Alvaro Morata: Atletico star’s brilliant start to 2023/24 continues with Madrid derby brace

Alvaro Morata scored a fantastic brace to continue his brilliant start to the 2023/24 La Liga campaign and earn Atletico Madrid a 3-1 win over their city rivals.

The Spain international set Atleti on their way to a memorable victory after just four minutes. Samuel Lino’s cross found an unmarked Morata, who headed home beautifully past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Antoine Griezmann then doubled the host’s lead with a header of his own, although Real Madrid responded before the break via a Toni Kroos strike. However, just after the interval, Morata restored Atletico’s two-goal advantage thanks to yet another header.

This result sees Real Madrid’s win streak end at five matches, while Los Blancos also drop their first points of 2023/24. Meanwhile, Diego Simeone’s side moved up to fifth in the La Liga table.

Speaking after the win, Alvaro Morata credited the Atletico Madrid fans for their brilliant support.

“I said the other day in an interview that the fans would be crucial for us,” he said, via La Liga. “And the atmosphere tonight was sensational. We need our stadium to be like this week in, week out for every game. When it’s like that, it’s incredible.”

The victory comes at a perfect time after a deflating, last-gasp draw during the week in Europe.

“I’m happy above all for how we played as a team, and for giving so much joy to our fans,” added Morata. “We needed this as a team, too. Last week against Valencia nothing went right and against Lazio we played well but came up short. We needed a match like this as a kind of injection of energy to boost our spirits.”

The Spaniard’s double also adds to Alvaro Morata’s impressive start to this La Liga campaign.

Alvaro Morata: Atletico Madrid star leads La Liga in scoring – with impressive finishing stats

Los Colchoneros’ in-form striker now has five goals from the first five matches in the Spanish topflight. He opened his account during Atletico’s opening game against Granada, then scored two in a 7-0 drubbing of Rayo Vallecano on Matchday 3.

Overall, his five goals put him joint-top of the La Liga top scorers race, alongside Robert Lewandowski and Jude Bellingham.

But Alvaro Morata is not just scoring; the Atletico Madrid star is doing so efficiently, too. Per La Liga stats, the Spaniard has a 73% shot accuracy so far this term, which has resulted in a 45% goal conversion rate.

Even more impressively, Morata is averaging a goal every 62 minutes – truly sparkling form.

So, what has contributed to the former Chelsea forward’s upturn in scoring?

“What I need to feel is important,” Morata told DAZN (via La Liga). “This year I feel more important than in previous years. I hope we continue winning because I really want to win a title in an Atleti shirt.

“Yes, there were possibilities to move. But I sat down with the coach and told him the situation. He told me that I wasn’t moving, that it was going to be important for the team. Maybe now I feel more important than I felt in the past. Maybe I’m older, more mature, my teammates see me in a different way…

“I don’t know how to tell you, they’re just feelings. But above all, in the end, I’m a person and it affects me.”

Atletico Madrid will hope that Alvaro Morata can keep his shooting boots firing for their next game – a Thursday night visit to Osasuna.

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Featured image credit: Getty