Alvaro Morata scored twice as Atletico Madrid began the new LaLiga season with a 3-0 victory over a spirited Getafe side on Monday.
The Spanish international scored twice in the first half to help Diego Simeone’s side start their season on a high note at Coliseum Alfonso Perez, with Antoine Griezmann adding a third for the visitors.
Quique Sánchez Flores may feel that the final score did his team a disservice, but the Rojiblancos will leave this opening weekend with a smile on their face for a job well done.
This local encounter proved a cagey affair throughout, punctuated by occasional flashes of brilliance in stifling evening temperatures in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula.
Atletico’s opener came as a result of one such sublime passage of interplay, with Morata receiving a fluid succession of passes down the middle before planting a low finish beyond David Soria.
Carles Alena responded seven minutes after the break with a long-range effort that went just wide, and Borja Mayoral rattled the crossbar, but otherwise, both teams favored a more physical style of play.
Getafe remained fiercely competitive, but when Joao Felix intercepted a poor back pass and sent Morata through again just shy of the hour mark, the latter effectively sealed the deal.
Griezmann’s breakaway finish moments after Mayoral steered a header past the wrong side of the post with a quarter-hour to go sealed the victory – and sets up the possibility of another great title battle this season.
What does it imply? Atletico Madrid kicks off with a bang.
After failing to mount a title defense worth talking about last season, Simeone’s team has exploded out of the gate this season with a clinical first performance to whet the appetite.
They had five shots on goal out of a total of twelve, and despite some less-than-stellar goalkeeping, they still managed to score three goals.
Morata leaves his imprint
The forward has had a merry-go-round career in recent years, having been loaned out to Atletico Madrid from Chelsea and then sent out to Juventus as soon as he arrived permanently in Madrid.
He reminded fans of his prodigious talents on his day in his first league game for the club since joining two years ago, with two cleanly taken finishes to celebrate.
Getafe is unable to fire.
While their visitors continued to challenge Soria in the back, the hosts and the challenge they presented to Jan Oblak could not be said to be the same.
Despite their spirited performance and frequent threat, Getafe failed to score a single goal – a flaw that ultimately allowed Atletico to pull well clear of any comeback attempt.
What comes next?
On August 21, Atletico Madrid return to the Wanda Metropolitano for their first home game of the season against Villarreal, while Getafe travel to Girona a day later on August 22.