Pulse.ng logo
Go

Unconvincing Atletico make winning La Liga start

Colombia striker Jackson Martinez, making his La Liga debut after joining from Porto in the close season, had a quiet night before making way for Fernando Torres midway through the second period.

  • Published:
Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann (L) kicks the ball past Las Palmas' Javier Castellano during their Spanish first division soccer match at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, August 22, 2015. REUTERS/Sergio Perez play Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann (L) kicks the ball past Las Palmas' Javier Castellano during their Spanish first division soccer match at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, August 22, 2015. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Atletico Madrid got their La Liga campaign up and running in less than convincing fashion when Antoine Griezmann’s deflected free kick secured an edgy 1-0 win at home to promoted Las Palmas on Saturday.

Valencia, who like Atletico are hoping to challenge heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid for the title, also failed to shine in their opening game of the season and were held to a 0-0 draw at Rayo Vallecano.

Griezmann’s strike clipped the Las Palmas wall on its way into the net in the 17th minute at the Calderon but Atletico struggled to create further chances and the visitors, back in Spain’s top flight for the first time in 13 years, made them sweat in the second half.

Las Palmas defender David Simon was left unmarked at the far post and headed against the crossbar and Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak had to make an excellent save when the ball ricocheted towards goal at a corner 18 minutes from time.

Colombia striker Jackson Martinez, making his La Liga debut after joining from Porto in the close season, had a quiet night before making way for Fernando Torres midway through the second period.

"We played a good first half and controlled the match," Atletico fullback Filipe Luis told Spanish television.

"But obviously the scoreline was precarious because if Las Palmas had scored it looked like it would have been difficult for us to get another," added the Brazil international, who has returned to Madrid after a year at English champions Chelsea.

"But we controlled the match at all times and were very solid in defence so I think it was a deserved victory.

"It’s always challenging in the opening game after a tough pre-season and we just need to keep improving."

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.