Morata scores twice in Atletico win
The decision to keep Alvaro Morata is already paying off for Atletico Madrid.
Morata scored twice yesterday as Atletico began their Spanish league campaign with a 3-0 win at Getafe. Antoine Griezmann also scored coming off the bench, with Joao Felix setting up all three goals for the visitors.
There had been doubts about whether Atletico would keep Morata after his two-year loan with Juventus ended. Some teams, including Juventus and Manchester United, reportedly had shown interest.
But Morata impressed in the preseason -- which included a hat-trick against Juventus -- and Atletico ultimately decided it was worth keeping the 29-year-old striker.
"I don't need to send any messages," Morata said. "I have to keep working for myself and for my team. It was important to start with a victory. I think it's going to be a great year."
It didn't take long for Morata to show Atletico were right. He scored with a well-placed low shot from the top of the area after a nice one-touch pass by Felix in the 15th minute, then picked up another superb assist from the Portugal youngster to hit the top of the net from inside the area in the 59th.
"He is doing well, he works hard," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. "Everyone at the club hopes he will stay with us."
Griezmann came off the bench and sealed the victory with a shot from outside the area in the 75th.
Atletico finished third in the Spanish league last year, behind Barcelona and champions Real Madrid.
Madrid won 2-1 at promoted Almeria on Sunday, while Barcelona drew 0-0 at home against Rayo Vallecano last Saturday.
Real Betis opened with a comfortable 3-0 win against Elche at home despite not being able to use several of its new signings because of the league's salary cap regulations.
Juanmi Jimenez scored twice and Borja Iglesias added another for the hosts, who played with an extra man since the 16th after Elche midfielder John Chetauya Donald was sent off with a straight red card.
Betis coach Manuel Pellegrini could not count on players like Claudio Bravo, Willian Jose and Joaquin Sanchez because of the team's salary cap problems.
Betis are coming off a great season in which they won the Copa del Rey and finished fifth in the Spanish league.
Elche finished 13th last season.
Athletic Bilbao was held at home to a 0-0 draw against Mallorca in the return of coach Ernesto Valverde to the Basque Country club.