Monday, 20 August, 2018

Europa League final: Antoine Griezmann's final bling for Atletico Madrid

Antoine Griezmann's stardust guided Atletico Madrid to a third Europa League title as the Spanish club outclassed Marseille on a memorable night in Lyon Europa League final: Antoine Griezmann's final bling for Atletico Madrid
Kristopher Love | 16 May, 2018, 11:07

The two sides come together for 2018's Europa League final at Lyon's Parc Olympique Lyonnais on Wednesday, and many expect Atleti to continue both their flawless record and Marseille's losing one.

Payet, who returned to Marseille in January 2017 after a successful yet troubled stint at West Ham United, urged his side to make the most of any chances that fall their way against Atletico and said they may have to win ugly. "He will always ask for the best of me and make me do my best, and I will always be there to help him and help win the games", the French global added.

Marseille face a daunting task in Wednesday's showpiece at the Groupama Stadium, with Diego Simeone's men the favourites to lift the trophy in Lyon, Griezmann a substantial reason for that status.

One thing Marseille do have on their side is experience, with Thauvin and Payet having played in the Premier League while Luiz Gustavo and Adil Rami also have plenty of big matches under their belts. He will spearhead the attack alongside Diego Costa.

Marseille is the only French side to have won the Champions League in 1993, but since then has lost twice in the UEFA Cup final, as the Europa League was formerly known.

"I want my players be calm".

"They are very solid and have the best defensive record in Spain but they are risky in attack too", he said. We have to try and impose our style of play and take the game in the direction we want. "We're also strong on free kicks". Simeone was charged with insulting a match official and improper conduct.

However, he said his team would be in safe hands with his loyal assistant coach German "Mono" Burgos.

"I'm very close to German. We know each other for a lifetime, we have similar feelings and understanding of football". "What's going through his mind is doubtlessly going through mine".

The 37-times capped France playmaker's fitness has been the biggest concern for Marseille fans in recent days, and they will have been pleased to hear him say he is fine after a minor muscle injury prevented him from playing in their last league game.

The Los Rojiblancos however, have not beaten a French club in France since September 1961, when they won 3-2 at Sedan in the first round of their triumphant European Cup Winners' Cup campaign. "Our legs, our heads, our hearts".