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Griezmann, Morata lead Atletico to rout of 10-man Celtic

Antoine Griezmann Atletico Madrid Antoine Griezmann - The Canadian Press

MADRID (AP) — Antoine Griezmann and Álvaro Morata have come through for Atletico Madrid again.

The red-hot duo scored two goals each in a 6-0 rout of 10-man Celtic on Tuesday, leaving Atletico top of Group E in the Champions League.

It was Atletico’s biggest win in a UEFA club competition since its first-ever European match, when it beat Irish team Drumcondra 8-0 in the first leg of the preliminary round of the European Cup in 1958.

The home victory left Atletico with eight points from four matches, one point ahead of Lazio and two in front of Feyenoord. Winless Celtic stayed last with one point. Lazio beat Feyenoord 1-0 at home in the other group match.

“It will be a fight until the end, it will be tough,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. “The group is very tight.”

Celtic, seeking its first win in the group stage of the Champions League since 2017, played a man down after forward Daizen Maeda was sent off with a straight red card for a hard foul in the 23rd minute. The Japan international was initially shown a yellow card but video review determined he deserved a red.

“The red card gave us a good advantage, it made things easier for us,” said Griezmann, who got a standing ovation when he was substituted in the second half. “We have to keep this momentum going and keep improving.”

Griezmann and Morata had scored a goal each in the teams' 2-2 draw in Scotland in the previous round of matches. They have combined for 19 goals in the last 10 Atletico matches in all competitions.

“In the end, we know what players they are, what level they have and the life they give us when they touch the ball," Atletico defender José María Giménez said.

Griezmann has 11 goals this season — seven in the Spanish league and four in the Champions League. Morata has 12 goals — seven in the league and five in the Champions League, the most by any player in the competition so far. The Spain striker has scored five goals in his last four matches with Atletico in all competitions.

Griezmann opened the scoring six minutes into the match at Metropolitano stadium, firing a low left-footed shot from just outside the area.

Morata added the second in first-half stoppage time from close range in a buildup that started with a long cross by Griezmann, who scored the third with a volley from near the penalty spot in the 60th.

Samuel Lino added to the lead in the 66th, two minutes after coming off the bench, with a curling right-footed strike into the far corner. And 10 minutes later he set up Morata with a pass with his chest for the striker's goal with a shot from outside the area.

Saúl Ñíguez closed the scoring from close range in the 84th.

Celtic was trying to end a run of 11 games without a win in European competitions, with two draws and nine losses.

“A really tough night for sure," Celtic captain Callum McGregor said. "It’s embarrassing to lose by six goals. We have to learn and learn quick. That’s now two away games where we’ve had players sent off but we have to learn from that. This level is too difficult to play with 10 and nine men.”

Celtic next visits Lazio, while Atletico is at Feyenoord.


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