Antoine Griezmann scored twice as Atletico Madrid swept aside Marseille in Lyon to win the Europa League for the third time in nine years.
France forward Griezmann opened the scoring by punishing Andre Zambo Anguissa’s poor touch to coolly slot home, then casually dinked in a second.
Captain Gabi drilled in the third goal late on as Atletico again lifted the trophy they also won in 2010 and 2012.
The outcome could have been different had Marseille forward Valere Germain taken an early chance, before Griezmann’s lethal finishing allowed Atletico to take control.
Marseille skipper Dimitri Payet, an injury doubt before the game, lasted just half an hour before hobbling off in tears.
Without their inspirational midfielder, the French side caused Atletico just one major scare as ex-Fulham striker Kostas Mitroglou headed against the post.
‘Cold-blooded’ Griezmann one of Europe’s best
Atletico have been one of Europe’s most consistent teams in recent seasons, breaking Barcelona and Real Madrid’s stranglehold on La Liga by claiming the title in 2013-14.
Second in the Spanish top flight with one match remaining, they are on course for a top-three finish for the sixth straight season and have appeared in two Champions League finals in that period, losing on both occasions to city rivals Real.
With manager Diego Simeone in the stands – serving a four-game ban for being sent off in the semi-final against Arsenal – Atletico repelled Marseille’s early thrusts and produced a performance which has become a trademark under the Argentine.
Griezmann’s clinical double took his tally for the club this season to 30 before Gabi added the third as the Ligue 1 club tried in vain to breach a backline that has conceded just 33 goals in 58 games all campaign.
“I am very happy,” said Griezmann.
“I have been working to experience such a moment for many years. I left home when I was 14 for that. We will celebrate. My family is here.
“I don’t know how to describe the finish, perhaps cold-blooded.”
Atletico conclude their league season against Eibar on Sunday, and it remains to be seen if that is Griezmann’s last game for the club as he has been heavily linked with Barcelona.
Payet blow for France?
Payet has been Marseille’s star man this season – his 22 assists in all competitions the most by any player in Europe’s top five leagues.
The former West Ham midfielder was struggling with a thigh problem before the game and, despite being passed fit, crumpled down in the opening period and was clearly devastated as he made his way off the pitch.
France boss Didier Deschamps names his 23-man squad for the World Cup on Thursday, and Payet will be left wondering whether he will be fit.
It was his clever through ball in the sixth minute that set Germain in on goal, but the striker struck horribly wide from 10 yards out.
Former Aston Villa full-back Jordan Amavi struck a fizzing drive straight at goalkeeper Jan Oblak late on as Marseille lost their third final in this competition – twice under its previous guise as the Uefa Cup.
Defender Adil Rami said: “The final step was too far for us but we fought for everything.
“We lacked experience. Against such a team you should not try to play football. You need to knock it long and high and win second balls.
“When you try to play and lose the ball against them, that is when you are in trouble.”
Man of the match – Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
French hoodoo continues – the stats
- Atletico have won the Europa League three times, the joint-most with Sevilla since the competition’s inaugural season in 2009-10.
- Marseille have lost each of their past three major finals in European competition, without scoring a single goal. All have been in the Uefa Cup/Europa League.
- In major European finals, French sides have now lost all five of their encounters with Spanish opposition, with Marseille accounting for the past two.
- Since the beginning of the 2013-14 season, Spanish clubs have won eight of the past nine Champions League and Europa League trophies combined – Manchester United in this competition last season being the exception.
- Simeone has become just the second manager to lift the Europa League on more than one occasion, after Unai Emery (3).
- Koke now has five assists for Atletico in the Europa League – only Diego (8) has more for the club since the competition began in 2009-10.
- Griezmann has been directly involved in 12 goals in European competition this season (eight goals, four assists).
- Griezmann has been directly involved in 45% of the 94 goals (29 goals, 13 assists) that Atletico have scored in all competitions this season.
- Oblak has registered seven clean sheets in European competition this season, more than any other goalkeeper in the Champions League or Europa League.
Match ends, Marseille 0, Atlético de Madrid 3.
Second Half ends, Marseille 0, Atlético de Madrid 3.
Foul by Luiz Gustavo (Marseille).
Diego Costa (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Atlético de Madrid. Fernando Torres replaces Antoine Griezmann.
Goal! Marseille 0, Atlético de Madrid 3. Gabi (Atlético de Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Koke.
Substitution, Atlético de Madrid. Thomas Partey replaces Ángel Correa.
Attempt missed. Clinton N’Jie (Marseille) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.
Attempt blocked. Diego Costa (Atlético de Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Koke.
Jordan Amavi (Marseille) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Diego Costa (Atlético de Madrid).
Attempt saved. Jordan Amavi (Marseille) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Foul by Maxime Lopez (Marseille).
Antoine Griezmann (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Kostas Mitroglou (Marseille) hits the left post with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Morgan Sanson with a cross.
Foul by Clinton N’Jie (Marseille).
Lucas Hernández (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Lucas Hernández (Atlético de Madrid) is shown the yellow card.
Clinton N’Jie (Marseille) is shown the yellow card.
Luiz Gustavo (Marseille) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Luiz Gustavo (Marseille).
Gabi (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Marseille. Kostas Mitroglou replaces Valère Germain.
Foul by Florian Thauvin (Marseille).
Diego Costa (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Corner, Atlético de Madrid. Conceded by Morgan Sanson.
Corner, Atlético de Madrid. Conceded by Steve Mandanda.
Attempt saved. Koke (Atlético de Madrid) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann.
Corner, Atlético de Madrid. Conceded by Luiz Gustavo.
Attempt blocked. Saúl Ñíguez (Atlético de Madrid) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Antoine Griezmann with a cross.
Foul by Luiz Gustavo (Marseille).
Antoine Griezmann (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Morgan Sanson (Marseille) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.
Attempt blocked. Clinton N’Jie (Marseille) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Marseille. Conceded by Juanfran.
Attempt missed. Florian Thauvin (Marseille) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Maxime Lopez with a cross.
Foul by Morgan Sanson (Marseille).
Saúl Ñíguez (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Marseille) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gabi (Atlético de Madrid).
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44113764