Atlético Madrid needed a response after last week’s 1-1 draw with Girona at the Wanda Metropolitano and a midweek capitulation at Sevilla in the Copa del Rey. Real Madrid’s two recent victories pushed them back into contention for that number two spot as well. With Las Palmas coming to town, many thought a response was a given, and earl on it appeared that that may have been a problem.
However, Atlético were rampant in the second half and rolled to a 3-0 win — the first time they’ve scored three goals in a league match at their new stadium.
The first half was almost a non-event as Atlético looked lethargic and uncreative in attack. Antoine Griezmann came closest when he hit the upright from a Juanfran cross with a back-heeled half-volley that would have been a contender for goal of the season.
That was about it from the first half other than a Fernando Torres shot that was dragged wide.
Diego Simeone made a change at the break with Yannick Carrasco replacing Koke in an effort to liven up their attack. It worked at the start of the half with Griezmann and co. driving forward with more purpose than they did in the opening 45.
That paid off on the hour mark when the Frenchman latched onto a through-ball from Juanfran and he made no mistake from the one-on-one. He hit the post shortly after that and Carrasco had an effort that went very close too as it look more and more likely that Atlético would run out comfortable winners.
Torres scored Atlético’s second with a sensational finish and killed the game really when Griezmann broke, played it to Correa, who helped it onto the club legend. He cut back inside and drove a shot home with his right foot.
Substitute Thomas Partey made it three with time running out on the break as Carrasco put it on a plate for him to roll home. Simeone, for all the criticism he got last week, got his substitutions spot on this time round with Carrasco in particular helping to change the dynamic of the game.
Las Palmas do look like a team who will struggle to beat the drop but Atlético needed that win with their confidence in short supply and Diego Costa, their most important player, out injured.