Atlético Madrid's trademark defensive habits provided a strong platform as Diego Simeone's men began 2017 with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Las Palmas to put one foot in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals.
The home side dominated possession for much of the contest and produced some eye-catching football but struggled to break through the stubborn defence of an Atlético side which inflicted a first home defeat on Las Palmas in any competition since March 2016.
Atlético’s performance in the first half was vintage Cholismo, as they took the lead through Koke against the run of play before then sitting back and absorbing pressure rather comfortably.
Las Palmas continued to enjoy more of the ball in the second half, with Jonathan Viera particularly lively, but were caught out at the back just after the interval and Antoine Griezmann added a second from close range.
Kevin Gameiro should have put the tie beyond doubt a few moments later, though Atlético were ultimately not made to rue that miss, keeping things tight at the back to take a commanding lead to the Vicente Calderón for next Tuesday's second leg.
Las Palmas looked the more purposeful of the two sides during the early exchanges and caused Atleti some bother in the 14th minute, but Miguel Ángel Moyà was alert as Asdrubal headed Viera's cross straight at the goalkeeper.
Atlético looked swiftly to take charge and Koke fired a warning shot shortly after, hammering into the side-netting from the left corner of the penalty area.
And the hosts failed to heed that warning, as Koke put Atleti ahead in the 23rd minute – the Spain international finishing off a counterattack by sending a fierce 20-yard effort into the bottom-left corner.
Los rojiblancos showed little attacking intent thereafter until the break, challenging Las Palmas to break them down, and Quique Setién’s men failed to pose much of a threat.
Las Palmas' task was made even tougher five minutes after the restart. Šime Vrsaljko's right-wing cross brilliantly picked out Kévin Gameiro at the back post and the Frenchman nodded the ball across the face of goal for his compatriot Griezmann to head into an empty net.
Gameiro should have had a goal of his own soon after, but he blasted wide from 18 yards under pressure from Aythami Artiles at the end of a rapid break.
Las Palmas plugged away during the final stages and caused problems, with Vicente Gomez forcing Moyà into a good save from just inside the area.
But Atlético never looked like surrendering the lead and will be huge favourites to progress in the second leg.