Atletico Madrid 3-0 Alaves: Antoine Griezmann on target as clinical La Liga title hopefuls climb to second place
- Atletico Madrid were clinical in front of goal as they beat Alaves on Saturday
- The game was even in terms of chances but Diego Simeone’s side finished better
- Nikola Kalinic, Antoine Griezmann and Rodri were all on target for Atletico
- Atletico climb to second place and draw level on points with leaders Barcelona
Atletico Madrid moved into provisional second place in La Liga with a 3-0 win over fourth-placed Alaves on Saturday to join leaders Barcelona on 28 points.
Nikola Kalinic, Antoine Griezmann and Rodri struck for Atletico in a tight battle against the high-flying Basques, with Diego Simeone’s side simply more clinical in front of goal.
Croatian striker Kalinic opened the scoring in the 24th minute, bundling the ball home with his stomach from Santiago Arias’s cross for his first league goal since a close-season switch from AC Milan.
Atletico Madrid were victorious in Saturday’s early La Liga game as they beat Alaves 3-0
Nikola Kalinic opened the scoring after 25 minutes at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano home
Antoine Griezmann made it 2-0 then jumped over an advertising board to celebrate with fans
Atletico: Oblak, Arias, Savic, Hernandez (Gimenez 36), Saul, Lemar (Montero 64), Thomas, Rodri, Correa, Griezmann, Kalinic (Vitolo 57)
Subs not used: Adan, Martins, Garces, Munoz
Goals: Kalinic, Griezmann, Rodri
Booked: Kalinic, Correa, Arias, Thomas, Montero
Alaves: Pacheco, Aguirregabiria (Sobrino 81), Laguardia, Navarro, Duarte, Garcia, Pina, Wakaso (Baston 46), Gomez (Burgui 72), Calleri, Jony
Subs not used: Maripan, Guidetti, Sivera, Brasanac
Booked: Calleri, Pina, Navarro, Laguardia
Atletico suffered a blow when defender Lucas Hernandez had to go off with a knee injury but keeper Jan Oblak had little to do in the first half with Alaves struggling to create chances.
Defender Jose Gimenez came close to doubling Atletico’s lead when he hit the post with a header from Thomas Lemar’s corner, while Alaves forward Jonathan Calleri nodded wide.
Griezmann wrapped up the points in the final stages when he broke through and tapped home after his first effort came back off the post, with Rodri slamming in a third to give Atletico an advantage which flattered them.
Later on Saturday Barcelona visit crosstown rivals Espanyol and third-placed Sevilla, who are a point off the pace, travel to Valencia. Alaves remain fourth on 24 points, a place and a point ahead of Real Madrid who are away at bottom club Huesca.
Griezmann pretended to meditate on the pitch after putting Atletico into a position of control
Rodri made absolutely certain of the win by adding a third goal three minutes from full time
Diego Simeone saw his side climb to second in the La Liga table before their rivals had played
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