Marseille had to play a near perfect game if they wanted to make history and win their first ever Europa League and seal a place in next year's Champions League. If they were to lose, they would need to make some last weekend magic in order to clinch the biggest club tournament in Europe. However, Antoine Griezmann and Atletico Madrid were simply too strong and are now in a great spot heading into the international break.
The blue and white ruled possession, holding the ball for 57 percent of the game. On the flip side, they shot the same amount of times (12) as Atleti and only had two shots on goal to Madrid's four. They were also held to only one corner all game. Lucas Ocampos, Clinton Njie, and Florian Thauvin were all held in check, with them combining for more yellow cards than shots on goal (1 yellow card to 0 shots on goal).
The first goal of the game happened almost out of nowhere. An errant kick from keeper Steve Mandanda was picked up by Koke who then tipped it to Griezmann for the easy chip in. Griezmann extended the lead early in the second half to double the lead to an almost unsurpassable 2-0, with the final goal by Gabi in the 89th minute serving as merely the cherry on top for the Rojiblanco fans. The Atleti defense was dominant for much of the contest, and when they faltered, Marseille couldn't cash-in.
The game got a little scrappy as well, and the officials responded by issuing five yellow cards; three to Marseille and two to Atleti.
Marseille was dealt a major blow to their confidence early on when their best passer, Dimitri Payet, went down with an apparent injury. Madrid also lost a player in the first half when Sime Vrsaljko went dow. He was replaced by the returning Juanfran, who had missed both legs against Arensal with an injury of his own.
Atleti fans will certainly celebrate this huge win for their club. Adding a trophy to the trophy case always feels great. However they need to regroup fast if they hope to keep their momentum going. Fears over top players like Griezmann leaving stick in the back of every player, coach, and fan, and decisions will need to made as to what to do if the Frenchman decides to take his talents to Barcelona.
But whether this is his final game in the red and white or not, the Atleti faithful will not soon forget his efforts in Europa League tournament this year.