Antoine Griezmann superb as Atletico Madrid beat Getafe, go top of La Liga
Atletico Madrid moved to the summit of La Liga following their fourth win of the season as they saw off Getafe 2-0 at home on Tuesday night. While their place at the top of the tree might only be temporary, it is a statement of intent from Atleti, who look like they mean business this season.
Playing their second match in the space of four days, Los Rojiblancos' boss Diego Simeone shuffled his pack, reverting back to a 4-4-2 system against their Madrid rivals and bringing in a number of new faces with the fixtures coming thick and fast.
The gamble paid off within five minutes, although it was first-team regular Antoine Griezmann who did the damage. The Frenchman showed a neat piece of control and confident finish to net his fourth of the season to get Atletico off to a flyer. Griezmann then made it five in the dying moments after neat work from substitute Jackson Martinez, and attention now turns to the trip to Villarreal this weekend before the visit of Benfica in Europe on Wednesday.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Jan Oblak, 6: Saved a speculative effort from distance from Angel Lafita before producing a smart low stop to deny Stefan Scepovic towards the end of the first half. Apart from that had very little to do on what was a comfortable evening for the Slovenian, who racked up yet another clean sheet.
DF Juanfran, 6: Consistently excellent at the back, Juanfran's usual attacking threat was a little out of sorts, as his final ball was lacking. Linked up well with Oliver Torres and Gabi despite his crossing not being up to its usual standards.
DF Stefan Savic, 6: The former Manchester City man made his Atleti debut and didn't have a great deal of work to do as Getafe rarely threatened. He was caught slightly out of position when Pedro Leon fired wide in the second period however can take confidence from a debut that has also resulted in a shut out, showing himself as an able deputy for Jose Maria Gimenez.
DF Diego Godin, 7: Like Savic, Godin was rarely tested but did produce a couple of dominant clearances late on to snuff out danger before Getafe could threaten. An assured presence as ever.
DF Guilherme Siqueira, 7: It looked like it might be one of "those" nights for the Brazilian, who was booked within two minutes for a reckless foul. It left him with little room for error and he could have seen a second yellow on another evening only moments later as he lunged in.
To his credit, the 29-year-old from defensively sound from that point on in addition to becoming a real thorn in Getafe's side down the left with Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco during the first half. It was his cross that led to the corner from which Griezmann opened the scoring and he continued to threaten going forwards after the break.
MF Oliver Torres, 5: Not Oliver's best evening. Lively early on but his poor pass fed Scepovic on the break in the first period and he was largely anonymous after half-time. Hooked with 25 minutes to go for the more defensively-minded Tiago as Simeone sought to see the game out.
MF Gabi, 7: The captain is looking more like his old self this year and impressed again. Can claim an assist for the first goal as Griezmann superbly controlled and finished his volley; he also covered every blade of grass for the side. Moving to the right-hand side of midfield following the introduction of Tiago, he linked up well with Juanfran and might have had another assist had Jackson Martinez not flashed a header just wide.
MF Saul, 7: Given a starting berth in the middle of the park owing to Koke's injury and the decision to rest Tiago, the 20-year-old responded with a solid performance. Broke up play well and was defensively well disciplined, keeping things simple. Fired over when well placed at the edge of the box with 20 minutes to go; however that aside, he showed promise in a role many feel will be his for the foreseeable future.
MF Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco, 6: After going close with an effort from distance early on, Carrasco looked lively on his first start league start, combining very well with Siqueira down the left in the first period. Lacked a little match sharpness in his final ball which is understandable given his lack of minutes so far this campaign. Replaced at the break by the impressive Angel Correa.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 8: Another game, another match-winning performance from the France international. Showed his predatory instincts to twice find the back of the net and never stopped running, tracking back and harrying defenders. A real talent and only getting better.
FW Fernando Torres, 6: El Nino was unable to recreate the magic from his weekend's cameo and net his 100th goal for the club but he was full of running per usual and a willing hard worker. Replaced by Jackson on the hour.
MF Angel Correa (for Yannick Carrasco), 7: An absolute livewire, Correa is a bag of tricks who always wants the ball. His low centre of gravity allows him to turn defenders and a lovely bit of skill and trickery almost gave the scoreline the added gloss of a third in the final minute of added-on time.
FW Jackson Martinez (for Fernando Torres), 7: Much more promising from Jackson, who has struggled a bit of late. Headed just wide and linked well with Griezmann and Correa. Put himself about against a couple of tough centre-backs and seemed to enjoy the physical battle, holding off Santiago Vergini before striding away and squaring for Griezmann to seal the points.
MF Tiago (for Oliver), 7: With Getafe looking to try and sneak an equaliser in the second half, the Portuguese was brought on to add a bit more defensive nous and presence to the middle of the park. Made two successive headed clearances in injury time to show his value to the side, who always look better with him on the pitch.
Joseph Walker covers Atletico Madrid for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @Joe_in_espana.