Alvaro Morata netted a brace as Atletico Madrid got their new LaLiga season off to a winning start with a 3-0 victory over a spirited Getafe side on Monday.
The Spanish international struck in both halves to help Diego Simeone’s side kick off their campaign on a triumphant note at Coliseum Alfonso Perez, with Antoine Griezmann adding the third for the visitors.
Quique Sánchez Flores could well feel the final scoreline did his side a disservice, but it will be the Rojiblancos who end this opening weekend with a smile on their face at a job well done.
In stifling evening temperatures in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, this local encounter proved a cagey affair throughout, punctuated by occasional moments of brilliance.
It was one such sublime passage of interplay that saw Atletico carve out their opener, with Morata the recipient of a fluid succession of passes down the middle before planting a low finish beyond David Soria.
Carles Alena returned fire seven minutes out from the interval with a ranged effort just wide of the mark, while Borja Mayoral rattled the crossbar, but otherwise both teams tended towards a more physical kind of encounter.
Getafe remained fiercely competitive however – but when Joao Felix picked off a poor pass from the back to send Morata back through again just shy of the hour mark, the latter effectively sealed the deal.
Griezmann’s breakaway finish moments after Mayoral steered a header past the wrong side of the post with a quarter-hour to spare confirmed the victory – and sets the stage for the potential of another great title battle this term.
2 – @joaofelix70 is the second @atletienglish player to provided three assists in a single @LaLigaEN game in the 21st century after Gabi in September 2011 against Sporting de Gijón at Vicente Calderón. Glove. pic.twitter.com/3c9PISqKxL
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 15, 2022
What does it mean? Atletico start with a bang
After they struggled to mount a title defence worth talking about last term, Simeone’s side have burst out of the gates this term with a clinical first performance to whet the appetite.
They managed five shots on target from 12 overall, and if some less-than-stellar goalkeeping may have aided them, they still converted that into an impressive three goals.
Morata makes his mark
The forward has endured something of a merry-go-round career in the last few years – shipped on loan to Atletico initially from Chelsea, then sent out to Juventus as soon as he arrived permanently in Madrid.
In his first league game for the club since joining them two years ago, he reminded fans of his prodigious talents on his day, with two cleanly taken finishes to celebrate.
Getafe fail to fire
While their visitors continued to challenge Soria at the back, the same could not be said for the hosts and the challenge they presented to Jan Oblak.
Getafe failed to notch a single shot on target despite their spirited performance and frequent threat – a flaw that ultimately gave Atletico the time to pull well clear of any comeback chance.
Atletico Madrid head back to Wanda Metropolitano for their first home game of the season against Villarreal on August 21, while Getafe travel to Girona a day later on August 22.