Thomas Partey scored a last-minute winner as Atletico Madrid recovered from two goals down to maintain their perfect start to the LaLiga season with a 3-2 victory against Eibar.

The home side looked set to drop points in Sunday's match after conceding twice inside the opening 20 minutes of a home league game under Diego Simeone for the first time, with Charles and Anaitz Arbilla defying the form book at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Joao Felix scored his first LaLiga goal to start the comeback before the half-hour and Vitolo, introduced at the interval, dragged his side back onto level terms early in the second half against an Eibar side still without a win this season.

Los Rojiblancos carved out 1-0 victories over Getafe and Leganes in their initial matches and they showed true fighting spirit as Thomas poked home to lift Atletico above Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla to the top of LaLiga.

Joao Felix can become "one of the best", according to Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

Atletico beat Leganes 1-0 courtesy of a second-half goal from Vitolo, who was played in by €120million signing Joao Felix for the decisive strike.

Oblak heaped praise on the 19-year-old's performance while hailing the team's game management across a contest in which they survived 10 attempts on goal from Leganes.

"I knew he had great talent, great potential," Oblak said of his Portugal international team-mate.

"The club has made a lot of effort to bring him here and we all agree that they have brought a high-quality player and that he can become one of the best, for sure.

"At the moment he is playing very well and hopefully he continues like this, giving us joy.

"It was a complicated game. Any team will have problems here against Leganes.

"Vitolo came on and scored the winning goal but in general the whole team played in the best possible way. We have defended well, we have suffered.

"It is important to know how to suffer because you cannot dominate the whole game."

Diego Simeone echoed Oblak's comments about Leganes, against whom he fielded a back three rather than his usual four.

The approach paid off as Atleti ground out a second win in as many games.

Simeone told reporters: "We needed to win and tried to do so in different ways. We changed things around and we won.

"Leganes never allow you to relax - they're very strong at home."

Vitolo spared Atletico Madrid's blushes as Diego Simeone's side claimed a slender 1-0 triumph at Leganes to make it two wins from as many games this season.

Atletico looked to be in danger of dropping their first points of the season on Sunday, having beaten Getafe in their season opener, but substitute Vitolo finished coolly 19 minutes from time to seal the victory.

Alvaro Morata was one of few players to look even remotely threatening in the first half, with proceedings not offering much excitement until the second half, which saw a flurry of action early on.

Both sides struck the frame of the goal and Joao Felix wasted a glorious opportunity, but the €120million signing made amends by setting Vitolo up for the winner.

Atletico shaded a generally drab first period, with Morata the only player to go close.

He first shot wide from Koke's low cross in the third minute and half an hour later latched on to Kieran Trippier's lofted ball only to be thwarted by the approaching Juan Soriano as he attempted to prod an effort over the goalkeeper.

The second half began in much livelier fashion – Joao Felix spurning a glorious chance in the 50th minute when needlessly attempting a scissor-kick from 12 yards with the goal gaping.

Leganes went even closer soon after when Jonathan Silva's free-kick struck the crossbar, before Koke nudged a Morata cross onto the post.

Atletico eventually wrapped up the win in the 71st minute, as Joao Felix drove in from the right, picked out Vitolo in the box and the forward swept home confidently with his left foot.


What does it mean? Simeone's tactical alteration does not backfire

Simeone opted to deploy a back three, a change from the usual four-man defence. While it might have seemed a strange decision given they were expected to win anyway, it certainly did not hinder Atletico.

After all, the free-kick aside, Leganes rarely threatened. Given Atletico's numerous centre-back options this season, we may well see more of that back three.

Vitolo a driving force

Introduced for Mario Hermoso after an hour, Vitolo had a fine impact off the bench. The winger has had a difficult time since joining from Sevilla, but he looked more like his old self on Sunday, getting into scoring positions and worrying the defence with some driving runs.

Omeruo invites pressure

While Dimitrios Siovas mostly looked solid at the back for Leganes, Kenneth Omeruo was anything but. The Nigerian centre-back made several mistakes that put his team on the back foot and he often appeared shaky.

What's next?

Atletico return to the Wanda Metropolitano next Sunday to host Eibar. Leganes go to Real Betis a day prior.

