Europa League final: Analysis of Antoine Griezmann as he shows Atletico Madrid what they'll miss

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Antoine Griezmann opens the scoring for Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final.

If this was Antoine Griezmann’s penultimate game for Atletico Madrid, then he is signing off as a hero.

The clinical France forward produced an expert finish in each half against sorry Marseille to hand Diego Simeone’s men a third Europa League trophy since 2009/10. This defining turn during the 3-0 triumph comes amid repeated links to Barcelona in an €100 million (Dh433.7m) summer deal.

Here, we analyse the performance of the coveted star.

STATISTICS 

Goals – 2

Assists – 0

Shots – 3

Shots on target – 2

Touches – 65

Passes – 43

Key passes – 3

Dribbles – 1

Dispossessed – 1

30-SECOND REPORT

Griezmann lit up a damp night at Lyon’s Groupama Stadium.

A woeful first touch from defensive midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa was played into Griezmann’s grateful path by Gabi on 21 minutes. The 27-year-old did the rest, planting France No2 Steve Mandanda with a shimmy and then rolling the ball home.

Even better followed when he dinked in his 29th goal of the campaign to seal it shortly after the break.

His all-round performance is shown by the fact only Spain midfielder Koke (67) had more touches than Griezmann (65).

GOT RIGHT

Unnerving accuracy – Griezmann only had three shots in this tight game. Yet whenever an opening appeared, he struck without any mercy. Both finishes were delightful exhibitions of one of Europe’s great forwards at his lethal best.

Commitment to the end – Atleti president Enrique Cerezo gave hope pre-match that Griezmann will spurn Barca’s advances. But even if he still goes, the fans cannot question his service. Griezmann relentlessly sought the ball out and tracked back with diligence when required.

GOT WRONG

Not on a wavelength – Diego Costa was sold to Chelsea in July 2014, paving the way for Griezmann’s recruitment from Real Sociedad. The pair have been cast together since the former’s, belated, winter return.

But just like in both semi-finals against Arsenal, a noticeable lack of chemistry was apparent until a fine 89th-minute pass eventually led to Gabi’s third.

This gains pertinence if Griezmann does move to Barca. If he is unable to regularly link up with Argentina icon Lionel Messi, admittedly a contrasting player, then his stay will be a short one – just ask Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

KEY MOMENTS

21st min GOAL: Zambo Anguissa’s error was lapped upon by club stalwart Gabi. His instant touch played Griezmann clean through to convert his first shot of the match.

44th min POOR PASS: Costa raced around the back of the Marseille defence as Griezmann headed towards the edge of the penalty box. But a slack pass was intercepted by right-back Bouna Sarr.

49th min GOAL: This was Griezmann and Atleti at their best. A loose ball in midfield was pounced upon and within seconds Koke teed up the onrushing Griezmann. The forward burned off left-back Jordan Amavi and then clipped the ball delightfully over Mandanda.

89th min EXCELLENT PASS: Griezmann had struggled to partner with Costa, but a wonderful pass with the outside of his boot set the Spain international into the clear. The move culminated with Gabi finding the bottom corner for the first time in three years.

VERDICT

Griezmann earned all the applause granted to him when he was hooked at the death.

The hunger in his belly to secure a first major trophy since 2014’s Supercopa de Espana was apparent from the off.

His elevated status is underlined by the fact he struck in every round of the Europa and is the first Frenchman to score twice in a European final.

Atleti, for now, have a superstar on their hands.

RATING: 8/10

All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com.

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