Griezmann comes in to net Atlético’s winner against Valencia

MADRID (AP) — One second, Antoine Griezmann and Thomas Lemar were side by side waiting to enter the match.

The next moment, they were on the field giving Atlético Madrid the victory.

Griezmann scored after an assist from Lemar two minutes after they came off the bench together, and Atlético salvaged a 1-0 win at Valencia in the Spanish league on Monday.

Griezmann received a pass from Lemar and scored with a left-footed shot from outside the area that deflected on a defender before crossing the line in the 66th minute at Mestalla Stadium. They entered the match in the 64th to replace Geoffrey Kondogbia and Rodrigo De Paul.

Griezmann, yet to start this season, also scored in the opening win over Getafe.

The victory helped Diego Simeone’s team rebound from a disappointing loss to Villarreal in its home opener last weekend.

“We didn’t start well but we improved in the second half and in the end what matters is the victory and the three points,” Atlético goalkeeper Jan Oblak said. “We have a squad with several good players and everyone knows that they are important and that they can help either by starting or by coming off the bench.”

Atlético had a goal by Matheus Cunha disallowed for offside in the second half, while Valencia had a goal by American Yunus Musah called back by video review in the first half because of a foul in the buildup.

Simeone had problems setting up his defense as newly signed Nahuel Molina was suspended and Stefan Savic was out injured. Veteran Belgium international Alex Witsel played as one of the central defenders.

The loss to Atlético came on the day Valencia announced the signing of veteran striker Edinson Cavani.

The result kept Valencia winless against Atlético in 16 straight league matches, dating to 2014.

ATHLETIC ROUT

Athletic Bilbao kept its good momentum with a 4-0 rout of Cádiz, which remained the only team yet to win a point after three rounds.

Gorka Guruzeta scored twice and Iñaki Williams and Álex Berenguer added on for the visitors.

It was the second straight win for Ernesto Valverde’s team after it opened with a home draw.

Williams, who is set to play in the World Cup with Ghana, had to leave the match early in the second half with an apparent injury.

Cádiz, which barely avoided relegation last season, is yet to score and has conceded seven goals in its first three matches.

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