Griezmann starred in a crucial victory

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Antoine Griezmann was the winner for Atletico Madrid

Antoine Griezmann starred as Atletico Madrid returned to winning ways in LaLiga with a 3-0 win over Real Valladolid.

Three goals in 10 first-half minutes at Civitas Metropolitano put Diego Simeone’s side in controooool en route to their first league win of 2023.

Griezmann’s star assist led to Alvaro Morata’s opener, with the France international then adding his own name to the scoresheet with a cheeky finish.

Griezmann’s cross also allowed Mario Hermoso to fire in the rebound as Los Colchoneros scored in a fierce battle to finish in the top four.

Morata got off to a flying start and opened the scoring in the 18th minute, tricking a defender with a feint and past Jordi Masip after an outrageous Griezmann backheel.

The hosts doubled their lead five minutes later when Griezmann flicked Nahuel Molina’s cross past Masip at the near post.

Hermoso immediately added a third, firing home from close range after his initial header from Griezmann’s free-kick was pushed over by the keeper.

Looking ahead to midweek’s Copa del Rey clash with Real Madrid, Diego Simeone shuffled his deck just before the hour mark, and Yannick Carrasco’s inclusion to join Barcelona drew boos from some in the crowd.

But Atletico continued to threaten, Koke hitting the crossbar and Angel Correa seeing a low shot hit both posts.

Memphis Depay, making his debut after joining from Barca, made a cameo appearance for 15 minutes as Atleticooooo finally ended the winning streak that kept them three points clear of the chasing pack.

What does it mean? Atletico stay on track

After starting 2023 with a loss to Barcelona and a draw at Almeria in LaLiga, Atletico need three points against Valladolid with the rest building on fourth.

Playing in front of their top four rivals Villarreal, Real Betis and Osasuna, Atletico could not afford to drop any more points having entered the game just three clear of 10th-placed Real Mallorca.

Extending the margin to six gives Atletico a bit more safety, it also leaves them in the driving seat unless Villarreal beat Girona on Sunday.

Griez is the word

Valladolid will surely be sick of seeing Griezmann, with that first-half goal his ninth in 10 LaLiga appearances against Pucela.

Griezmann’s goals came with his only touch in the box, while his three chances were the most in the game against Correa.

Valladolid is homesick

The loss for Valladolid was the fifth successive LaLiga loss without scoring, the first time in history they have lost back to back and failed to score in every game.

The wait for away goals continues, with the last goal against Getafe on October 1.

Opta key facts

  • Alvaro Morata scored his 50th goal in LaLiga; 25 of 67 appearances for Atletico Madrid, and 25 of 63 matches for Real Madrid.
  • Antoine Griezmann scored and assisted in a LaLiga game for the first time since November 2021 against Cadiz (also a goal and an assist).
  • Antoine Griezmann has scored and assisted in matches 12 times with Atletico Madrid, more than any other player for the club in the 21st century (Sergio Aguero 11, and Diego Forlan 10).
  • This is the first time Atletico Madrid have scored three goals in the first 30 minutes of a LaLiga game since April 2017, when they beat Las Palmas 5-0.
  • Memphis Depay is the first Dutchman to appear in LaLiga for Atletico Madrid since John Heitinga in August 2009. The striker is the fourth Dutch player to represent the club in the competition after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Kiki Musampa and Heitinga (all 34 caps).

What’s next?

Atletico make the short trip across the capital to face rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals on Thursday.

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