Atletico Madrid 2 Celta Vigo 0: Hosts' grip on second strengthened by Griezmann

By Sports Desk April 13, 2019

Atletico Madrid returned to winning ways in unconvincing fashion as Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata earned a 2-0 LaLiga victory over Celta Vigo.

Diego Simeone's men welcomed Celta to the Wanda Metropolitano following a 2-0 defeat to Barcelona that effectively ended their title hopes.

Diego Costa received an eight-match ban for insulting the referee during that game, and Atletico were often second best against a resurgent Celta, who had taken seven points from their last three matches to boost hopes of survival.

However, Griezmann lashed home a 42nd-minute free-kick and Morata doubled their lead 16 minutes from time as Atletico increased their lead over Real Madrid - who play Leganes on Monday - to five points in the battle for second. Celta remain two points above the drop zone.

Atletico struggled to create much in the early going and owed much to Jan Oblak for keeping them level. The Slovenia international produced a reaction save to keep out Maxi Gomez's deflected effort and then made an even more impressive stop from Ryad Boudebouz's bicycle kick follow-up.

Opposite number Ruben Blanco did well to get a touch to Juanfran's low cross and take it away from numerous Atletico players queuing up to meet it in the box, but Oblak continued to be the busier of the two goalkeepers.

He was again required to preserve parity when he dove to his left to deny Sofiane Boufal after the Frenchman met Boudebouz's lay-off first time.

Celta were made to pay for not capitalising on their superiority as Griezmann powered a free-kick into the top-left corner after Vitolo was fouled by Gustavo Cabral.

Chances were less frequent in the second half but Morata made the points safe when he rounded Blanco after being played through on goal by Griezmann.

Related items

  • Simeone delighted 'extraordinary' Oblak has signed new Atletico deal Simeone delighted 'extraordinary' Oblak has signed new Atletico deal

    Diego Simeone feels Jan Oblak's recent contract extension is vital to Atletico Madrid's future as he is "probably the best keeper in the world".

    Slovenia international Oblak signed fresh terms on a four-year deal with Atletico last week, the new agreement reportedly including a release clause of around €100million.

    The former Benfica goalkeeper, 26, has spent the past five years in the Spanish capital having succeeded Thibaut Courtois as the club's number one in 2014.

    Simeone compared Oblak's new deal to Antoine Griezmann's contract extension last year in terms of its importance to the Rojiblancos moving forward.

    "It is very important for the club and a great decision - as it was with the Griezmann one last year - on staying with us," Simeone told reporters at a news conference to preview Valencia's trip to the Wanda Metropolitano.

    "He is probably the best keeper in the world.

    "It is a big joy for the club and for the fans because Jan is an extraordinary goalkeeper.

    "It is something which is very good news for the club, that's for sure."

    Barcelona will be confirmed as LaLiga champions should they beat Deportivo Alaves on Tuesday and Atleti then lose to Valencia the following day.

    Copa del Rey finalists and Europa League semi-finalists Valencia have found form in recent months, losing just one of their previous 22 games in all competitions, as they chase a top-four finish.

    They won only one of their opening 13 matches but Simeone always expected Valencia to turn their season around.

    "I think this last period of the season is what they planned at the beginning, according to the squad they have," he added.

    "I am not surprised seeing how they are improving because they are a solid and organised team with a clear concept of the game and good replacement players.

    "So, being at this position in the table, playing the semi-final of the Europa League and [having] qualified for the final of the Copa del Rey describes how good their squad is."

    Simeone, who remains without the suspended Diego Costa, will have defender Stefan Savic available again after he returned to training on Tuesday following a hamstring injury.

  • Jovic set for greatness amid Barca and Madrid links – Milosevic Jovic set for greatness amid Barca and Madrid links – Milosevic

    Barcelona and Real Madrid target Luka Jovic is a "natural-born killer" who will undoubtedly become one of the best strikers in the world, according to Savo Milosevic.

    Jovic has been linked with LaLiga giants Barca and Madrid after taking Europe by storm this season, scoring 25 goals in all competitions for Eintracht Frankfurt.

    Only Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski (21) has scored more 2018-19 Bundesliga goals than Jovic (17), whose two-year loan from Portuguese giants Benfica became permanent last week.

    Eintracht are reportedly set to cash in on Jovic amid interest from Barca and Madrid, and 102-time Serbia international Milosevic, who hails from the same city – Bijeljina – as his countryman, insisted the 21-year-old striker is destined for greatness.

    "Luka is very, very, very special. His capacity for scoring goals is incredible," Milosevic – now head coach of Serbian side Partizan Belgrade – told Omnisport.

    "From any position and with any part of the body, he simply senses the goal. He is a natural-born killer.

    "You cannot train some of those things. You have them or not. He will be one of the best strikers in the world in a few years, I have no doubt about it.

    "He is still a kid. He is showing some incredible things."

    Milosevic, who spent time with Real Zaragoza, Espanyol, Celta Vigo and Osasuna during his successful playing career as a striker, added: "Both of the big clubs would be great for him and he would be great for Barca or Madrid.

    "It would be a good solution for any of those two clubs."

     Luka Jović this season = 


    #UEL | @eintracht_eng pic.twitter.com/fX7lWXuRXl

    — UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) April 18, 2019

    Jovic's goals have helped Eintracht up to fourth in the Bundesliga – the final Champions League qualifying spot – as the German side prepare for a blockbuster Europa League semi-final against Chelsea.

  • Injured Reggae Boyz keeper Andre Blake expected to be fit for Gold Cup Injured Reggae Boyz keeper Andre Blake expected to be fit for Gold Cup

    Jamaica’s football bosses are breathing a collective sigh of relief following news that their first choice goalkeeper Andre Blake is expected to recover from injury in time to start in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.