Futbol

Griezmann, Gameiro power Atletico Madrid to rout of Sporting

Madrid, Sep 17 (EFE).- French strikers Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro each scored in the opening minutes of Atletico Madrid's crushing 5-0 victory here Saturday over Sporting Gijon, which suffered its first loss of the La Liga season.

Gameiro pounced on a weak header by defender Isma Lopez and delivered the ball to Griezmann, who was as ruthless as always in one-on-one opportunities with the opposing goalkeeper in scoring the opening goal.

After playing the role of facilitator, Gameiro then took it upon himself to score in the fifth minute, dribbling into the penalty box, maneuvering around a defender and then firing a sublime shot with power, placement and spin that gave goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar no chance.

For Gameiro, it was a well-deserved goal for a player who was completely engaged in Atleti's attack and put constant pressure on the visitors with his skillful dribbling and pace and refusal to give up on any ball.

In short, any possible doubts about his value that may have existed prior to the match were completely erased Saturday at Vicente Calderon Stadium.

Sporting, meanwhile, showed some spunk after falling behind 2-0 early, briefly gaining control of ball possession and pinning last year's Champions League finalists back in their area but only getting off one shot on goal off the foot of Croatian striker Duje Cop.

Head coach Diego Simeone, however, quickly dissected the problem - Sporting's superiority in midfield - and resolved it by dropping Griezmann back and moving Nicolas Gaitan toward the center.

The impact was immediate and led to a third goal at the half-hour mark by Griezmann, who beat Cuellar with a powerful left-footed strike from outside the penalty box.

The second half was then a mere formality, although it allowed veteran Fernando Torres to get in on the act and score two goals in the final 20 minutes of the contest.

The match was Atletico Madrid's first since Simeone confirmed this week that he had agreed to shorten his contract by two years, meaning his current deal will end in June 2018.

Key defender Diego Godin, however, said the news had changed nothing at the club.

"We found out about this through the media. He didn't tell us anything about this. It's a personal matter (...) The week was normal. We worked the same. It hasn't affected us at all, and I think he said it very well: nothing has changed for him and if he's here it's because he wants to be here," the player added.

Atletico Madrid is currently in third place in the La Liga standings with eight points, while Sporting is fifth with seven points.

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