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Ál-va-roads lead to an Atlético victory

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Atlético Madrid secured a fourth successive opening day LaLiga (LL) victory with a convincing 3-0 win over Getafe, extending their unbeaten H2H run to 22 games in the process.

Two of LL’s more experienced heads in the dugout went head-to-head here, but it was Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid side who struck the first blow versus Quique Sánchez Flores’ men. The hosts picked up the ball 30 yards from the Getafe goal, and some lightning-fast build-up play between Thomas Lemar and João Félix was rounded off by Álvaro Morata, who swept home from the edge of the area. Enes Ünal spearheaded Getafe’s response, but the Turkey international spurned a glorious chance to draw his side level when he bulleted a header over the bar after being left unmarked by the Atlético defence.

Despite their possessional dominance and territorial gains, Atlético struggled to carve out many clear-cut chances and were lucky to take a 1-0 lead into the break considering Borja Mayoral’s close-range effort shaved the crossbar shortly before HT. Ünal was proving to be a bit of a thorn in Atlético’s side, but he failed to truly threaten Jan Oblak between the sticks, again firing well over when he was threaded through on goal by Mayoral. Morata had spent two years on loan at Juventus prior to his return to the Spanish capital this summer, and he doubled his tally for the afternoon shortly before the hour mark. Félix pounced upon Stefan Mitrović’s loose pass and fed Morata, who made no mistake in rifling home past David Soria at his near post.

The two-goal deficit meant prospects of a Getafe comeback were bleak, but Mayoral should certainly have halved the arrears when he was given the freedom of the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez before heading wide from six yards. Antoine Griezmann made the hosts pay for their missed opportunity just seconds later as he broke from deep and fired home to put the game beyond doubt. While it may not be Madrid’s fiercest rivalry, Atlético do at least claim some more bragging rights – something they’ve been accustomed to of late, winning their last five derbies against Madrid-based clubs.

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