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Atlético Madrid 2-0 Getafe CF: Griezmann, Saúl complete comfortable win

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Atlético climbed to within two points of Barcelona atop LaLiga.

Club Atletico de Madrid v Getafe CF - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid cruised to a 2-0 win over nine-man Getafe on Saturday afternoon thanks to first half goals from Antoine Griezmann and Saúl Ñíguez.

With the win, Atlético extended for another season their overwhelming dominance in this mini-derbi. Since Diego Simeone’s return as manager, Atleti are 12-1-0 against Getafe and LaLiga — incredibly, with clean sheets in each match.

Though he did not play due to a thigh injury, Koke was honored pre-match for his landmark 400th appearance last Saturday against Huesca. Freshly-fit Saúl took his place in the XI, part of a midfield that was down to the bare bones. That midfield played reasonably well in the first 15 minutes, when Rodri controlled tempo but was let down by several teammates who could not string together multiple passes. Indeed, Atlético managed 68 percent possession in the opening 20 minutes but could not get off a shot.

Atlético’s first shot, though, would be their first goal. A Thomas Partey through ball on 27 minutes unlocked Griezmann to make a run into the box, and he held off two defenders to slot the opener past David Soria. Griezmann grabbed his 10th goal of the league season with that left-footed effort, and he now has 12 goals and six assists over his last 18 games in all competitions.

Ten minutes later, Saúl doubled the lead, becoming the 14th colchonero to score a goal this league season. Thomas Partey played a ball over the top that caught Lucas perfectly on his run, and the Frenchman played a good low cross to Nikola Kalinić. The Croatian’s shot was right at Soria, but Geta’s keeper could not handle the rebound and Saúl clipped the ball into the net.

The visitors took more chances to start the second half, but Jan Oblak still did not have a save to make. Tensions continued to run a little high as each team received a yellow inside the first five minutes, and Atlético also continued to have most of the ball — the hosts had 64 percent possession after an hour, a very high number for a Simeone side.

Simeone handed a home debut to promising canterano Victor Mollejo after the teenager notched 20 minutes at Huesca, and he scored almost immediately. Mollejo cut inside and unleashed a blazing left-footed effort that Soria could get only a finger on before it went over the bar.

Despite Getafe’s efforts to press a bit higher and throw bodies into the final third, José Bordalás’ men still could not challenge Oblak, and Rodri nearly grabbed Atlético’s third with a stinging close-range effort that Soria saved. On 89 minutes, Djené Dakonam was sent off for a second bookable offense — an attempt to win the ball off Thomas Lemar turned into the Togolese going through the back of his leg — and defender Leandro Cabrera was sent off in stoppage time for protesting.

Still, while the win was relatively easy, not all the news was good. Diego Godín came off at halftime as a precautionary measure due to a muscular problem — he faces an unspecified period of time sidelined as Atlético’s injury crisis rolls along.

ATM XI: Oblak; Arias, Giménez, Godín (Juanfran 46’), Lucas; Thomas P, Rodri, Saúl, Lemar; Griezmann, Kalinić (Mollejo 62’).

Goals: Griezmann 27’ Saúl 37’

GET XI: Soria; Suárez, Djené, Bruno, Cabrera; Arambarri, Maksimović (Cristóforo 66’), Portillo, Antunes (Samu Sáiz 57’); Molina (Mata 46’), Ángel.

Goals: None