Griez­mann on tar­get as Atletico beat Bay­ern to top spot

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

ATLETICO MADRID guar­an­teed top spot in Cham­pi­ons League Group D with a game to spare ahead of Bay­ern Mu­nich as Kevin Gameiro and An­toine Griez­mann struck in a 2-0 win over PSV Eind­hoven.

Al­ready as­sured of their place in the last 16, Bay­ern’s shock 3-2 de­feat to Ros­tov ear­lier yes­ter­day meant Atletico needed just a point to win the group.

And Diego Sime­one’s men were rarely trou­bled as two goals in 11 sec­ond-half min­utes from French in­ter­na­tional duo Gameiro and Griez­mann en­sured Atletico re­main the only side with a 100 per­cent Cham­pi­ons League record this sea­son.

“I’m de­lighted be­cause with a game to spare we are first in a dif­fi­cult group,” said Sime­one. “We dealt with the games away from home in Rus­sia and Hol­land very well.”

Still smart­ing from a 3-0 de­feat to bit­ter ri­vals Real Madrid on Satur­day, Sime­one made four changes in a bid to re­dis­cover the de­fen­sive so­lid­ity that has de­fined his hugely suc­cess­ful five years in charge.

The Ar­gen­tine was re­warded with a first clean sheet in six games, whilst Gameiro took his chance af­ter re­plac­ing the hap­less Fer­nando Tor­res up front.

“Dur­ing the sea­son there are dif­fer­ent mo­ments that you have to live with, but the im­por­tant thing are the ob­jec­tives you set and how you end the sea­son,” added Sime­one.

“There will be crit­i­cism and com­pli­ments, but you can’t fo­cus on either of those, but on the ob­jec­tives at hand.”

Gameiro should have opened the scor­ing just eight min­utes in when he met Yan­nick Car­rasco’s tan­ta­lis­ing cross, but some­how shanked his fin­ish well off tar­get from point blank range.

Diego Godin headed an­other good open­ing too close to PSV ‘keeper Jeroen Zoet, but the visi­tors could have gone in front but for bril­liant de­fen­sive work from Griez­mann mid­way through the first half.

Euro 2016’s top scorer raced back as Atletico’s last de­fender to en­sure Gas­ton Pereiro couldn’t get a clean strike at goal and Jan Oblak com­fort­ably col­lected.

Atletico had to wait un­til 10 min­utes af­ter the break to make the break­through as Griez­mann fed Gameiro on the right side of the area and he drilled a low shot in off the far post.

The hosts put the game to bed 24 min­utes from time when Griez­mann latched onto Ti­ago’s through ball and made the most of a stum­ble by Zoet to fire home his first goal in three games at the near post. – AFP


An­toine Griez­mann (left) cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing against PSV with Ti­ago. –

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