Antoine Griezmann Inspires Atletico Madrid To Europa League Final Victory

Getty Images

Getty Images

Despite the ban, a stellar performance from Atletico star Antoine Griezmann, who scored two of Atletico's three goals, along with an unfortunate injury to Marseille star Dimitri Payet, was enough for Atletico to win the matchup.

Marseille coach Rudi Garcia pointed to early mistakes as the cause of the loss of his side's momentum.

Simeone's side scored their first opportunity of the second half, too, as just four minutes in Saul Niguez was quickest to a loose ball near the halfway line, and within seconds Koke released Griezmann to exquisitely lift the ball over Steve Mandanda and into the net. It was Marseille's best chance until substitute Kostas Mitroglou hit the post in the 81st, by which time it was already 2-0. As the outnumbered section of Red & White army of fans celebrated with abandon, the vast majority of spectators at the Stade de Lyon cascaded into hushed, indistinct chatter with Gabi's late second-half goal that sealed Atletico Madrid's third UEFA Europa League triumph.

Gil Marin, however, added: "If he decides that he does not want to continue with us, we have to respect his decision". "He's given us a lot, he gave us a leap in quality as a team".

"It was a dream of mine to win this trophy with my teammates and with Simeone", the France forward said.

"Now is not the time to talk about my future".

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The striker missed a penalty in the 2016 Champions League final against Real Madrid which his side lost in a shootout and that made him more determined to perform against Marseille.

Torres, 34, is due to leave his boyhood club this summer - and finally won his first trophy at Atletico in his 403rd appearance.

"We've reinvented ourselves in this competition, and against Arsenal (in the semi-finals) we showed what we're all about".

Asked about the speculation, Simeone said that he would respect the striker's decision. "I have a great communion with my players and I can be at home or in the hotel but they will still play the same way", the 48-year-old manager concluded.

The scoreline mirrored the Spanish side's last Europa League final win over Athletic Bilbao in 2012 and cemented their status as one of the continent's most consistent teams since Argentine coach Diego Simeone transformed their fortunes.

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