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Morata scores twice to lead Atletico over Feyenoord in Champions League

Alvaro Morata Gernot Trauner Atletico Madrid Feyenoord Alvaro Morata Gernot Trauner - The Canadian Press

MADRID (AP) — Álvaro Morata scored two goals and Antoine Griezmann added another to lead Atletico Madrid to a 3-2 comeback win over Feyenoord in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Morata scored his first in the 13th minute to cancel out an own-goal by teammate Mario Hermoso.

David Hancko made it 2-1 for Feyenoord in the 34th before Griezmann leveled the score just before halftime.

Morata then put Atletico ahead two minutes into the second half when he stretched his leg out to turn in a lobbed pass by Nahuel Molina for the winner.

“We knew we had to suffer and pulled out a good win,” Morata said. “We never lost our confidence that things would go our way.”

Morata has scored seven goals for Atletico in eight games so far this season across all competitions to go with three goals with Spain during last month’s European Championship qualifiers.

Diego Simeone’s team is trying to return to the knockout rounds after it finished its group in last place last season. Its win over Feyenoord broke a run of six straight games in the competition without a victory.

Lazio got a stoppage-time goal to win 2-1 at Celtic in the other Group E game.

Atletico and Lazio have four points. Feyenoord has three, and Celtic zero.

The Dutch champions started off better and took the lead just seven minutes into the match in Spain’s capital.

Igor Paixão was left unmarked to dribble into the area and slide a pass forward for the run of Ayase Ueda, whose shot ricocheted off goalkeeper Jan Oblak and Hermoso before going in.

The visitors almost added another goal moments later when Ramiz Zerrouki unleashed a long-range effort from near the halfway line that caught Oblak off his line and just went wide.

Morata equalized when he pounced on a pass by Koke Resurrección intended for Saúl Ñíguez that was deflected into his path. The goal was initially disallowed for offside but the ruling was reversed after a video review.

Atletico pressed their initiative and a last-second intervention by defender Gernot Trauner was needed to clear a low cross by Molina that Morata was inches from tapping in. The two would later connect for the decisive goal.

Hancko put Feyenoord back in front in the 34th when Hermoso was out of position when Atletico tried to pull an offside trap on a free kick. That left Hancko free to latch on to the lobbed pass and beat Oblak on a second attempt after the goalie stopped his initial shot.

Griezmann made it 2-2 in first-half stoppage time when the France forward scored with his back to the goal from close range. He used his left boot to flip the ball back into the net after a shot by Samuel Lino was deflected into a scrum near the goal.

After Morata struck a second time, Paixão went close to pulling Feyenoord level twice with a long strikes that almost went in.

Atletico were denied a victory in their opening game after Lazio’s goalkeeper headed in a stoppage-time equalizer to snatch a 1-1 draw last month in Rome, while Feyenoord beat nine-man Celtic 2-0 in Rotterdam in their first game.


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