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Depay rocket helps Atletico to 3-1 LaLiga win over Granada

Alvaro Morata gave Atletico a first-half lead and Marcos Llorente put the icing on the cake with a late third against last season’s LaLiga2 champions.

• August 15, 2023
Memphis Depay score against Granada
Memphis Depay score against Granada [photo credit: Reuters]

Atletico Madrid striker Memphis Depay scored with a stunning long-range strike in the second half to help secure a 3-1 home win over promoted Granada in their LaLiga opener on Monday.

Alvaro Morata gave Atletico a first-half lead and Marcos Llorente put the icing on the cake with a late third against last season’s LaLiga2 champions.

The hosts dominated but missed several chances with Antoine Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco causing all kinds of trouble against a Granada side who parked the bus.

The visitors ended the first half with no goal attempts at the Metropolitano Stadium.

Rodrigo De Paul missed an absolute sitter from close range in the 18th minute and Morata spurned three great opportunities before finally ending the deadlock.

He struck in added time before the break with a tidy finish inside the box after being gifted the ball by defender Jesus Vallejo in a comical mistake when trying to clear a cross.

Atletico were again on top in the second half and substitute Depay wasted a golden opportunity on the hour mark, sending his close-range shot wide.

Just when the hosts seemed destined to extend their lead, Granada equalised through Samuel Omorodion in the 62nd minute.

It came with their first shot on target after Carrasco miscontrolled the ball on the edge of his own area and Gonzalo Villar set up Omorodion to score from close range.

However, five minutes later substitute Depay put Atletico in front again when he unleashed an unstoppable rocket shot from distance that flew into the top left-hand corner of the net.

Llorente wrapped up the win with a clever individual effort eight minutes into added time, scooping up a loose ball inside the box and beating goalkeeper Andre Ferreira.

“We saw tonight and over the weekend how competitive LaLiga is. It’s very tough, all the teams compete really well.

“In the first half we were playing well against a rival that was very solid and they managed to equalise thanks to our mistake.

“Then Memphis scored a great goal. I’m happy for him, he has been working for a while and deserves it.

“We have confidence in Morata and Memphis. Our strength resides in the boxes,” Atletico manager Diego Simeone told reporters.

The one negative for Atletico was that they lost captain Koke with a leg muscle injury early in the first half.

(Reuters/NAN)

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