Football

Griezmann stars for Atletico Madrid

GROUP D

ATLETICO MADRID 2
(Antoine Griezmann 29, 90)

FC ROSTOV 1
(Sardar Azmoun 30)

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has to thank Antoine Griezmann for bailing him out in the late win over FC Rostov yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Argentinian admitted that he got his tactics wrong and later thanked his players for ensuring that his mistakes did not prove costly in the end, reported the Daily Mail.

Said Simeone: "As the coach I made bad decisions.

"I also had bad solutions at different times of the match and I'm hurt by that, very hurt.

"But fortunately the players knew how to solve the problems.

"Qualifying fills me with pride as an athlete, as a player and because of the ways we compete with these players.''

Griezmann struck two goals, the winner coming three minutes into injury time.

But the win took them into the Champions League last 16 and preserved their 100 per cent record.

Griezmann joined Atletico's top 10 scorers in European competition by putting the home side ahead in the 29th minute with an improvised volley.

Sardar Azmoun levelled barely a minute later, becoming the first player to score against Simeone's side in the competition this season.

Rostov's five-man defence managed to frustrate Atletico for the majority of the game and the Spanish side's opener came from a moment of brilliance from Griezmann, who was on a run of five games without a goal for club or country going into the fixture.

Yannick Carrasco collected the ball from Filipe Luis after a corner looked to have gone to waste and his chipped pass found its way to Griezmann via a weak header from Azmoun.

The Frenchman, with his back to goal, reacted quickly to hook the ball in on the volley.

Griezmann initially did not celebrate his last-gasp winner, believing he was offside, but peeled away in joy as the linesman kept his flag down, correctly ruling that the previous touch had come from a Rostov player.

- Wire Services.

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