Published: Mon, April 10, 2017
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Antoine Griezmann strikes late to deny Real Madrid on derby day

Griezmann faces one of those interested parties on Saturday when Atletico take on Real in the Madrid derby. Griezmann will be the focus of Atletico's attack come Saturday, April 8 when his team will try to derail Real's march toward the Spanish league title. "He has grown enormously because he has wanted to improve, to mature from a youth and be a man on the field".

For Griezmann, a win that would help Atletico strengthen its hold on third place and an automatic Champions League berth is a matter of collective faith.

"I always want what's best for our footballers who bring the team to life, like Antoine and many others who have been through the club", he told reporters. "But. we have to fight for it", Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said.

During a tense opening 45 minutes Cristiano Ronaldo saw his effort headed off the line and Griezmann forced a good save from Keylor Navas. He also contributed to its 4-0 rout of Madrid at home in the 2014-15 season.

Ramos was disappointed with Madrid's result but is now looking forward to a significant two weeks of the season, with league matches against Sporting Gijon and Barca plus a Champions League quarter-final tie with Bayern Munich coming up.

Both players in question have consistently dismissed talk over their future and so there is no real certainty that Real's plans will go ahead, but it's undoubtedly an ambitious strategy as they look to sign two of Europe's top players and they seemingly have the financial power and appeal to make it happen.

"You can't wonder how to stop him", Zinedine Zidane said about Griezmann.

Atletico are the only team to have faced Zidane's Madrid away from home and kept a clean sheet, while Diego Simeone's side had won on their last three visits in the league, but they were second-best for the majority of a sun-baked encounter.

"We played a great game against a great rival, but we dropped our guard for one moment", Real midfielder Casemiro said.

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