Atlético Madrid win Europa League
16 May 2018 Sports
Atletico Madrid swept aside Marseille in Lyon to win the Europa League for the third time in nine years.
Antoine Griezmann was the star of the show on Wednesday night as he scored two goals – on what could be his last ever game in an Atletico Madrid shirt – to beat Marseille 3-0 to clinch the title.
Marseille skipper Dimitri Payet, an injury doubt before the game, lasted just half an hour before hobbling off in tears.
Payet has been Marseille’s star man this season – his 22 assists in all competitions the most by any player in Europe’s top five leagues.
The former West Ham midfielder was struggling with a thigh problem before the game and, despite being passed fit, crumpled down in the opening period and was clearly devastated as he made his way off the pitch.
France forward Griezmann opened the scoring by punishing Andre Zambo Anguissa’s poor touch to coolly slot home, then casually dinked in a second.
Captain Gabi drilled in the third goal late on as Atletico again lifted the trophy they also won in 2010 and 2012.
Atletico have been one of Europe’s most consistent teams in recent seasons, breaking Barcelona and Real Madrid’s stranglehold on La Liga by claiming the title in 2013-14.
Second in the Spanish top flight with one match remaining, they are on course for a top-three finish for the sixth straight season and have appeared in two Champions League finals in that period, losing on both occasions to city rivals Real.
With manager Diego Simeone in the stands – serving a four-game ban for being sent off in the semi-final against Arsenal – Atletico repelled Marseille’s early thrusts and produced a performance which has become a trademark under the Argentine.
Griezmann’s clinical double took his tally for the club this season to 30 before Gabi added the third as the Ligue 1 club tried in vain to breach a backline that has conceded just 33 goals in 58 games all campaign.