In the re-release of Griezmann at Atlético de Madrid, the current Spanish champions sweated his shirt this Sunday to defeat Espanyol by 2-1, in a game valid for the fourth round of the La Liga. To get an idea of the suffocation, the colchonera winning goal came only at 54 in the second half thanks to a French striker. Griezmann? Nothing! Thomas Lemar was the hero.
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Lemar celebrates Atlético de Madrid’s goal over Espanyol — Photo: REUTERS
With the victory over Espanyol, who were champions last season, coach Diego Simeone’s Atlético took the lead in the Spanish Championship with ten points. The team from the capital returns to the field in the middle of the week, when they face Porto in the opening of the Champions League group stage.
With Griezmann starting the attack alongside Suárez and Correa (João Félix and Matheus Cunha started on the bench and entered the second stage as well as full-back Renan Lodi and hero Lemar), Atlético made a first half to forget. Just a shot on goal. And, to top it off, Espanyol opened the scoring at 40 with Raúl de Tomás head-turning a corner kick and covering Oblak.
Griezmann in action for Atlético de Madrid against Espanyol on his debut for the capital club — Photo: GETTY IMAGES
In the second half, Simeone abandoned the scheme with three defenders and the team improved exponentially. Lemar, at eight, hit the net after Griezmann’s pass, but the VAR canceled the goal due to an offside.
At 33, the Belgian Carrasco, in a good individual play, equalized for Atlético, who at that time no longer had the pair Suarez and Griezmann on the field.
Atlético continued to press and, at 54 minutes (the referee gave ten minutes of extra time due to stops for analysis by the VAR and assistance to Brazilian defender Felipe, who suffered a head collision), Lemar entered the area and kicked. Veteran goalkeeper Diego López, 39 years old and ex-Real Madrid, went with a soft hand and accepted it to the despair of Espanyol fans at the Cornellà-El Prat Stadium.
Suarez in action for Atlético de Madrid against Espanyol — Photo: REUTERS