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Fluent Atlético too strong for OM

Club Atlético de Madrid 2-1 Olympique de Marseille
Sergio Agüero was at his scheming best at the Vicente Calderón, his fourth-minute strike setting the hosts on course for a well-earned Group D victory.

Sergio Agüero celebrates his early goal against Marseille
Sergio Agüero celebrates his early goal against Marseille ©Getty Images

Big performance
Javier Aguirre admitted Agüero has not been firing on all cylinders lately, but there was no sign of any malaise in the Spanish capital as he put in a stellar performance. The Argentinian took just four minutes to make his mark with a skilfully-taken opener and although Erik Gerets' team equalised through Mamadou Niang soon after, Raúl García re-established Atlético's advantage midway through the half. With Agüero pervasive, there was no way back for OM a second time.

Competition's return
The match had begun with a crescendo of noise, the UEFA Champions League anthem greeted by enthusiastic applause as the home fans celebrated the return of European football's élite club competition after an eleven-year break. It did not take long for Mathieu Valbuena to remind them that there would be no welcome back party, however, as he found space before firing a shot across Leo Franco and wide of the upright.

Early lead
It proved a false dawn, and Atlético were quickly in front. Maxi Rodríguez's lofted pass to the edge of the box was lovely, but there was still a lot to do. Agüero did it delightfully, controlling first time, wrong-footing Elamin Erbate and firing home his third UEFA Champions League goal in two games. Marseille were stunned, and could have gone further behind when the Argentinian striker sprang the offside trap and forced Steve Mandanda into a scrambling save with his attempted chip.

More goals
Raúl García should have done better with a header soon after, yet the visitors kept their cool and were level on 16 minutes. Valbuena released Laurent Bonnart down the right and the full-back sent in a deep cross to the far post where it was met by the head of Niang. Parity was short-lived and Atlético restored their lead six minutes later when Raúl García directed Mariano Pernía's low free-kick inside the far post. OM again responded well, a Niang effort from distance warming Leo Franco's hands, though hopes of a comeback were hit when Hatem Ben Arfa limped off at the start of the second half.

Agüero inspired
Agüero also took a knock but was soon scheming again, teeing up a chance for compatriot Maxi Rodríguez, whose clever back-heel just evaded the upright with Mandanda struggling to make up ground. Florent Sinama Pongolle was the next beneficiary of a good exchange with Atlético's influential No10, bringing an acrobatic tip over from Mandanda. With time running out OM showed more urgency, Valbuena going close from distance and Niang rifling a left-footed volley just wide. There was no way back, however, and OM will approach their next fixture with PSV Eindhoven feeling they must win. For Atlético, it is as if they have never been away.