Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone praised the impact of Antoine Griezmann amid transfer speculation after netting the winner in Monday’s 1-0 victory at Valencia.
Griezmann once again came off the bench just past the hour mark, making the decisive impact with a deflected 66th-minute strike after receiving a pass from fellow substitute Thomas Lemar.
The Frenchman is on a two-year loan at Atletico from Barcelona, and Los Rojiblancos have been using him for under 30 minutes in each match to avoid triggering a purchase clause in his contract.
Simeone told reporters:
“As long as Griezmann manages to respond as he does, having him on the field is very important and I understand that you have to put him on when it suits the team best.
“The entry of Lemar and Griezmann gave us more peace of mind to impose the team’s game.”
Yannick Carrasco, a half-time substitute, has also been linked with a move away from Atleti, with Tottenham reportedly interested.
Simeone said about the Carrasco speculation:
“You can’t imagine it, and it’s normal for all coaches except for some.
“Something can always happen that is important for the clubs. We are not the owners but coaches.”
There were two crucial VAR interventions in the win over Valencia, with Yunus Musah’s thunderbolt ruled out after a foul in the lead-up on Joao Felix was spotted.
A last-man foul on Valencia defender Thierry Correira sent him off in the 42nd minute.
But that was downgraded to a yellow card after a VAR review.
Simeone said about Musah’s disallowed goal:
“When the play started, it was a foul.
“The referee didn’t see it. The goal came, and then with the VAR, he did see it.
“On the second play, I didn’t go for a goal, they told him, no, and I missed it.
“It’s always fair what happens, and then there is no going back.”
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