Antoine Griezmann scored twice as Atletico Madrid swept aside Marseille in Lyon to win the Europa League for the third time in nine years.
France forward Griezmann opened the scoring by punishing Andre Zambo Anguissa’s poor touch to coolly slot home, then casually dinked in a second.
Marseille knew they would not have too many goal-scoring chances against the best defence in La Liga. After four minutes they had already wasted a good one. Valere Germain blazed over when he should have least hit the target after Dimitri Payet put him through. For the first 15 minutes Marseille were the better side; they enjoyed more possession than their opponents and won more 50-50 challenges. Their supporters also outnumbered the Madrileños and encouraged them noisily forward. But they found no breakthrough.
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.
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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.
“I am very happy,” said Griezmann.
“I have been working to experience such a moment for many years. I left home when I was 14 for that. We will celebrate. My family is here.
“I don’t know how to describe the finish, perhaps cold-blooded.”
Atletico conclude their league season against Eibar on Sunday, and it remains to be seen if that is Griezmann’s last game for the club as he has been heavily linked with Barcelona.
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