drilled past the near post.

Five minutes later, Griezmann doubled Atlético’s lead by finishing off a Nahuel Molina cross.

Hermoso’s third sealed the win and Atlético wasted more chances to increase their margin of victory.

The victory puts Atlético 10 points behind leaders Barcelona, ​​although they have played two more games.

The Catalans host Getafe on Sunday, while second-placed Real Madrid travel to take on Athletic Bilbao.

– Real contenders –

Real Sociedad beat Rayo Vallecano early on Saturday to tie Real Madrid on 38 points.

The visitors opened the scoring in Vallecas after 15 minutes when veteran David Silva provided an assist to Norwegian striker Alexander Sorloth, who pushed on goal.

The striker has already scored five goals in his last five league games with the club.

Ander Barrenetxea increased the Basque team’s lead on 36′ and finished off a corner kick.

It was the 21-year-old striker’s first start since a serious hamstring injury in January 2022.

“That will not lead us to make the mistake of loosening up, there is still a long way to go, we are not halfway there yet,” said coach Imanol Alguacil.

“For now it is true that we have had a great start, but we have to continue like this, otherwise it is worthless.”

Sevilla emerged from the relegation zone with a tight win over 19th placed Cádiz at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.

Their coach Jorge Sampaoli was sent off for disagreement in the second half with the game without goals.

Sevilla had chances but couldn’t convert them, until Rakitic scored from the penalty spot with two minutes remaining.

Cádiz defender Iván Alejo conceded the penalty and was sent off for handling a cross that fell into the path of Lucas Ocampos, who was returning from a loan spell at Ajax earlier this week.

Thousands of Sevilla fans protested outside the stadium against the way the club was run before the game, although moving one point away from the relegation zone will liven things up a bit.

Earlier, Espanyol beat Real Betis 1-0 thanks to Martin Braithwaite’s goal.

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