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Atletico show title credentials with emphatic win over Granada

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Atletico in seventh heaven as they return to the top of La Liga

Club Atletico de Madrid v Granada CF - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

It was Annie Oakley who sang it first: "Anything you can do I can do better; I can do anything better than you." But Diego Simeone might well be whistling the tune as he heads out of the Vicente Calderon tonight after his side put seven past Granada in a game that coincided with Yannick Carrasco’s breakout performance.

As Barcelona showed their teeth earlier in the day by dismantling Deportivo La Coruna, Atletico gnarled with just a little more ferocity against Granada by beating them 7-1 despite going down a goal in the first half thanks to a masterful volley by Isaac Cuenca.

Atletico did not panic and they responded with a Yannick Carrasco goal after 34 minutes to draw the sides level and he scored again just 11 minutes later to give the home side the lead on the brink of half time.

The goals had been coming with Angel Correa and Juanfran connecting well down the right-hand side, to which Granada had no answer for. Filipe Luis, on the left-hand side, was connecting with Carrasco and with the play spread so wide, there were opportunities arising for Atletico in central positions.

Simeone was not happy with conceding first but if he knew what was to come in the second half, he’d had rolled with the punches.

Club Atletico de Madrid v Granada CF - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Los Rojiblancos started the second half as they would continue and looked the better side from the start. Carrasco was lighting up the Calderon with exceptional decision making and through balls that would make Koke stand up and take notice.

It is fitting that he would get both his and Atletico’s third just after the hour mark with a well-taken strike from just outside the area. He ran to Simeone in celebration of the first hat-trick of his career in all competitions. Carrasco had earned his supper but the rest of the Atletico side were just getting started.

Before the smile had disappeared from the Belgian’s face, substitute Nico Gaitan had made it four before the summer signing bagged his second and Atletico’s fifth 18 minutes later with a low shot that Guillermo Ochoa could not reach in Granada’s goal.

That five on the scoreboard turned to six just minutes later when perennial substitute Angel Correa showed his worth with a lovely effort that was reminiscent of Gaitan’s just minutes beforehand - a shot that left Ochoa sprawling yet again and grasping at fresh air.

Tiago’s return from injury will prove a huge boost to Atletico’s defensive midfield but he was far from his normal post when he got on the end of a move in Granada’s penalty area and hit the roof of the net with a toe-poke that would leave Granada in tatters and Atletico at the top of the table after eight jornadas.

As the game of cat and mouse continues in La Liga, Atletico are making all the right moves and while Barcelona and Real Madrid are sure to keep pressure on them, they’ll be invoking the spirit of Oakley every time they step onto the field.

“Anything you can be, I can be greater.

Sooner or later I'm greater than you.”