Griezmann, Morata grab brace as Atletico thrash 10-man Celtic


Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata both struck twice to help thrash 10-man Celtic 6-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday, sending the Spaniards top in Group E.

Atletico made a strong start and Griezmann opened the scoring in the sixth minute, slotting in a low shot from the edge of the box.

Celtic were then reduced to 10 men when forward Daizen Maeda received a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Atletico defender Mario Hermoso in the 23rd minute.

Some fine saves from Celtic’s veteran goalkeeper Joe Hart from close-range efforts kept them in the game and the visitors almost found a shock equaliser in the 28th minute.

Atletico keeper Jan Oblak made a stunning one-handed save to deny what would have been a comical own-goal by Morata as he attempted to clear a corner from inside Atletico’s six-yard box.

Morata made amends in added time before the break, when Griezmann found Jose Maria Gimenez with a brilliant cross from the right touchline to the far corner and he headed it to the Spain captain to tap in.

Player of the match Griezmann than scored the third with an acrobatic volley in the 60th minute and substitute Samuel Lino netted the fourth with a fine curling strike into the top left corner six minutes later.

Morata blasted home an unstoppable strike from a rebound in the 76th minute and Saul Niguez wrapped up the scoring from close-range in the 85th.

“Sure, the red card gave us an advantage, but we had started the game on top, scored early, something that we were having difficulties doing lately,” Griezmann told Movistar Plus.

“We need to continue like this. With respect to our opponents, we tried to play as well as we could, score as many goals as we could and not do anything stupid or disrespectful.”

Atletico went top in Group E on eight points with two games remaining, one point ahead of second-placed Lazio who beat Feyenoord 1-0 on Tuesday.

The Dutch side are third on six points with Celtic bottom on one point.

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