João Félix showed no signs of rustiness as he marked his first appearance in over three months with a brace to inspire Atletico Madrid to victory over Osasuna in La Liga.
Atletico ran out impressive 5-0 winners in Pamplona and Portugal man Félix scored the first two, having been restored to Diego Simeone’s side after missing Los Rojiblancos’ previous match through suspension.
Félix was playing for the first time since starring in Atleti’s Champions League victory over Liverpool in March. The stoppage in play due to the Covid-19 pandemic came as the former Benfica attacker had found form in the Spanish capital, with two goals and an assist in his last four matches before the break.
"Goals will help me improve"
Speaking after the win over Osasuna, the 20-year-old said: “We needed a victory to lift the squad and personally for me it was very important to gain confidence and move forward. It felt really good, it was very good for me after three months without playing. Scoring two goals has given me confidence and will help me improve.
“We were united throughout the match. We played simply and converted our chances, which had not happened in many matches before. We would like to have six points [from the two matches since coming back] but four is better than three. We’re doing well and we must carry this on.”
Atletico coach Diego Simeone was clearly pleased with his record signing, telling reporters: “He’s a decisive player, very dynamic. He’s coming off a period where he couldn’t finish the preparation for the re-start [due to injury] but he has the talent. When he’s near the penalty area he’s difficult to control. He took advantage well for the first goal and got himself in a good position for the second, and we were able to play well enough to involve him.”
Atletico’s win saw them move into 4th place, having played a game more than Real Sociedad who are in action tomorrow.
By Sean Gillen