Espanyol vs Atletico: Lemar, Griezman shine as Atleti maintain unbeaten start

Espanyol vs Atletico

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Atletico Madrid came from behind to defeat Espanyol 2-1 on Sunday, ensuring Antoine Griezmann‘s first game back with the club ended in victory.

At the RCDE Stadium, the excellent Lemar scored in the ninth minute of added time to sink an exhausted Espanyol and give La Liga’s reigning champions their third victory in four games.

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Griezmann was replaced in the 58th minute by Joao Felix, an underwhelming return for the Frenchman symptomatic of a lethargic Atletico, who came alive late.

Yannick Carrasco ignited the attack with 11 minutes remaining in normal time, before Lemar completed the comeback with a surging run through midfield and finish into the far corner.

Atletico maintains their unbeaten start, while Espanyol remain winless in their return to La Liga following a year in Segunda.

Griezmann had not worn an Atletico shirt in two years and four months, with his loan return from Barcelona appearing to be something of a coup for the club that sold him for 120 million euros in 2019.

Atletico Madrid won the league without Griezmann and signed Luis Suarez and Joao Felix during his absence, leaving Diego Simeone with the task of integrating his attacking abilities into the starting lineup.

Felix was the one to withdraw, with Griezmann and Suarez starting up front alongside Angel Correa and Marcos Llorente. However, Atletico lacked creativity and punch until Carrasco’s equaliser propelled them forward.

Espanyol could have taken the lead sooner after Adri Embarba tested Jan Oblak twice and Raul de Tomas rounded the Atletico goalkeeper only to see his finish cleared off the line by Felipe.

However, they got the opener they deserved five minutes before half-time, with De Tomas darting away from Marcos Llorente and glancing a brilliant header across the goal and into the opposite corner.

Atletico improved after the break and thought they had equalised when Lemar diverted in Llorente’s cross, only to have the goal disallowed due to Luis Suarez’s offside.

Griezmann was substituted and Espanyol appeared to be on the verge of victory until Carrasco intervened.

He and Renan Lodi exchanged passes down the left flank, with Lodi pulling the ball back off the line for Carrasco, who held off three defenders, lost the ball and then reclaimed it before firing inside the far post.

Espanyol were clinging on in the closing minutes, and Lemar stepped forward, driving through midfield, latching onto Carrasco’s flick, and unleashing a shot that Diego Lopez’s feeble hand was powerless to stop.

Tags : Espanyol vs Atletico , Antoine Griezmann



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