Teenage sensation João Félix inspired Atlético Madrid to a comfortable win over Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia on Tuesday night, with the Portuguese forward scoring and setting up the second for a 2-0 win.
Following a respectable 2-2 draw at home to Juventus in the opening week of the Champions League campaign, Atlético would have wanted all three points away against a stern Lokomotiv Moscow side.
After failing to find a way through in the first half, the visitors did exactly that with two goals after the break, courtesy of Félix and Thomas Partey, taking Atléti to four points from a possible six.
Lokomotiv Moscow had won their opening fixture by two goals to one away to a struggling Bayer Leverkusen team and currently sit second in the Russian Premier League behind city rivals CSKA Moscow.
With Juventus also winning, beating German side Leverkusen by three goals to nil, it was imperative that Atléti gained maximum points to keep up with the Italians.
Here's the breakdown of this one.
Key Talking Point
Whilst the key moment in any game of football is usually a goal, a particular phase of play or the support from the crowd, in this case it was Diego Simeone's half-time team talk that inspired his side to come flying out of the blocks for the second half.
The impact was almost instantaneous, with starlet João Félix opening the scoring in the 48th minute at the second attempt from an Alvaro Morata cross. Atlético Madrid maintained a high tempo and managed to grab a second through Thomas Partey after the Ghanaian met Diego Costa's cross.
A successful day at the office for Atlético, who will want to carry this form into their next Champions League outing at home to Bayer Leverkusen in gameweek three.
Starting XI: Oblak (8); Arias (7), Felipe (6), Giménez (6), Lodi (7); João Félix (8*), Partey (7), Saul (7), Koke (7); Diego Costa (6), Morata (7)
Substitutes: Lemar (6), Hermoso (N/A), Correa (N/A)
There were a few good performers in this Los Cochoneros side to choose from. Jan Oblak was assertive in the goal, making a vital double save in the second half to preserve Atléti's lead, while Thomas Partey bossed the midfield whilst also proving to be quite the creative outlet.
However, after a relatively uninspiring first half, it was the 19-year-old sensation João Félix who broke the deadlock and earned the star performer accolade.
João Félix is the youngest-ever player to score a UEFA Champions League goal for Atlético Madrid, and the first teenager to do so in 60 years.— Scouted Football (@ScoutedFtbl) October 1, 2019
19 years and 325 days old. pic.twitter.com/ws0qNqzMJB
ATLETIS TWO BEST PLAYERS OF THIS GAME BOTH ON THE SCORESHEET?— Colchoneros (@ElResurreccion) October 1, 2019
JOAO FELIX WITH A GOAL AND AN ASSIST?
There was a spell in the second half when João Félix just took control. Dropped off the front line, began to spray a few passes around, link the midfield and attack. Vision there, technical quality...but above all intelligence and maturity.— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) October 1, 2019
The Portuguese starlet played 84 minutes, amassing three shots, scoring one goal, and provided one key pass whilst being fouled twice. A solid performance after struggling in the Madrid derby.
Following this win, Atlético Madrid return to La Liga action to face Real Valladolid at the Estadio José Zorrilla on Sunday, before taking on Valencia at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Lokomotiv Moscow play Arsenal Tula at the Lokomotiv Stadium before travelling to Akhmat Grozny.