Antoine Griezmann was the hero of the hour as Atletico Madrid claimed the Europa League title in Lyon.
The French striker, playing against a French team in a French city, scored twice as Atleti coasted their way to a 3-0 victory against Marseille on Wednesday night.
Belying their status as underdogs, Mrseille started pretty well and could have taken the lead in the opening few minutes via former Newcastle midfielder Florian Thauvin. However, Atletico hit the front midway through the first half, capitalising on some poor defending by l’OM to send Griezmann through for the opener.
From there it became the archetypal Diego Simeone tactical performance, Atleti shutting down and not letting anything breach their highly organised rearguard.
Any hope that Marseille might have had in forcing their way back in evaporated as the game went on – firstly with the first-half loss of Dimitri Payet, and then by going 2-0 down just four minutes into the second half. Koke played Griezmann through on goal, and the striker did the rest by producing a neat chip over the onrushing keeper Steve Mandanda.
From there, the result was rarely in doubt – and the icing was put well and truly on the cake when captain Gabi drove home a rare goal from a low shot to make it 3-0 in the dying minutes.
This allowed Atletico to introduce Fernando Torres for a proper send-off, as the former Liverpool and Chelsea man prepares to leave the club for a second time.
Dominant performance from Atletico in the end, and a third Europa League title in the space of a decade.
? ¡La @EuropaLeague es ROJIBLANCA ❗❕
— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) May 16, 2018