Griezmann a winner again
> But injuries overshadow hero striker as Atletico move up to third in La Liga
ANTOINE GRIEZMANN was Atletico Madrid’s hero once more with the winner as last season’s Champions League finalists moved third in La Liga with a 1-0 win over 10-man Deportivo la Coruna.
However, the hosts’ victory was overshadowed by an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered by midfielder Augusto Fernandez before halftime that will keep him out for much of the remainder of the season.
Jose Maria Gimenez also had to be replaced in the first half with a groin injury and is set to miss tomorrow’s huge Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.
Moroccan winger Faycal Fajr undid a fine opening 45 minutes for the visitors yesterday when he picked up two quickfire yellow cards just before the break.
Atletico passed up a host of chances in the second half, but finally made the breakthrough 20 minutes from time when Griezmann tapped home his fifth goal of the season.
Diego Simeone’s men now trail leaders Real Madrid by just two points and move to within a point of Barcelona.
“It is not good news, especially Augusto’s injury, but the doctors can explain it better than me,” said Atletico coach Simeone.
Atletico were the only side in Champions League action this week to play yesterday, but Simeone insisted that would be no excuse against Bayern.
“Now they need a big bowl of pasta, a good flan and to sleep well,” added the Argentine.
“We’ll have a recovery session tomorrow and train well again on Tuesday. They have to sleep very well because they have to play on Wednesday and come what may there will be no excuses.”
Earlier, Valencia’s upturn under caretaker coach Voro continued as they came from behind to beat Leganes 2-1, but were grateful once more to Brazilian goalkeeper Diego Alves’s fantastic record of saving penalties.
Alexander Szymanowski headed the hosts into the lead, but Nani levelled with his first Valencia goal 10 minutes before halftime.
Nani’s cross was turned home by Mario Suarez to put Valencia in front. – AFP
Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann (centre) watches teammate Angel Correa attempting a header past Deportivo Coruna goalkeeper German Lux (right) during their La Liga match at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid yesterday.