Atlético have started the new Copa del Rey campaign brightly with a 5-0 win over Universidad de Las Palmas.
Quique Sánchez Flores, who sat out his one match suspension, didn’t line-up his strongest XI, and allowed some of the reserves a run out.
But even against Atleti’s second choice midfield the Gran Canarians didn’t stand a chance. We lined up with Camacho, Mario Suárez and Raúl García in midfield to provide some stability while Agüero, Diego Costa and Fran Mérida were allowed to take on Universidad’s defence.
And it was our Argentine who was given the biggest opportunities of the first half. But he twice failed to keep his cool, first in the 17th minute and later when Raúl García played a lovely long ball into the box.
But Agüero got his personal revenge when he scored a stunning goal right before half time. He received the ball in the opposition’s half and accelerated, leaving three defenders behind, before calmly slotting it past goalkeeper Vargas.
It was the second goal of the night. Twenty minutes earlier Diego Godín, our most prolific Uruguayan in recent weeks, headed in the opening goal from a Fran Mérida corner.
At the start of the second half Atlético were gifted two goals to lift the score from two to four-nil.
First a clearance from Universidad rebounded against Diego Costa, and the Brazilian striker didn’t hesitate as the ball fell before his feet and slotted it past Vargas in the 49th minute.
Only four minutes later Diego Costa was again gifted the ball inside the box, but this time by the goalkeeper himself. Costa passed it to Agüero who could simply put it in the back of the net.
Fran Escriba, our coach in charge today, used the remaining half hour to rest some players and introduced Atlético B-winger Alberto Perea.
Perea showed some nice footwork while he was on the pitch, and could have scored from a superb pass by Fran Mérida, but he hesitated too long inside the box.
Mérida himself was the last player to get on the scoresheet. Five minutes before full time Reyes dribbled all the way to the goalline and pulled it back for Fran, who scored his first goal for Atlético in an official match.
It was only after we had scored our fifth of the night that Universidad finally put De Gea to work, when captain Sánchez tested the young goalkeeper. De Gea managed to maintain his clean sheet as we cruised to a comfortable 5-0 victory in our first Copa del Rey match of the season.
The return leg is in two weeks in the Vicente Calderón.
Line-up: De Gea; Ujfalusi, Perea, Godín (“52 Filipe), López; Mario Suárez, Camacho, Raúl García (“66 Alberto Perea), Fran Mérida; Agüero (“71 Reyes) and Diego Costa.
Goals: 1-0 Godín (“24), 2-0 Agüero (“41), 3-0 Diego Costa (“49), 4-0 Agüero (“53), 5-0 Fran Mérida (“84)