Prolific French striker Antoine Griezmann was on target again as Atletico Madrid defeated their La Liga counterpart Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday. Griezmann equalled Uruguay international Luis Suarez’s total goal tally in Spain after he got his fifth of the season from close range. It wasn’t all good news for the Madrid-based team as the Diego Simeone-led side suffered an injury blow ahead of the much awaited clash against German champions Bayern Munich.
Ahead of the game, Simeone rested Stefan Savic and Saul Niguez, leaving Gabi and Kevin Gameiro to start from the bench. The only possible rationale was that he wanted rest after their 1-1 draw against the defending La Liga champion Barcelona the same week. Atletico got off slowly, but got a clear advantage when Deportivo’s Faycal Fajr was sent off in the first half. Fajr, already on a yellow card, charged carelessly at Nicolas Gaitan to earn a second yellow.
Atletico Madrid kept pushing for a goal. They eventually got one through the boots of Griezmann but it was ruled offside. After the recess, Yannick Carrasco sent a curling shot from the edge of the box but the visitor’s goalkeeper got a hand in to deny him. The resolute Atletico side broke the deadlock when Gameiro picked up the ball from Juanfran and sent it to Griezmann. Griemann tapped in from close range to send the fans wild in the 70th minute. Diego Simeone’s team remain unbeaten this campaign, but they remain two points behind leaders Real Madrid.
Deportivo brought on their impact substitute former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel but the Dutchman only picked up a yellow card. The 29-year old, who started his career at Ajax, joined the La Liga side on a free transfer this term, but is yet to get a goal.