La Liga: Atlético 3 – 0 Deportivo
Convincing win for Atleti with goals from Griezmann, Saúl and Correa
Atlético Madrid kept up the chase with Barcelona on Saturday evening, after a convincing 3-0 win over Deportivo at the Vicente Calderón.
Still eight points behind Barca, Atleti’s title hopes are fading, but they soldiered on with a good display against a struggling Deportivo side.
Luciano Vietto got the nod to start up-front with Antoine Griezmann after Fernando Torres picked up an injury, whilst Yannick Carrasco returned to the starting eleven for the first time since recovering from injury.
The first real chance of the game fell to José Giménez, who got his head to a perfectly crossed Koke free kick from outside the area. The Deportivo defender got just enough on it to distract the Uruguayan and the ball sailed over the top of the crossbar.
It wasn’t long after that Atlético opened the scoring, and it was Saúl who grabbed his eighth goal of the season to put Atleti in front.
A Filipe Luís cross curled out to the edge of the area, and Saúl was running to meet the ball at warp-speed. He got his head to it in front of Manuel Pablo and stuck the ball into the back of the Deportivo goal.
It was almost two a couple of minutes later, as a mistake from the Deportivo midfield set Vietto up with an opportunity. The ball found its way through to Carrasco who struck the ball at Lux, but the Deportivo goalkeeper caught the ball between his legs as he fell to the floor.
Antoine Griezmann had the opportunity to double the lead after a Deportivo mistake in defence, but after running clear of the chasing opposition, saw his outside of the foot shot go wide of Lux’s post.
In the second half, it was Carrasco who came closest to getting the second goal for Atleti. About 25 yards out, the Belgian let one fly and it crashed off of the crossbar and out. The Deportivo goalkeeper was well beaten. It was a splendid effort.
A short corner routine was enough for Atleti to double their lead. Koke sent a disguised pass through a group of Deportivo players, and Antoine Griezmann was available on the turn and slotted the ball into the back of the Deportivo net. 2-0 to Atlético, and it’s Koke’s ninth assist in the league this season.
Luciano Vietto was brought off after an hour and replaced by Ángel Correa, whilst Kranevitter made an appearance to replace Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman rested ahead of the crunch game with PSV during the week.
Deportivo did get their chance to pull a goal back, but they were denied following an excellent block from Saúl inside the six yard box.
Ángel Correa made it 3-0 with eight minutes left. A route-one ball from Gabi, from a quickly taken free-kick, picked out the on-rushing Argentinean, whose first touch was magnificent. The youngster beat the offside trap and slotted it into the back of the net.
Atlético claim all three points, but are still a distant eight behind Barcelona and need a collapse from the Catalans if they are going to lift the La Liga title.
The best chance of silverware is the Champions League, but first Atleti need to overcome PSV at the Vicente Calderón on Tuesday.
|12 March 2016|