Atlético reach summit with PSV success

Second-half goals from Kevin Gameiro and Antoine Griezmann gave Atlético Madrid a 2-0 win that clinched first place in Group D and left PSV Eindhoven facing a matchday six shoot-out.

Highlights: Watch Atlético seal group win
Highlights: Watch Atlético seal group win

Atlético Madrid secured first place in Group D as Kevin Gameiro's first UEFA Champions League goal and yet another strike from Antoine Griezmann sank PSV Eindhoven.

Diego Simeone's men started like they had a point to prove and Gameiro, Griezmann and Diego Godín all had good chances. However, PSV regained their composure and Gastón Pereiro was denied by Jan Oblak when clean through.

But it was Gameiro who broke the deadlock after the interval with a fine, accurate finish from a Griezmann pass. Provider then turned scorer, tucking a neat shot beyond Jeroen Zoet at the near post after the goalkeeper had slipped.

As a result, Atlético maintained their 100% record in this season's competition, whereas PSV must beat Rostov on matchday six if they are to proceed to the UEFA Europa League.

Key player: Antoine Griezmann (Atlético)
The irrepressible Frenchman played a huge part in events at either end that shaped the outcome of this game. In the first half he put in a last-ditch tackle that prevented Pereiro from getting an uninhibited sight of the home goal. Then, after the restart, he wove his magic in more familiar areas, first setting up Gameiro to open the scoring before doubling the lead himself with a trademark cultured finish.

Simeone goes back to basics
This campaign has seen a new-look Atlético lining up with a forward-thinking 4-3-3. While it may have reaped rewards in an attacking sense, the defence is inevitably more vulnerable and three losses from four in all competitions meant there was pressure on the Rojiblancos. Simeone responded by reverting to his tried-and-trusted 4-4-2 formation and the result were there for all to see. The decision to draft in Tiago to shore up the middle of the park paid dividends, with the Portuguese a commanding figure. He brought defensive solidity, heralding a first clean sheet in six games, and also laid on Griezmann brilliantly for the second.

De Jong on the bench
It was a bold decision by Phillip Cocu to relegate his captain and top scorer Luuk de Jong to the bench. Yet having two mobile strikers in Steven Bergwijn and Pereiro initially helped stifle Atlético's build-up play from the back. Unfortunately it also blunted PSV's attacking prowess, with neither forward summoning the composure shown by Gameiro or Griezmann.

Reporters' views

Joe Walker, Atlético (@UEFAcomJoeW)
This was much more like it from Atlético, who put their recent domestic troubles behind them to dispatch the Dutch champions and clinch top spot in Group D. Simeone got his system spot on and for the first time in four meetings with PSV in 2016, the Rojiblancos were convincing winners. The only team in the competition with a 100% record, they will now go to Bayern München looking to make it a clean sweep.

Derek Brookman, PSV (@UEFAcomDerekB)
As so often happens at this level, the margins between success and failure were extraordinarily thin. Pereiro had a magnificent first-half chance to break the deadlock but hesitated and the moment was lost. PSV were unlikely to get many more such opportunities at the Vicente Calderón. Atlético were, and eventually started converting theirs. A deserved victory for the home side, whose class told in the end.

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