Atletico Madrid took a big step towards advancing to the quarter-finals of the Europa League, thanks in large part to Saul Niguez.
The 23-year-old scored the opener in the win over Lokomotiv Moscow on Thursday evening, putting the Spanish giants in a strong position ahead of the second leg in Russia next week.
Atletico are undoubtedly fancied by many to go on and win the competition given the strength in their squad, and so sweeping Lokomotiv aside as they did in the Spanish capital this week would undoubtedly have strengthened that argument.
Niguez arguably hasn’t been as decisive as he would hope to be this season, as he’s only managed five goals and three assists in 40 appearances for Diego Simeone’s side.
However, he certainly picked his moment on Thursday, as with not a great deal on for him, he opted to left fly with his left foot and sent his effort into the back of the net to leave Lokomotiv stunned.
The Russian outfit will have their work cut out next week to keep Atleti out and turn the tie around. Few will back them to successfully do so given their deficit.