Atletico thrash Las Palmas despite Griezmann rest

AFP , Saturday 17 Feb 2024

Atletico Madrid moved provisionally third in La Liga with a thumping 5-0 victory over Las Palmas on Saturday.

Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid s Dutch forward #09 Memphis Depay celebrates scoring his team s fifth goal during the Spanish league football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and UD Las Palmas at the Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on February 17, 2024. AFP


Marcos Llorente and Angel Correa struck twice each and Memphis Depay was also on target as Diego Simeone's side strolled to victory despite resting key player Antoine Griezmann.

Trailing league leaders Real Madrid by 10 points despite the victory, Simeone decided to keep the French forward fresh for Tuesday's Champions League last 16 visit to face Inter Milan.

Without the injured Alvaro Morata, Atletico lined up with Correa and Llorente up front and it worked perfectly against promoted side Las Palmas, flying high in eighth.

"I'm very happy, given the effort the team made, what we planned worked well," Correa told DAZN.

"We stole the ball back to get the early goal and from there it was all easier."

Llorente pounced from close range to put Atletico ahead after 15 minutes and then struck again shortly afterwards with another simple finish.

Correa extended Atletico's lead with a volley at the start of the second half and then added a penalty.

Depay wrapped up the win after he was sent through, firing home with aplomb to complete the demolition of what had been the division's second strongest defence.

"It's painful because we believed in our chances... we have to learn from the defeat and carry on," said Las Palmas defender Sergi Cardona.

"We made mistakes that Atletico don't let you get away with."

Atletico overtake Barcelona on goal difference but the champions visit Celta Vigo later Saturday.

On Sunday leaders Real Madrid visit Rayo Vallecano, while second-place Girona visit Athletic Bilbao on Monday.

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