Griezmann was eager for Atletico return – Simeone

By Sports Desk September 11, 2021

Antoine Griezmann was eager to return to Atletico Madrid, according to Diego Simeone, who acknowledged there will be plenty of expectation on the forward.

Griezmann left Atleti for Barcelona in 2019 but, on deadline day, the 30-year-old returned to the Spanish champions on a season-long loan with an option to extend the deal.

With Barca hit by huge financial losses, the Catalan club needed to get Griezmann's wages off their books, even with Lionel Messi having left for Paris Saint-Germain.

Griezmann's departure from Atleti two years ago was by no means a smooth one, with supporters seemingly aggravated by the prolonged nature of the move. In 2018, the former Real Socieded attacker committed his future to the club, only to leave a season later.

However, Simeone insists Griezmann, who scored 94 LaLiga goals for Atleti in his first spell, was determined to return from Barca.

"I found a Griezmann who was eager to return," Simeone said ahead of Sunday's meeting with Espanyol, with Griezmann having been included in Atleti's squad for an immediate return to the city of Barcelona.

"[He was] enthusiastic about the option of returning to the team, and people will demand from Griezmann what they demand from us every day.

"The fans are very demanding and it is normal for them to demand from Griezmann what they demand from us every day."

 

Griezmann has joined a sparkling attack at Atleti, with Luis Suarez, Joao Felix and Angel Correa likely to be competing with the World Cup winner for a place up front. 

"Actually, when you talk about a better or worse squad, short or deep, everything is seen as a consequence of what is going to happen during the season," said Simeone when asked if his team were favourites for the title.

"It is easy to think of the best before the game starts and for there to be some imagination about the names, but the names do not make a team. The men do that.

"So, we will go without changing anything, with the commitment that I have with the club, and tomorrow we will play against a very complex, aggressive opponent who will be tough, like everyone else in the Spanish league.

"We hope to improve compared to what happened last season. We did not have a good Copa del Rey [run], in the Champions League we would have liked to compete better [and] we [also] have the Supercopa de Espana.

"Four competitions where hopefully we can improve the numbers from last season, as we are always looking to do."

Related items

  • KC, C'Bar blank Camperdown, Charlie Smith in Group A double-header KC, C'Bar blank Camperdown, Charlie Smith in Group A double-header

    Former champions Kingston College and Calabar continued their upward trend in Group A of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup, as both registered 2-0 and 3-0 victories over Camperdown and Charlie Smith respectively at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Wednesday.

    Both Kingston College and Calabar, who lost their opening contests, have rebounded nicely with these being their second win on the trot in a competitive group that is expected to go down to the wire for the top two positions.

    In the opening contest, Alex Hislop (fourth) and Kelvin Brown (65th) got the job done for Kingston College over Camperdown, while Javel Watson (20th), Fitzroy McLeod (79th) and Kimani Thompson (90+2), were on target for Calabar in the feature encounter.

    With the win, both Calabar and Kingston College moved to six points, along with leader Hydel, who hammered Penwood 10-0 in their fixture. Charlie Smith remains in fourth on three points, with Camperdown and Penwood yet to put a point on the board.

    After Hislop fired Kingston College in front, the tempo of the young North Street-based team dropped significantly but picked up when the game resumed from a short break due to severe weather conditions.

    Kingston College should have added a second from the penalty spot, but Dejuan Green tried to be too fancy and hit the 12-yard kick wide, as the score remained 1-0 at the break.

    The purples continued their dominant show on the resumption and though Camperdown tried to play their game, the failed to really trouble Dominic Robinson in goal for Kingston College.

    Vassell Reynolds’s side eventually added to their tally when Brown waltzed his way around three defenders before finishing a right-footer with aplomb to seal the win.

    Though not impressed, Reynolds welcomed the improved second half display and, by extension, the win.

    “I think we rose to the occasion; it is still a work in progress, but the youngsters are learning very quickly. I am pretty satisfied with how they recovered from the first half. I thought the break helped us really, we were giving away possession of the ball and we lacked the composure in the first half, but they came out and equipped themselves in the second half,” Reynolds said in his post-game assessment.

    His counterpart Lebert Halliman cited indiscipline for his team’s defeat, their second of the season. They also have against Hydel in which they are down 0-5 to be completed.

    “Indiscipline is why I took off my captain because he wasn’t playing his role. But overall, I think the team did well, it’s a young team and a long season, so it’s a learning process for them,” Halliman said.

    The feature contest was much more eventful, as both Charlie Smith and Calabar were evenly matched for the most parts.

    Both displayed individual flair and some colorful plays in patches, but it was Calabar that proved the most clinical in the end.

    The Andrew Price-conditioned Calabar opened the scoring in the 20th minute when an unmarked Watson, easily headed home at close range from a Jaheim Rankine cross.

    They almost doubled the lead 12 minutes later, as Sheridan Wilson’s stinging right-footed shot from a distance had Deonte Gary, in goal for Charlie Smith beaten, but the effort came back off the crossbar.

    With no changes to the scoreline at the break, Charlie Smith showed more purpose on the resumption in their hunt for the equalizer. However, they not only found themselves with a numerical disadvantage when they lost Gary to straight red in the 61st minute for stomping on an opponent, but they also found themselves with a two-goal deficit to make up.

