Created on 01-05-2016 at 10:45 AM
Atlético Madrid have won their domestic league fixture in between the Champions League semi-final meetings with FC Bayern. Coach Diego Simeone’s men defeated city rivals Rayo Vallecano 1-0 on Saturday courtesy of Antoine Griezmann’s 55th minute strike. With two La Liga games to play, Atlético are level on points with leaders Barcelona but lie second on goal difference, with Real Madrid a point further back in third.
Emulating Pep Guardiola’s policy for Bayern against Gladbach, Atlético boss Simeone, who watched from the stands due to a touchline ban, opted to rotate his squad and made seven changes to his starting line-up. Keeper Jan Oblak, centre-back José Giménez, right-back Juanfran and Gabi were the only survivors from the first leg against FCB. Griezmann came on after 54 minutes and promptly scored his 30th goal of the season some 42 seconds later. Fernando Torres and Koke also made brief appearances later in the game.
Atlético were the better team against Rayo Vallecano but created precious little by way of chances. However, a 15th clean sheet in the last 19 home matches kept alive their hopes of an 11th championship triumph. “We need to recover well now,” Griezmann said after the match at Estadio Vicente Calderón, “we have a massive game coming up in Munich on Tuesday.”