Antoine Griezmann had had a rough few weeks. Since scoring a delectable brace away at Las Palmas on Jan.17, Griezmann had gone silent, and Atlético Madrid had struggled to do much in attack without the Frenchman's goals. Prior to Saturday's derby Atleti had won just two of the previous eight games and crashed out of the Copa del Rey. Four of those eight games were goalless draws. On Wednesday, frustration was evident as Griezmann bottled a splendid 1v1 chance in Eindhoven that would have netted Atleti a crucial away goal in the Champions League Round of 16 tie with PSV. Instead, that game ended...0-0.
The next day, Griezmann took to Twitter to respond to criticisms of his recent form, saying in his iPhone note that life is not easy but lapses in performance must be conquered through perseverance and, above all, confidence. The 24-year-old did not waver through his barren run, insisting he would continue to work hard at regaining his form on the way to becoming one of the best in the world.
Sure enough, on Saturday, after playing a full 90 minutes in the Netherlands on Wednesday, Griezmann did this. And just like that, the goalless drought was over.
It was a quick one-two with Filipe Luís and a splendid left-footed strike on 53 minutes which went on to separate the two sides and consolidate second place for Atlético. More importantly, the win marks three full seasons unbeaten in the league against Real - a club record. Atleti also become the first team EVER to win at the Bernabéu three seasons in a row.
However, if Griezmann has his scoring boots back, Atleti will be doing a lot more winning over the next few months.