    This, as Anthony McDonald’s weighted free kick found McLeod, who made no mistakes.

    And if that wasn’t bad enough, Thompson rubbed salt on an already wounded Charlie Smith with an easy close range finish in time added.

    Wednesday’s results

    Zone A

    Kingston College 2, Camperdown 0

    Charlie Smith 0, Calabar 3

    Penwood 0, Hydel High 10

    Zone B

    Meadowbrook 3, Cumberland 2

    Jamaica College 3, Spanish Town 0

    Zone D

    Excelsior 7, Cedar Grove 1

    Bridgeport 2, Clan Carthy 1

    Zone E

    St Catherine 7, Edith Dalton James 0

    Innswood 2, Holy Trinity 0

    Mona 9, St Mary’s College 1

     

  • Kelechi Iheanacho and Kasey McAteer fire Leicester to win at Norwich Kelechi Iheanacho and Kasey McAteer fire Leicester to win at Norwich

    Leicester moved back into the top two of the Championship with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Norwich.

    The Canaries had won all three of their previous games at Carrow Road this season and proved to be spirited opponents on a miserable evening in Norfolk.

    But the visitors turned in a disciplined display to take all three points, with a Kelechi Iheanacho penalty on the stroke of half-time and a late tap-in from Kasey McAteer securing a sixth win in seven games for Enzo Maresca’s men.

    A dull first half sprung to life in the dying minutes, with Leicester edging in front from the penalty spot.

    Dangerman Stephy Mavididi set up the opener by bursting clear down the left flank and racing into the area, where his progress was halted by a shove in the back from Christian Fassnacht.

    Referee Graham Scott pointed straight to the spot and Iheanacho did the rest, with Angus Gunn unable to keep out his well struck penalty despite getting a hand to it.

    Moments later Mavididi was through again and this time he managed to get in a shot himself, with a curling effort drifting just wide of the far post.

    Earlier both sides had struggled to create openings as they sought to build patiently from the back.

    Fassnacht had a couple of shots for the Canaries, the latter drawing a comfortable save from Mads Hermansen, while defender Wout Faes went close with a pair of headers for the Foxes.

    Despite losing striker Ashley Barnes to injury Norwich looked the side more likely to score early in the second period, although they again struggled to create decent openings.

    The visitors seemed content to sit back and rely on the occasional counter-attack, with Gunn seeing precious little action.

    Norwich continued to press and almost drew level in the 71st minute when it needed a superb reaction save from Hermansen to keep out a close-range header from Shane Duffy, who was picked out by a pinpoint cross from substitute Onel Hernandez.

    They came even closer a few minutes later when Kenny McLean shipped an effort against the underside of the bar following a poor clearance from the otherwise excellent keeper.

    It was all Norwich now, with Gabriel Sara brushing the side-netting with a 25-yard free-kick, although McAteer should have sealed it for the Foxes with a free header at the back post.

    McAteer made up for that glaring miss by wrapping up the points for Leicester in the 87th minute.

    A slick move ended with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall one on one with Gunn and instead of shooting the substitute squared for his unmarked colleague to side-foot home into an empty net.

  • Lautaro Martinez salvages draw for Inter Milan at Real Sociedad Lautaro Martinez salvages draw for Inter Milan at Real Sociedad

    Lautaro Martinez’s late equaliser rescued disappointing Inter Milan a 1-1 Champions League draw against Real Sociedad at the Estadio de Anoeta.

    Last year’s beaten finalists Inter had failed to have a single shot on target in their opening Group D tie when captain Martinez fired home in the 87th minute.

    Brais Mendez had given Sociedad an early lead but the Spaniards, back in the Champions League for the first time since 2013-14, were cruelly punished after twice hitting the woodwork.

    Inter thrashed city rivals AC Milan 5-1 on Saturday, but were a shadow of the side which have won their first four Serie A matches.

    Sociedad lost 2-1 at Real Madrid on Sunday and have won only one of their first five LaLiga games, but went straight on the offensive.

    Ander Barrenetxea had already hit the crossbar before Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni slipped in possession, allowing Mendez a free shot on goal, which he buried.

    Marko Arnautovic headed Inter’s best chance before the break wide, but Sociedad went close to extending their lead.

    Robin Le Normand’s diving header from Takefusa Kubo’s excellent cross flew inches over the bar and the impressive Kubo forced Inter goalkeeper Yann Sommer into a low save just before half-time.

    Sommer made an even better save early in the second period to keep out Mikel Oyarzabal’s header as Sociedad chased another goal.

    Le Normand’s header was blocked before Inter were given a reprieve in the 65th minute after referee Michael Oliver had shown Inter’s Nicolo Barella a straight red card.

    The Italy midfielder appeared to stamp on goalscorer Mendez, but Oliver rescinded his decision after being asked to check the pitchside monitor by VAR.

    Mikel Merino then headed another cross from Kubo against the bar for Sociedad as Inter failed to pose an attacking threat.

    Simone Inzaghi’s side had mustered one attempt on goal throughout the game when they thought they had equalised.

    Carlos Augusto side-footed home Alexis Sanchez’s low cross into the area in the 79th minute, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

    But in the 87th minute the Italians levelled it up with their first shot on target.

    Martinez raced on to Davide Frattesi’s low diagonal ball into the box and lifted a superb first-time shot over Sociedad goalkeeper Alex Remiro.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.