Antoine Griezmann fires Atlético past Marseille to Europa League glory

first_img Facebook Share on Facebook With German Burgos, promoted to a starring role because of Simeone’s touchline ban, glowering from the edge of the technical area, Atlético slowly squeezed the life out of Marseille. Burgos is also a former Atlético goalkeeper and, like Simeone, seems to embody the club’s self-image. He ended his first Madrid derby spattered with blood after saving a Luis Figo penalty with his nose, and was the front man for a rock band called The Garb. In 2003, he was diagnosed with cancer but survived.A mulleted, bearded barrel of a man, he paced back and forth with an oddly lethargic gait, pointing and shrugging, hands flicking from his hips to sweep through his still lustrous dark hair. Vitally, his frustrated gesticulations got Atlético pressing high enough to disrupt Marseille as they sought to pass out from the back. That induced the opener as Steve Mandanda played an awkward ball to the holding midfielder André Zambo Anguissa who miscontrolled. With the two centre-backs split, Gabi could not have had an easier pass to play in Griezmann for a straightforward finish. Reuse this content Read more It was not a final that will live long in the memory. Atlético played as they tend to at their best, holding their opponents at arm’s length, spoiling when they need to, and winning comfortably without really seeming to extend themselves. Marseille gifted them the first and were not without blame for the second, while the third was the result of a smart counter against weary opponents. The first two also involved ruthless finishes from Antoine Griezmann.The boyhood Marseille fan is likely to leave Atlético for Barcelona in the summer, which perhaps leaves a bittersweet note, but Atlético are familiar enough by now with the selling-on reality.There is much sniffiness about the Europa League but there is a sense in its later stages that it is what the European Cup used to be. These are big clubs but not superclubs, teams crafted through careful work in the transfer market rather than epic splurges every summer, teams for whom success is not a given, a privilege of rank, but must be scrapped for and is perhaps appreciated rather more as a result. And Atlético, as Rudi Garcia pointed out, are bigger than his Marseille side, far more experienced in major games.“This season was a tough one,” said Simeone, “but this Europa League represents more than the Europa League trophy – it shows the value of hard work and persistence, or keeping at it and working hard. We lost two Champions League finals [in the recent past]. We didn’t start the Champions League very well [this time] but reinvented ourselves in this competition. All that hard work will bear fruit in the end.”And let nobody suggest to Marseille fans the Europa League does not matter. In the stands, their white shirts outnumbered the red-and-white of Atlético by around three to one. They were noisy and raucous and before a kick-off delayed by the overrunning of the pre-match entertainment, set off dozens of red flares, swaddling the arena in thick smoke that lingered for most of the game – certainly for longer than Marseille’s hope of success. Valère Germain missed a great early chance after being slipped in by Dimitri Payet but after that Atlético were rarely threatened. Pinterest Antoine Griezmann lifts the ball over Steve Mandanda to score his second goal of the night to put Atlético Madrid 2-0 up against Marseille in the Europa League final. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images Share on Twitter The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Twitter Topics Share via Emailcenter_img Atlético Madrid Marseille 0-3 Atlético Madrid: 2018 Europa League final – as it happened Europa League Share on WhatsApp Worse followed for Marseille as they lost Payet to what appeared to be a tweaked groin just after the half-hour. It later emerged he had broken the cardinal superstition and had touched the trophy on his way on to the field. He was in tears as he left the pitch and received a consolatory hug and kiss on the cheek from Griezmann, his France team-mate.The possibility of a Marseille comeback was significantly diminished four minutes into the second half, moreover, with Griezmann sending a bouncing ball infield for Koke, whose return pass found a gaping hole between the centre-back Adil Rami and the full-back Jordan Amavi. Griezmann ran on and deftly clipped his shot over Mandanda.In an age in which it can seem as though no lead is ever truly safe, there is a welcome solidity to Atlético. There was a minor scare as the substitute Kostas Mitroglou headed against a post but no Simeone side were ever going to give up a two-goal lead. Gabi’s slick third merely confirmed what had long seemed inevitable. Share on LinkedIn match reports Share on Pinterest Another success for Diego Simeone and Atlético, and another success for Spain in the Europa League. Eight of the past nine winners of European competitions have been Spanish – and Real Madrid could made it nine out of 10 in Kiev next week.La Liga has also provided nine winners of the Europa League in the past 15 years and this was a third in nine seasons for Atlético, two of them under Simeone – although he was confined to the stands after he was sent from the touchline during the first leg of the semi-final against Arsenal. Share on Messenger Marseillelast_img read more

NB officials urge people to evacuate their neighbourhoods as floodwaters rise

first_imgFREDERICTON – The Emergency Measures Organization in New Brunswick is encouraging people to leave certain neighbourhoods in Saint John due to rising floodwaters that could surpass water levels in 2008.The organization says access to several areas, including Randolph, Westfield Road, Ragged Point Road and Beach Road, is limited and expected to be completely cut off by worsening flooding in the region.It says the voluntary evacuation notice could affect about 1,900 people, who should make their own arrangements or go to the Carleton Community Centre or contact the Canadian Red Cross.The EMO says water levels along the Saint John River are expected to continue to rise through the week, isolating homes and leading to further road closures.It says water levels were at about five metres in Saint John and could reach 6.6 metres by Sunday, exceeding the 2008 flood level by over a meter.EMO says people in southern regions of the Saint John River basin should be on high alert and expect similar or worse conditions than previous floods in communities stretching from Jemseg, Gagetown, Hampstead, Oak Point south to Quispamsis.In the Fredericton region, water levels are forecast to remain at their current levels, but these elevated levels are expected to continue over the coming days without significant signs of receding. There is still snow in northern regions, which will contribute to sustained flows as it melts.last_img read more