Levante 0-5 Atletico Madrid: Revitalised Attack Maintains Los Indios' Title Charge

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A tremendous attacking display maintained Atletico Madrid's undefeated start to the league season and ensured their pursuit of Barcelona at the summit of La Liga continued.

The result was never really in doubt as the lively Antoine Griezmann, playing in a withdrawn role, confirmed his status as one of the most 'sought-after' strikers in European football, giving their opponents little opportunity to match their superiority in the Ciutat de Valencia stadium. 

Coming into this fixture Atletico were high on confidence, undefeated in their opening twelve league games and on the back of a 2-0 victory against Roma in the Champions League. Levante, who were sitting 13th, were far less predictable having only won one of their last six with that solitary victory coming in their last outing away at Las Palmas. 


Head coach Juan Muniz made one change to his Levante side with Rober Pier coming in to the defence. Atletico Madrid's Diego Simone made numerous changes to his side from the midweek encounter in Rome; Diego Goden and Stefan Savic came in to defence, Angel Correa was added to the midfield options, while Frenchman Kevin Gameiro partnered his compatriot Antoine Griezmann in attack. 

The match kicked off within a sedate atmosphere and both sides comfortably kept possession of the ball during the early stages. Then, in the 4th minute, the game burst into life when reinstated Kevin Gameiro picked up the ball on the right wing and used his blistering pace to burst clear. 

On entering the penalty area and the home side defence quickly retreating, the Frenchman carefully played the ball across the area towards Angel Correa; unfortunately as Levante's Rober Pier raced back he sliced the ball passed a motionless Oier Olazabal to give the visitors the lead. 


The game continued to ebb and flow with Atletico adopting a high press when Levante had possession, but making sure they kept the ball with care avoiding giving the ball away unnecessarily. In the 15th minute, Filipe Luis played a superbly weighted ball behind the home side's defence to Gameiro, who without breaking stride, raced towards goal; he was eventually out-muscled by the defence and the opportunity to extend the lead was lost.  

Levante continued to remain within the game creating half chances through Jose Luis Morales and mainly from set pieces, but without overly threatening Atletico's Jan Oblak in the visitor's goal. 

The partnership and understanding of Gameiro and Griezmann was developing and in the 21st minute the diminutive Griezmann slid a delightful through ball for Gameiro to once again use his electrifying pace to break the offside. Without hesitation, he struck his shot low and the advancing Olazabal did well to block. 

Atletico's supremacy was rewarded again in the 28th minute when a headed clearance was picked up by Correa down the left wing. Levante's high defensive line was exposed again as the Argentine remained onside and raced clear, calmly rounding Olazabal and rolled the ball towards the open goal. Defender Chema Rodriguez initially did well to block the ball, but only managed to stop it a few yards out for Gameiro who tapped it into a sympathetic empty net. 

The 2-0 half time scoreline was a fair reflection of the game and certainly not an unflattering one as Levante struggled to cope with Atletico's superior ability with the ball and their searing pace and movement when on the break, they were just unable to impose any authority on their illustrious visitors. 

The second half started in the same pattern as the first, as Atletico's dominance of the ball and calmness in possession continued as Levante laboured to get a firm foothold in the match. 


Atletico were comfortable in their own ability to maintain their lead and could up their level of performance at will if required. In the 58th minute, Griezmann showed his versatility that he is not just a goal scorer with another clever ball which opened up the home defence to fellow French international Gameiro who showed good composure to pass the ball in to the net to score his second of the night. 

As the match progressed Levante were becoming less of an attacking threat and In the 64th minute, Gameiro turned provider as he squared a ball across the penalty area to the back post for his strike partner Griezmann to thrash into the roof of the net past a helpless Olazabal.


The pace of Atletico's attacks were frightening. In the 68th minute, they extended their lead as they broke from the halfway line through Gameiro who struck a powerful drive towards the bottom corner; Olazabal initially did well to palm away straight into the path of the onrushing Griezmann who finished first time into the bulging net. 

To their credit Levante kept going until the shrill of the final whistle, however the gape in class was evident. Atletico's attacking performance and general work rate throughout the contest was one to behold and if was not for some outstanding saves from the home goalkeeper the result could have been even more embarrassing for Juan Muniz's men. 

The comfortable win sees Atletico leapfrog their fierce Madrid neighbours into 3rd place in La Liga. Although level on 27 points they go ahead of Los Blancos with a superior goal difference.