Jose Gimenez Header Gives Atletico the Early Power in Group A

Atletico Madrid's Uruguayan defender Jose Gimenez celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League first round football match between AS Monaco and Atletico Madrid at the Stade Louis II, in Monaco, on September 18, 2018. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)

The Champions League is back underway as Group A saw Europa League champions Atletico Madrid face Monaco. Diego Costa and Jose Gimenez’s first-half goals gave Atletico Madrid the three points, despite conceding first after Samuel Grandsir’s early goal for AS Monaco.

Atletico Have the Early Power in Group A

Monaco Take Surprising Lead

It has been a dreadful two years for the Ligue 1 side. Bernando Silva, Thomas Lemar and Benjamin Mendy all featured in Monaco’s terrific run in 2016/17. A few years later, Monaco failed to get out the group stage and now face a challenging task to finish in the top two against Dortmund, Atletico and Club Brugge. It was to everyone’s surprise when Samuel Grandsir got an early goal for Monaco. The 22-year-old was found in the centre of the box as his right footed shot find the bottom corner.

Diego Costa and Jose Gimenez Strike Back

It has been a stressful 12 months for the Diego Costa. After missing the first half of the season, the Spanish side was knocked out in the group stage to everyone disappointment.  Despite conceding an early goal, Diego Costa struck back after the half an hour mark. Antoine Griezmann found the Spaniard in the centre of the box as his shot found the bottom left corner. After a very even first half, it would of been fair to go in level. However, Jose Gimenez used his height to his advantage by heading in a late goal in the first half. Koke’s corner was found the Uruguayan as the defender rose the highest to head Atletico in front.

Atletico Back in Champions League and Can be One of the Favourites

AS Monaco were the underdogs heading into this game and it could have been a dream start. This French side have seen a lot of changes over the past year so you would say it is a work in progress. Atletico, on the other hand, have dealt with a massive blow of getting knocked out of the group stage last season. No doubt it was not a pleasing performance on the eye for many Madrid fans. But grinding out a win away is the major positive and they have time to still improve. It could be a good tournament for Diego Simone’s men.

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