Griezmann's bicycle kick highlights Atletico's dominant win over Roma
Atletico Madrid finally got their dormant Champions League campaign off the ground with a 2-0 win over Roma in the Spanish capital on Wednesday night.
After a nervy opening period, Los Rojiblancos settled down and were by far the better side, especially in the final half hour. Antoine Griezmann struck a wonder goal, while Kevin Gameiro sealed the points late on.
This was much more like the Atletico of old and one hopes it is here to stay. They remain in the competition by the skin of their teeth and will be praying for a miracle next time out.
Goals from the forwards and a clean sheet, what's not to like? While they may not qualify, this win could well be the catalyst for bigger and better things. They needed a big win against a big team to announce themselves at this stadium and they did just that.
Too little, too late in the Champions League and the Europa League awaits.
Manager rating out of 10
9 -- Diego Simeone got it right on and nullified Roma's attacking threat. His decision to play a young central defensive partnership worked, while his subs were spot on and changed the game.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Jan Oblak, 6 -- Almost left red-faced by Radja Nainggolan's impish effort at 0-0. Little else was required.
DF Thomas Partey, 8 -- Coped well with a last-minute switch of position after Juanfran's injury and largely kept Diego Perotti quiet throughout and attacked with gusto, too. Growing in importance to the side.
DF Lucas Hernandez, 7 -- Impressive again as he handled everything Roma could throw at him. Deserves a chance to play more in his natural position and has given the boss food for thought.
DF Jose Maria Gimenez, 8 -- Another who showed the boss what he has been missing by leaving him on the bench. Dominated Edin Dzeko in the air, while excellent on the ground, too. The club needs to resolve his contract standoff quickly.
DF Filipe Luis, 6 -- Steady if unspectacular, he did what was required at the back. Luis, however, was unable to have his usual impact in attack.
MF Koke, 6 -- He was given the captain's armband for the night and battled hard. Provided Thomas protection when he needed it down the right-hand side before being subbed.
MF Augusto Fernandez, 6 -- A good hour as he continues his return to fitness. Swept up in front of the defence and saw a goal harshly disallowed for handball in the first half.
MF Saul Niguez, 6 -- Was ragged with the score at 0-0, but like the side grew in belief once they went ahead.
MF Yannick Carrasco, 6 -- Yet another one of those flatter-to-deceive performances from the Belgian in which he kept making the wrong decision. Never hid, to his credit, and made a great block at other end early on.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 9 -- What. A. Goal. Has been absent for the past two months but came back with a bang. Great technique and poise to execute the bicycle kick, while his assist was precise. Much more like it.
FW Fernando Torres, 7 -- Worked his socks off and was impressive, even if the finishing was slightly awry.
Angel Correa, 8 -- It was not the first time Correa changed the game coming off the bench. Put in the cross for the goal and caused havoc with his movements in between the lines.
Gabi, 7 -- Put his foot on the ball and his experience proved valuable with the game in the balance at 1-0.
Kevin Gameiro, 8 -- His pace caused the Roma back line problems and culminated in his side's second goal.
Joseph Walker covers Atletico Madrid for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @Joe_in_espana.