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Partey staying grounded after debut Atletico Madrid goal

By Prince Narkortu Teye

Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Teye Partey has played down his match-winning strike which lifted Atletico Madrid to the top of the La Liga table on Saturday night.

The 22-year-old scored in the 81st minutes – eight minutes after coming on as a second half substitute for Jackson Martinez – to give Diego Simeone’s men all three points in a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Levante.

The strike, La Liga’s first goal in 2016, capped a wonderful week for the Odumase Krobo-born who provided an assist in a 2-0 triumph over Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.

“I am still learning,” Partey told reporters after the game.

“There are a lot of things which I still have to learn and with hardwork, I’ll get more chances to play. I am happy with how things are.

“Everyone in the squad has the chance to play. The team is doing well and anyone can score. We’re all happy with this victory.

“We managed to win and we’re thinking of winning the next game. Nothing more.”

Saturday night’s encounter was Partey’s fifth league appearance of the season.

His coach Simeone added: “Thomas took the match where we wanted. After he came on, there was more fluidity to our game. This was an important game and a very difficult one but we’re going home happy because we’re at the top.”

Following an earlier loan spell at Real Mallorca in 2013-14, the midfielder spent the following season on another loan deal at Almeria, scoring four times in 31 matches.

With limited first team opportunities at Atletico this season, media speculations say fellow La Liga outfit Granada are observing the midfielder’s situation with an intension of acquiring him on loan by the end of the January transfer window.

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