With Joao Felix on the bench and jeered by fans, Atletico Madrid began its Spanish league campaign with a 3-1 win over Granada on Monday.
Felix’s attacking teammates Alvaro Morata and Memphis Depay scored a goal each, and Marcos Llorente added another to give Atletico the opening victory at the Metropolitano stadium.
Felix is not expected to stay with the club and negotiations for his transfer remain underway. He upset Atletico fans by recently saying that he dreamed of playing for Barcelona. The crowd at the Metropolitano loudly booed Felix when he was shown on the video screens.
Depay replaced Morata in the second half and scored a spectacular goal to put Atletico back in the lead — a long-range right-footed strike that hit the top corner in the 67th minute.
“Memphis played a great match,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. “His goal was incredible. He has been working hard to be able to compete well.”
Antoine Griezmann also started in attack for Atletico along with Morata, before being replaced by Saul Niguez toward the end of the match.
Granada had equalized through Samuel Omorodion five minutes before Depay’s goal. Morata opened the scoring from inside the area in first-half stoppage time. Llorente sealed Atletico’s win deep into second-half stoppage time.
Atletico lost veteran midfielder Koke Resurreccion because of an apparent muscle injury just five minutes into the match.
Defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Caglar Soyuncu made their debuts for Atletico, which last year had a strong finish to the season and ended the league in third place, behind Real Madrid and champion Barcelona.
Atletico is unbeaten against Granada in 20 straight home matches in the league.
Granada is back in the first division after a season in the second tier.
In the other match on Monday, Cadiz scored early and held on to a 1-0 win against promoted Alaves. Fede San Emeterio put the hosts ahead with a header in the seventh minute. Cadiz played a man down from the 88th after midfielder Gonzalo Escalante was sent off with a straight red card for a hard foul.
Real Madrid won 2-0 at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, while Barcelona was held 0-0 at Getafe on Sunday.
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