Morata strike hands Atletico winning start
La Liga, Wanda Metropolitano – Atletico 1 (Morata 23) Getafe 0
Alvaro Morata scored the match-winner, but also missed a penalty kick as Atletico Madrid started their La Liga campaign with a 1-0 win over Getafe.
There was much anticipation ahead of this season opener after the reconstruction of the Atleti squad over the summer. Indeed, there was room in the hosts’ starting line-up for three debutants - Joao Felix, Lodi and Kieran Trippier.
It was Trippier, signed from Tottenham Hotspur, who created the breakthrough after 23 minutes, whipping a trademark cross into the box for Morata to head home from six yards out.
Madness ensued before the break, though, when Jorge Molina was shown a red card after a VAR review before Lodi received two yellow cards within seconds to send both teams into the interval with 10 men.
Morata was presented with the chance to double Atleti’s advantage after an astonishing 30-yard dribble from Felix resulted in the award of a penalty kick, but the striker saw his effort from 12 yards saved by David Soria.
Getafe came to close to snatching a late equaliser, crashing a long range strike off the crossbar, but Atletico Madrid held on to claim an opening weekend victory for the first time since the 2015/16 season.
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TALKING POINT - Kieran Trippier gives Atletico Madrid a new dimension
A few eyebrows were raised when Trippier made the move to Atletico Madrid during the summer. After all, the right back suffered a difficult campaign at Tottenham last season and so some questioned how he would fit in at Atleti. On this basis, though, Trippier will give Simeone’s side a new dimension. The 28-year-old contributed a wonderful cross for Morata’s opener and provided the hosts with an outlet down the right all night. He has made a good start to his La Liga career.
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MAN OF THE MATCH - Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid)
This was a strong introduction from the Englishman as he made his La Liga debut. Felix caught the eye with a number of flashes of brilliance, but Trippier was Atletico Madrid’s most consistent performer over the full 90 minutes, marking his competitive debut for his new team with a wonderful assist for the match-winner. His Atleti teammates clearly already trust the former Spurs man.
Atletico Madrid - Oblak 5, Trippier 8, Savic 7, Gimenez 6, Lodi 7, Koke 6, Saul 6, Thomas 6, Lemar 5, Felix 7, Morata 6. Subs - Llorente 5, Hermoso 6, Vitolo 6.
23’ GOAL! Atletico Madrid 1-0 Getafe: It's an opener for Atletico Madrid and it has come from a Trippier cross into the box! We know he has that in his locker. The former Spurs man whipped a delivery into the penalty area and Morata was on hand to guide the ball into the back of the net with a header.
40’ VAR REVIEW! This is interesting. The referee is looking at the VAR monitor. Might he change his mind and show a red card to Molina for the foul on Thomas? This is a big moment for Getafe.
41’ SENT OFF! The referee has changed his mind and has withdrawn the yellow card shown to Molina for the foul on Thomas, instead flashing the red card to the veteran Getafe striker! That’s a hammer blow to the away team.
43’ SENT OFF! Lodi has been shown two yellow cards in the space of about a minute! This game has gone bananas! It was an aerial challenge between Lodi and Suarez. That also looks harsh! Wow.
56’ PENALTY KICK TO ATLETICO MADRID! The hosts will have a chance to double their advantage after Felix goes past three, runs 30 yards and is felled inside the penalty box! What a run!
57’ MORATA MISSES! The Atletico Madrid striker, who already has a goal to his name this evening, but sees his penalty kick saved by Soria! Morata went for power, it wasn't a bad effort, but what a diving save!
66’ Felix down! This could be an issue for the Portuguese teenager. Felix appeared to pick up an ankle knock and while this doesn't look too serious, Simeone isn't taking any chances.
87’ Off the crossbar! Inches away from an equaliser for Getafe! That's easily the closest they have come to finding the back of the net. Angel unleashes a strike from 20 yards out and the ball crashes off the woodwork.
Atletico Madrid won their La Liga season opener for the first time since the 2015/16 season.
Diego Simeone has won all 31 games against Getafe he has been manager of Atletico Madrid for - 31-0 is the aggregate score.
Alvaro Morata has scored more headed goals (17) than any other Spanish player in the Europe’s top five leagues since 2015/16.