Joao Felix is Atletico Madrid's new record signing having joined from Benfica for a whopping €126million, meaning the pressure is on for him to succeed and the omens aren't great.

A fine talent in his own right, Joao Felix scored 15 goals and set up another seven in 26 Primeira Liga games last season, while also impressing with his technical ability and creativity.

But at just 19 years of age, it's a huge price tag to live up to and Atletico's record of signing creative players and forwards in recent years has been verging on woeful.

While Antoine Griezmann has proven a huge success, few others since he joined can be considered as such, while the Frenchman is expected to leave.

With Joao Felix brought in as his replacement, we look back on the other players brought to add a bit of craft since Griezmann signed.


Alessio Cerci - €15m

Technically gifted and clearly talented, Cerci secured a move to Atletico after scoring 13 Serie A goals and setting up 11 for Torino the previous season. But things started badly in LaLiga, as he was overweight when signing and managed just a smattering of appearances before being loaned out to AC Milan. His career has never really recovered.

Angel Correa - €8m

A heart problem delayed Correa's initial introduction, but he showed real promise once he was fully integrated into the squad. Although clearly a useful squad player, it is not so farfetched to suggest the 24-year-old is yet to live up to those early expectations, as he only scored three times in 36 league games last term. If played a little further forward, he might just thrive.


Yannick Carrasco - €25m

An up-and-down first season was followed by a hugely promising second campaign at Atleti for Carrasco. The Belgian scored 10 in LaLiga and his skillset appeared to make him the perfect winger for Simeone's system, which required athleticism, enterprise and proactivity. But he partially regressed in 2017-18 and was subsequently deemed dispensable, joining China's Dalian Yifang.

Luciano Vietto - €20m

Although predominantly an out-and-out striker, Vietto showed himself to be well-rounded during his solitary season at Villarreal, and the fact he had worked with Simeone at Racing Club meant it was surely a fool-proof transfer. However, he scored just once in 25 games, converting three per cent of his shots and was little better in loan spells at Sevilla, Valencia and Fulham, despite starting well at the former. He has since been sold to Sporting CP for about €7.5m.

Jackson Martinez - €37m

Granted, Martinez was not signed to offer any kind of creativity, but he highlights the fact Simeone has also struggled to integrate many strikers. Martinez arrived following three fine seasons at Porto, but he scored just twice before being offloaded to China, where injuries restricted him badly. He spent 2018-19 back in Portugal with Portimonense attempting to rebuild his career, though Guangzhou Evergrande still own him.



Nico Gaitan - €25m

Hailed as a fine addition due to his ability to play on either flank, Gaitan joined Atletico with a big reputation. While he was by no means a humiliating failure, he made very little impact on the first-team, making just 12 LaLiga starts in about 18 months. Another who was sold to the Chinese Super League, he is now in MLS with Chicago Fire.

Kevin Gameiro - €32m

A classic Monchi signing at Sevilla, Gameiro impressed as a partner to Carlos Bacca and as a lone frontman. However, at Atletico Simeone often deployed the Frenchman as more of a winger and that impacted on his effectiveness in front of goal, scoring 27 in 82 games. His conversion rate (24.1 per cent) is the second best of Atletico players with a minimum of five goals under Simeone, however, suggesting he might have netted more if played through the middle regularly.


Vitolo - €36m

Another signed from Sevilla, the purchase of Vitolo was a massive ordeal given the legal dispute it spawned, with his former club adamant he had verbally agreed to a new contract including a bigger release clause. As it happened, Atletico probably wish they hadn't bothered. He has scored four goals and set up another five in 51 games, starting only 20. He is tipped to leave this year.


Gelson Martins - €22m

Gelson joined having rescinded his Sporting contract after incidents of violence with the club's fans, though Atletico did eventually have to cough up some money. He made one LaLiga start before being loaned to Monaco in January, where he will remain on a permanent basis. He attempted more dribbles (28) than the number of shots (11) and chances created (six) combined.

Thomas Lemar - €70m

A star of the Monaco side that won the 2016-17 Ligue 1 campaign and reached the Champions League semi-finals the same season, Lemar was seen a big coup for Atletico. Three goals and as many assists was all he had to show for his debut LaLiga season, however, a poor amount given his fee. Used to being deployed in a freer role, he still seems to be adapting to life with Simeone.

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