By Ken Andrew
La Liga action resumed on Thursday with three matches on the card following the conclusion of the World Cup.
Atletico Madrid welcomed Elche to the Metropolitano Stadium as they celebrated their world cup winners, Rodrigo De Paul, Angel Correa and Nahuel Molina. French World Cup finalist Antoine Griezmann returned to the starting line up alongside other World Cup stars such as Joao Felix and Alvaro Morata.
The biggest moment in the first half was Elche’s captain, Gonzalo Verdu being sent off. He was adjudged to have denied Alvaro Morata a clear goal scoring opportunity.
The match really kicked off in the second half as in form star Felix handed Atleti the lead in the 56th minute. The goal came after Atleti’s Mario Hermoso was given his marching orders after a second yellow in the 53rd minute. Alvaro Morata, who scored thrice at the world cup, closed the scoring in the 74th minute, securing the win for the Rojiblancos.
Elche’s Domingos Quina, also saw red in the 90th minute.
The win sends Atleti to 3rd on the table on 27 points.
Atletico next welcome Barcelona to the Metropolitano on January 8th.
Meanwhile, top four challengers Real Betis and Athletic Club played out a 0-0 draw at the Benito Villamarin. Both teams still have a realistic chance of finishing in the top four.
Finally, Girona drew 2-2 at home against Rayo Vallecano.
Following its resumption, four La Liga matches are lined up today with champions Real Madrid also in action.
La Liga matches (30th December 2022)
Getafe vs Mallorca (7pm)
Celta Vigo vs Sevilla (9.15pm)
Cadiz vs Almeria (9.15pm)
Valladolid vs Real Madrid (11.30pm)