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Football: Atlético Madrid beats Marseille 3-0 to win third Europa League title

Saturday, May 19, 2018

On Wednesday, Spanish capital football club Atlético Madrid defeated French team Olympique de Marseille 3–0 to win the UEFA Europa League Final at the Stade de Lyon, in France. French striker Antoine Griezmann scored a brace (two goals in one game), one goal in each half, and Atlético's captain Gabi netted the third goal a few minutes before the final whistle as Atlético won the UEFA Europa League for the third time. This was Marseille's third defeat in three Europa League or UEFA Cup finals, never netting a single goal in the final.

File photo of Antoine Griezmann who scored twice and won Man of the Match
Image: DSanchez17. (CC BY 2.0)

Marseille had greater ball possession and better passing accuracy. Marseille were awarded three free-kicks in the first ten minutes of the match. The French side created several chances in the first half but failed to convert any into a goal. Around the 20th minute, Marseille's André Zambo Anguissa lost the ball, as Madrid's captain Gabi assisted Griezmann who opened the scoring with his left foot. A couple of minutes later, a referee made the first booking of the match. Atlético's Šime Vrsaljko received a yellow card for a bad foul. Just after the half-hour mark, Marseille's midfielder Dimitri Payet was injured and replaced by Maxime Lopez. Payet has provided 22 assists in all competitions this season. The first half ended in a 1–0 lead for the Spanish side. Marseille's Jordan Amavi was the second player to receive a yellow card.

At the beginning of the second half, Vrsaljko was replaced by Juanfran due to injury. Less than five minutes into the second half, Frenchman Griezman doubled the lead, scoring another left-footed goal, assisted by Koke. Koke also assisted Gabi in the 89th minute, who scored his first goal for Atlético since August 2015. 34-year-old Gabi became the oldest player to score a goal in a Europa final. Fernando Torres was substituted for Griezmann in the 90th minute. Marseille committed eighteen fouls in the match, twice as many as their opponents. Madrid's goalkeeper Jan Oblak acheived his seventh clean sheet in this season's European competitions — UEFA Champions League and Europa League.

Griezmann was awarded the Man of the Match award. After winning the match, Griezmann said, "I've been working to experience such a moment for many years". Marseille's defender Adil Rami said, "The final step was too far for us but we fought for everything. We lacked experience. Against a team like this you shouldn't try to play football. You need to knock it long and high and win second balls. When you try to play and lose the ball against them, that's when you're in trouble. The opening goal we conceded was the turning point. Up until then we had troubled their defence."

Previously, Atlético won the Europa League in 2010 and 2012. This was the second Europa league victory for the Rojiblancos under Diego Simeone's management. Atlético has also reached two UEFA Champions League finals under Simeone's management — in 2014 and 2016 — losing both to their city rivals Real Madrid.


May 16, 2018
circa 20:45 local time (1845 UTC)
Olympique de Marseille 0–3 Atlético Madrid Stade de Lyon, Lyon, France
Attendance: 55,768
Referee: Flag of the Netherlands.svg Björn Kuipers (Netherlands)
Jordan Amavi Booked after 38 minutes 38'
Luiz Gustavo Booked after 75 minutes 75'
Clinton N'Jie Booked after 78 minutes 78'
(0–1) HT Antoine Griezmann Scored after 21 minutes 21'
Antione Griezmann Scored after 49 minutes 49'
Gabi Scored after 89 minutes 89'
Šime Vrsaljko Booked after 23 minutes 23'
Lucas Hernández Booked after 78 minutes 78'


Sources