Morata nets double on return to LaLiga


 Djene of Getafe CF battles for the ball with Alvaro Morata of Atletico de Madrid during the LaLiga Santander match between Getafe CF and Atletico de Madrid at Coliseum Alfonso Perez on August 15, 2022 in Getafe, Spain.

Atletico Madrid forward Alvaro Morata has made a triumphant return to La Liga, scoring twice to help the visitors win 3-0 at Getafe in their opening match of the season.

Substitute Antoine Griezmann scored the third goal late on and Atletico had enough chances to make the result even more comprehensive in scorching heat on Monday.

Their inspired Portugal forward Joao Felix roamed all over the field and collected three assists.

He slipped a precise pass through for Morata, who drilled a perfectly placed shot from the edge of the box into the bottom left-hand corner of the net after 15 minutes.

Just before the hour, Felix found Morata inside the area by the far post and the Spaniard, back at Atletico after a two-year loan spell at Juventus, fired the ball into the top corner.

In the 75th minute Felix teed up Griezmann and the French striker drilled a fine shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to wrap up the points.

There had been doubts about whether Atletico would keep Morata after his two-year loan with Juventus ended. Some teams, including Juventus and Manchester United, reportedly had shown interest.

But Morata impressed in the pre-season -- which included a hat-trick against Juventus -- and Atletico ultimately decided it was worth keeping the 29-year-old.

"I don't need to send any messages," Morata said.

"I have to keep working for myself and for my team. It was important to start with a victory. I think it's going to be a great year."

Real Betis also recorded a 3-0 win in their opening game of the campaign, beating 10-man Elche in Seville.

After the visitors' John Nwankwo was red carded on 16 minutes, Betis punished them with three goals in 32 minutes with Juanmi Jimenez netting either side of halftime.

Earlier, Ernesto Valverde's latest stint at the helm of Athletic Bilbao began with a 0-0 home draw against Real Mallorca.

Athletic dominated from the start but could not capitalise on more than 20 attempts at San Mames Stadium.

Valverde, who hadn't coached since leaving Barcelona in 2020, is back for his third go at Athletic's helm.


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