(Adds Griezmann quotes)
MADRID, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Antoine Griezmann’s second-half strike earned Atletico Madrid a first win of the Liga season on Saturday as they defeated local rivals Rayo Vallecano 1-0.
Before the Frenchman’s intervention on the hour it had been a frustrating evening for Diego Simeone’s side, who enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but struggled to break down their resolute visitors.
That all changed in the 63rd minute when Griezmann turned in Stefan Savic’s header from close range following a corner.
Angel Correa had Atletico’s best opportunity in the first half, but Rayo keeper Alberto Garcia did well to keep the Argentine’s effort out.
Shortly afterwards, the Wanda Metropolitano got its first taste of VAR as Diego Costa’s screams for handball in the penalty area were turned down by referee Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez, whose decision was vindicated by video replays as the game continued.
“We weren’t great,” France forward Griezmann said. “I’m not sure if we felt it in our legs or what, but we’ll continue to improve.”
He added: “We’re going to try and win all our games and we’ll see where it can take us. It’s great to be here and hopefully I can take the club to the highest I can.”
Atletico will be sweating on the fitness of fullback Juanfran, who hobbled off after half an hour with what the club described as a muscle problem.
The win lifts the Europa League champions on to four points after two games, while Rayo remain pointless. (Reporting by Joseph Cassinelli, Editing by Neville Dalton)