Europa League final, Groupama Stadium – Marseille 0 Atletico Madrid 3 (Griezmann 21′, 49′, Gabi 89′)
Antoine Griezmann scored a fabulous brace as Atletico Madrid sealed their third European title in style with a 3-0 victory over Marseille.
Griezmann opened the scoring with a fine finish when Steve Mandanda put André Zambo Anguissa under pressure with a poor pass.
Marseille then suffered another blow when captain Dimitri Payet had to go off injured on the half hour mark, before Griezmann took his tally to 29 for the season with a delicious dinked finish four minutes after the interval.
Les Olympiens had been hoping to become the first French team to win the competition, but never truly looked like recovering.
And it was left to Atleti captain Gabi to crown the result when he fired in a third minutes before the end, which allowed Fernando Torres to come on as a late substitute to help lift his first ever major trophy with his boyhood club.
It’s glory right now, but will Atletico be able to keep the band together? A fifth European final in nine seasons is no mean feat and Diego Simeone deserves great credit for putting together a well-drilled side that has competed with some of the giants of the continent. Atletico took the competition seriously after bowing out of the Champions League and got their reward after disappointment in their past two appearances in finals of Europe’s elite competition. It could well be the ideal way for some of these stars to sign off. Torres is already heading to pastures new while Griezmann continues to be linked with Barcelona and could see this as a perfect parting gift. Atletico will enjoy the success now before looking towards what could be a significant summer.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico). The jewel in Atleti’s crown. The forward produced his best on the big occasion once again, clinically tearing up Marseille’s hopes with two well-taken goals. This kind of form can only be good news for France at this summer’s World Cup.
ATLETICO: Oblak 6; Vrsaljko 6, Giménez 7, Godín 7, Lucas 7; Gabi 8, Saúl 7, Koke 8, Correa 7; Griezmann 9, Diego Costa 7. Subs: Juanfran 6, Partey n/a, Torres n/a.
MARSEILLE: Mandanda 6, Sarr 7, Rami 7, Luiz Gustavo 7, Amavi 7, Anguissa 6, Sanson 6, Thauvin 5, Payet 6, Ocampos 6, Germain 5. Subs: Lopez 6, Njie 6, Mitroglou 6.
4′ – MARSEILLE CHANCE! Marseille break at speed. Payet races towards the edge of the Atletico box and slips a lovely pass through for Valère Germain, who contrives to lift his effort over the top from eight yards out.
21′ – GOAL! Marseille 0-1 Atletico. Griezmann swoops in and clinically fires the ball home after Anguissa’s error 30 yards from goal allowed Gabi to seize possession and prod it through for Atleti’s talisman to do the rest.
32′ – PAYET BLOW! It’s going from bad to worse for the French side as their skipper Payet, who had been a doubt for final, is forced off with injury. He is in tears as he leaves the pitch.
49′ – GOAL! Marseille 0-2 Atletico. Griezmann’s at it again. The French striker takes Koke’s clever pass in his path and dinks it over the advancing Mandanda with aplomb.
53′ – ATLETICO CHANCE! Godin meets Griezmann’s right-wing corner, but can only flick his near post header into the side netting.
81′ – MARSEILLE CHANCE! Substitute Kostas Mitroglou meets an inviting right-wing cross with a flick-header that beat Oblak but bounced back off the inside of the far post.
89‘ – GOAL! Marseille 0-3 Atletico. Gabi seals with a superb low drive from the right side of the area.
Atletico Madrid have won the UEFA Europa League on three separate occasions since the competition’s inaugural season in 2009/10, the joint-most of any side in the competition (also Sevilla).
Marseille have now lost all three of their UEFA Cup/Europa League finals without scoring a single goal in any of those matches.
Gabi became the oldest player to score in a European final since Paolo Maldini in 2005 (36 years, CL final, Milan v Liverpool).