Griezmann to the rescue as Atletico grab win against Mallorca
Antoine Griezmann scored a header as Atletico Madrid snatched a 1-0 win despite an uninspiring performance against Mallorca on Sunday, moving them to third place in the LaLiga standings.
Diego Simeone's side are level with fourth-placed Barcelona on 31 points but have a game in hand over last season's champions.
Surprise leaders Girona are top on 34 points, two ahead second-placed Real Madrid.
Atletico controlled possession but were toothless up front. Left back Samuel Lino was the only Atletico player who stood out, motoring up and down the wing all night only to see his team mates waste one opportunity after the other.
Angel Correa missed Atletico's best chance early on after Lino dribbled past three defenders and put it on a plate for the Argentinian, who fired over the bar from around the penalty spot.
The hosts improved after the break but Alvaro Morata missed two golden opportunities from close range.
However, they finally took the lead in the 64th minute when centre back Mario Hermoso burst up the left channel and crossed to Griezmann who leaped high to score with a fine header into the top right corner.
It was Griezmann's ninth LaLiga goal this season to put him one behind top scorer Jude Bellingham.
The French forward is three goals behind Luis Aragones's record as Atletico's all-time top scorer with 173.
🇫🇷 Antoine Griezmann's characteristics:— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) November 25, 2023
As Atletico made a late push for a second goal, they were exposed in defence and Mallorca should have equalised on the counter-attack in the 84th minute, when Amath Ndiaye fired an easy chance wide from close range.
"The game was very difficult for us. Mallorca were very serious, they are a difficult team to play against," captain Koke, who played his 600th game for Atletico, told DAZN.
"There was a change of pace after the break and those who came off the bench played well. This is a team and it's important that we stay focused.
"We got the points, which is the important thing, we have to keep going."