¡Vamos, Atleti, vamos... Vamos, Atleti, oé...! The fans in the south stand were in fine voice last night chanting and prompting the rest of the stadium to sing along and at times struggled to get the atmosphere fired up. A new experience in a wonderful setting and new surroundings contributed perhaps to a strange overall sensation. What was unfolding on the pitch was also hardly inspiring as Atleti played with a 4-4-2 system and toiled against a dogged Malaga side. At the interval, the conversation focused on how majestic the new ground was, fit to host major finals...but. The but centered on the action where the home side seemed overwhelmed by the occasion despite the fans in the south stand doing their best to whip up the atmosphere.
Griezmann makes history
Simeone shuffled his pack at the break bringing on Carrasco for Thomas and moved to a 4-3-3 formation. The Belgian international added sparkle to proceedings and after the hour mark Griezmann latched onto a Correa assist to break the deadlock. So it fell to the French international who may feared would depart the club over the summer to write his name in the pages of the club's history with the inaugural goals at the Wanda Metroploitano. In doing so he also secured a degree of clemency from certain sectors of the Atleti fan-base angry at his insinuations that his future lay elsewhere.
I have no doubt that in the future we'll see better games of football at this new stadium (and maybe one or two even poorer) but last night's game will always be remembered for being the inaugural game. The important thing is that after so much waiting the game finally happened. It was a wonderful opportunity for Atlético to show-off their spectacular new ground with the international footballing world looking on. The night wasn't without it's glitches as the fancy looking electronic scoreboards packed in after the Atletico goal but that aside the move to the new ground is a huge leap forward for Atletico Madrid as a club.