Atletico hero Griezmann vows to 'give everything' despite super sub role

By Sports Desk September 07, 2022

Antoine Griezmann declared he will "give everything" in his limited minutes after playing the role of super sub in Atletico Madrid's remarkable 2-1 Champions League win over Porto on Wednesday. 

After 100 minutes and 21 seconds, Griezmann nodded home the latest Champions League goal on record (excluding extra-time) to guide Los Colchoneros to a dramatic victory.

Mario Hermoso had broken the deadlock in the 91st minute before conceding a penalty that was scored by Matheus Uribe, meaning Atleti's win over Porto is just the second Champions League match to ever feature three goals scored after the 90th minute (excluding extra-time).

In a remarkable turn of fate, the previous instance was when these two sides met last December, when Diego Simeone's men ran out 3-1 winners in Portugal.

Griezmann has had to settle for the role of impact substitute this term, with Simeone recently hinting the France forward's minutes were being managed to avoid activating a purchase clause in his loan deal.

But Griezmann insists he is content at Atleti, telling Movistar: "It is what it is, it is not in my hands. I just thank god I'm here. 

"My family is happy, of course I want more, but I'm going to give everything in the minutes I have. 

"I'm very happy here, the only thing I want is to play here and give everything for the club, for Cholo [Simeone] and the fans.

"As I said, on my return I was going to give everything. Scoring the winning goal is always very nice, but we keep the three points and can continue like this.

"We still have a hard time finding a performance, but there are only five games [gone]. We have to improve, we are working on it in training, it is missing in the games. 

"Perhaps we lack confidence in ourselves, to pass forward, look for the strikers and it's only the fifth game, I'm sure we'll go further.

"With the red [for Porto attacker Mehdi Taremi] we got higher, we put more players up, finding passing lines, trying to get inside.

"The penalty, I don't know if it is, but it is what it is. The corner in that last play… here, until the last second anything can happen, and we repeated the Porto goal from last season."

Griezmann's winner ended a run of eight home Champions League games without a win for Atleti – the longest such sequence ever recorded by a Spanish club.

Related items

  • San Jose Earthquakes v Austin FC: Gonzalez hopeful ‘Quakes can start grinding out wins San Jose Earthquakes v Austin FC: Gonzalez hopeful ‘Quakes can start grinding out wins

    Luchi Gonzalez admits his team need to learn the difference between competing and winning as they aim to bounce back against Austin FC on Saturday.

    The Earthquakes currently sit bottom of the Western Conference with 10 points, having won just three games this season.

    Gonzalez highlighted his team has no trouble competing with their opponents and is optimistic they can turn leads into actual wins soon.

    "The result of the last game [against Austin], we didn't get the job done there at the end even though we thought we were about to, but we're competing consistently in any competition," he said.

    "We've had the lead in eight out of [14 MLS games]. That does show you that we're ready, we're prepared and we compete. Competing and winning are two different things. We've got to keep working on our ability to make decisions individually, collectively."

    At the other end of the table, Austin sit in third with 22 points, just six behind leaders Real Salt Lake after back-to-back wins over Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City.

    Head coach Josh Wolff was pleased with his side’s approach in recent weeks but urged them to keep up that level as they head into a busy week.

    "We're very spirited, we're very organised and opportunistic," Wolff said.

    "We've shown we can score goals, that's not a problem. We have to keep approaching games in a meticulous way, a responsible and disciplined way so that we can win."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    San Jose Earthquakes – Jeremy Ebobisse

    Ebobisse has scored five goals in seven career matches against Austin FC. Only Jesus Ferreira (6) has scored more MLS goals against the Verde.

    Austin – Sebastian Driussi

    Driussi has scored seven goals in seven career games against the Earthquakes. No player has scored more goals against a single opponent than Driussi against San Jose since he joined MLS in 2021.

    MATCH PREDICTION: SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES WIN

    Austin recorded their first-ever win over San Jose on April 6 with a 4-3 home victory (D5 L2). There have been at least four goals scored in five of the eight matches between the sides, including a pair of seven-goal games.

    San Jose has lost four of their first six home league matches this season (W2) after losing just twice at PayPal Park during the 2023 regular season. The ‘Quakes have conceded at least once in 11 straight regular-season home matches dating back to last year.

