Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Griezmann pounces twice as Atletico sink hapless Marseille

Griezmann pounces twice as Atletico sink hapless Marseille

Marseille started strong in Lyon but they struggled to recover from Dimitri Payet's heartbreaking injury in the 30th minute.

Marseille dominated the opening stages but gifted Atletico the lead when Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa failed to control goalkeeper Steve Mandanda's pass out and Gabi intercepted before setting Griezmann free to finish neatly in the 21st minute.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea striker joined the club at the age of 11 and has spent a decade as part of the Atletico Madrid first team. "When you lose your captain it becomes tough". Diego Simeone is underappreciated, " a Twitter user @newscantell wrote.

While a late headed strike by Marseille's Kostas Mitroglou - a 74th minute substitute - could have swung the momentum, it was not to be, and the ball rebounded harmlessly off the upright.

Marseille's fans made the three-hour road trip home regretting what might have been if striker Valere Germain had converted a third-minute chance. "We also lost our best passer and our best free-kick taker".

World Cup heartache for Payet?

. He was consoled by his team-mates as well as global colleague Griezmann, who may fear Payet's name will be missing when France announce their World Cup squad on Thursday.

The Atletico Madrid players are showered in confetti as they pose with their Europa League trophy after a 3-0 win on the night
The Atletico Madrid players are showered in confetti as they pose with their Europa League trophy after a 3-0 win on the night

"When we won the Europe League it gave us security and helped us grow", Simeone told a news conference. He sat slumped on the bench as he looked on, helplessly.

"He was anxious about playing and whether he'd be able to kick the ball hard". But the prospect of him travelling to Russian Federation while not fully fit is not an enticing one for Deschamps. But Garcia later acknowledged this wasn't the case. "We did tests this morning and he still had a bit of apprehension about striking the ball properly".

"This was our 61st match this season and obviously players are getting exhausted in these last few weeks", he said.

And Marseille did play beyond their skins for the first quarter of the game.

The game, at Lyon's Groupama Stadium, will be Marseille's first European final since 2003-04 when a side featuring Fabien Barthez and Didier Drogba finished runners-up to Valencia in the UEFA Cup. "But defeat takes nothing away from our journey to the final".

Another supporter tweeted: "Still gutted we didn't sign Griezmann last summer and never will what a player he is".

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