Griezmann rescues Atletico in 3-2 La Liga win over Valladolid
Valladolid (Spain) : French forward Antoine Griezmann scored a late goal to complete a brace and lead Atletico Madrid to a 3-2 win here over Valladolid in La Liga.
Atletico earned their first road victory in the Spanish league in nearly three months.
Atletico kicked off the game in strong fashion on Saturday night, but Valladolid were able to weather the storm and then slightly outplay the visitors for a brief stretch of the first half, reports Efe news.
Atletico Madrid, however, suddenly wrested back the momentum when they opened the scoring in the 25th minute on a right-footed shot by Croatian forward Nikola Kalinic, who was assisted on the play by Griezmann.
Valladolid sought out the equalizer and had two scoring chances on crosses by left back Nacho, but midfielder Oscar Plano sent the first attempt just over the crossbar and Turkish striker Enes Unal miscued the second shot.
In the dying minutes of the first half, the home crowd's mood turned even more sour when the video assistant referee (VAR) system determined that a shot by Griezmann had struck defender Kiko's arm inside the area and awarded Atletico a penalty.
The Frenchman then proceeded to convert his attempt from the 12-yard mark to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
That disparity on the scoreboard was tough to swallow for Valladolid, but the home side showed plenty of fight after the intermission.
Although they failed to convert two scoring chances in the first five minutes of the second half, their persistence was rewarded with two goals over a seven-minute stretch.
Defender Fernando Calero scored the first in the 57th minute on a header off a corner kick by midfielder Michel.
Atletico midfielder Saul Ñiguez then gave away his team's lead on an own goal in the 63rd minute.
The hosts, however, appeared fatigued in the final stretch of the match, allowing Atletico to regain control and then retake the lead at the 80-minute mark.
That score came amid a scramble for the ball in Valladolid's area, with Griezmann eventually pouncing on the ball and firing a shot past net minder Jordi Masip.
With the win, Atletico remains in second place in La Liga with 31 points, just behind FC Barcelona based on goal differential and two points ahead of third-placed Real Madrid.
Valladolid, meanwhile, is provisionally in the 12th spot with 20 points.