Griezmann broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute, adjusting Giorgi Mamardashvili from the left after being served by Marcos Llorente and benefiting from a lucky control, then the Colchoneros doubled the set on the return from the dressing room (49th), following a nice one-two between Rodrigo de Paul and Yannick Carrasco, concluded by the Belgian.

Then the substitutes entered the hour of play (64th) sealed the victory: Alvaro Morata, entered in place of Memphis Depay, served a millimeter center for Thomas Lemar, entered in place of Rodrigo de Paul, who concluded with a cross header (67th).

Thanks to this success, Madrid are five points closer to Real Madrid, who travel to Camp Nou on Sunday (21:00) for the return clasico of La Liga against FC Barcelona, leaders.

Lemar, one year later

And Atlético confirms its spring upturn. Antoine Griezmann, excellent since the World Cup in Qatar, once again offered a recital as master to play the Colchoneros.

Yannick Carrasco in Madrid on March 18, 2023 © Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP

Perfect in construction, valuable in defence, and even finisher on Saturday, "Grizi" almost scored a double, but his sequence of chest control-volley recovery did not find the frame.

No matter: the pink-haired "Little Prince" took the opportunity to harangue the Metropolitano supporters with both arms. After Saturday's goal, Griezmann has nine goals and nine assists this season in La Liga.

Regarding Lemar, the other French international of Atlético, Saturday's victory is also to be marked with a white stone: it had been more than a year since the Guadeloupean, hampered by several injuries and who has seen his playing time reduced in recent months, had not scored.

His last goal in an official match was on 6 March 2022, in a 3-1 win at Betis in Sevilla.

Valencia, maintenance operation

For Valencia CF, this new setback complicates a little more its end of the season. In the fight for relegation, the Valencians, who sacked their coach Gennaro Gattuso on January 30, are provisionally equal on points with the first relegation, Getafe, who host Sevilla FC on Sunday (18:30).

Antoine Griezmann in Madrid on March 18, 2023 © Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP

On Saturday, it was Georgian goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili who kept his team afloat, with a spectacular save to stop a magnificent collective action of the Colchoneros that promised a goal from Memphis Depay (20th).

And the club "che" also played bad luck: Hugo Duro's goal on the half-hour mark (31st) was cancelled after video viewing for a foul by Dimitri Foulquier on Memphis Depay at the start of the action, on the other side of the field. And in the 78th, Jose Gaya's centre for Samuel Lino ended up on Jan Oblak's post.

Earlier in the day, Almeria and Cádiz, in the battle for retention, parted ways on a 1-1 draw that does not suit anyone. Ditto for Rayo Vallecano and Girona, who neutralized 2-2 at the end of a rhythmic and exciting match, marked in particular by a penalty withdrawn and missed by Oscar Trejo (41st).

In the early evening, Iago Aspas' Celta Vigo, again recalled to the Spanish selection, got the better of Espanyol Barcelona, 3-1, in Catalonia.

© 2023 AFP