    Meanwhile, Austin have won six of its last nine regular-season matches (D1 L2), including the last two in a row. Only three teams have collected more points than Austin’s 19 since that run began in late March.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    San Jose Earthquakes – 41.2%

    Draw – 28.6%

    Austin – 30.2%

  • Onana decided to 'stand up and fight' after Man Utd criticism Onana decided to 'stand up and fight' after Man Utd criticism

    Andre Onana says he decided to "stand up and fight" after a tough start to life at Manchester United.

    The Red Devils are preparing to face Manchester City in the FA Cup final for a second consecutive season on Saturday after a poor campaign saw them finish in their lowest-ever league position in the Premier League.

    Certain players were singled out throughout the season due to their performances, with Onana coming under fire for a string of errors early on after taking over from David de Gea when he joined from Inter last July.

    However, the goalkeeper was adamant he did not let the criticism get to him.

    "I arrived as the best goalkeeper in the world and 'boom' it went down. It was like 'What happened?'," he said.

    "But that is how difficult football is sometimes. It depends if you want to stay down there or stand up and fight. I know what I did to arrive here. I know who I am. I decided to stand up and fight."

    Onana compared his experience to that of team-mate Marcus Rashford, who was left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2024 after scoring just eight goals this season.

    "We are talking about the same player [Rashford]. So now he's a bad player? No. You can have a bad season or a bad start, but the most important thing is how you end," he added.

    "Rashy, for me, is one of the best players in the world. But he is facing difficulty. It's not only him and me, but the whole club.

    "But he will come back. I know my killer will score some important goals for us. Hopefully, against City, he will score two, and we win the FA Cup."

    There is also a lot of speculation around the club concerning the future of Erik ten Hag, with reports suggesting he could be relieved of his position no matter the result in Saturday’s final.

    Onana, however, has thrown his support behind his manager, who he also worked with at Ajax for five years.

    The Cameroon international said: "I'm not here to back him because he's big enough to back himself, but he's a really good guy, a positive coach and, tactically, he is good.

    "If he had all his squad together, it would probably be different for him, for us, the club and the fans."

  • Atlanta United v Los Angeles FC: Pineda insists Five Stripes 'on the right path' Atlanta United v Los Angeles FC: Pineda insists Five Stripes 'on the right path'

    Gonzalo Pineda insists Atlanta United "are on the right path" as they look to get back to winning ways in MLS.

    The Five Stripes are 12th in the Eastern Conference following a run of eight matches without victory.

    Although, they enjoyed a reprieve in the U.S. Open Cup last time out, defeating Charleston Battery on penalties to reach the quarter-finals.

    And Pineda hopes his side can build on that momentum when they welcome Los Angeles to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

    "I think we are on the right path," he said. "I think it is really encouraging for the team, for the mentality of the team, to win. 

    "There are many positives out of that. We have to hold onto that positivity, and the mentality of the players that fought and put that together on Saturday."

    "I think that, especially being at home, we need to make sure we are on the front foot right away," midfielder Dax McCarty added.

    "Obviously, our stadium is such a fortress. When you score an early goal, you get everyone excited and the other team feels that pressure, which is such a benefit."

    By contrast, LAFC are fifth in the West and on a four-match winning streak across all competitions – during which they have scored 11 goals and conceded just once.

    "The team is in a good way – winning games, scoring goals and not conceding – and we'd like to continue that," head coach Steve Cherundolo said.

    "We feel good about the moment we're in, and our players are confident. 

    "The players have shown an amazing response [to their defeat by San Jose Earthquakes at the start of the month]. We were shooting ourselves in the foot by making some mistakes in portions of the field where we don't usually do that.

    "The message was that we are really in control of our own destiny, which is a great place to be."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Atlanta United – Thiago Almada

    Atlanta will be hoping for inspiration from the likes of Almada as they look to end their winless streak.

    The Argentina international has scored in two of their last three league games on home soil.

    Los Angeles FC – Denis Bouanga

    Bouanga scored both goals in LAFC’s 2-0 win over St. Louis City last time out in MLS.

    He has now found the net 33 times since the start of last season (including play-offs), seven more than any other player during that time.

    MATCH PREDICTION: LOS ANGELES FC

    Only once in their MLS history have Atlanta endured a longer winless streak, going 12 straight games without victory between May and August 2021.

    Meanwhile, LAFC have won successive games to nil for the first time during the regular season since August 2022.

    That came after they recorded just one victory while keeping a clean sheet in their previous 21 such matches.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Atlanta United: 38.2%
    Los Angeles FC: 32.8%
    Draw: 29.0%

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.