Copa del Rey: Atlético 3 – 0 Rayo

Rojiblancos put transfer ban behind them with comfortable derby win

Correa celebrates his fourth goal of the season

Correa celebrates his fourth goal of the season

Substitute Antoine Griezmann scored twice to help Atlético book their place in the Copa del Rey quarter-final on Thursday, beating Rayo Vallecano 3-0 after Ángel Correa opened the scoring.

The red and whites didn’t have it all their own way at the Calderón, but their class shone through in the end as the Frenchman’s two late goals secured a 4-1 aggregate win.

Diego Simeone made eight changes from the team that won on Celta on Sunday, but they took a while to get going in a fairly forgettable first half.

Jackson Martínez was given another chance to impress up front, and he had the best chance of the first half hour with a header that was well stopped by Rayo ‘keeper Yoel.

Alongside him in attack were Yannick Carrasco and Ángel Correa, and it was they who combined just before the break to send the home side in a goal ahead.

The Belgian winger did well to hold the ball up on the left, before Correa picked up his pass and smashed the ball into the top corner via the underside of the crossbar.

It was a goal almost out of nothing, that illuminated a game that had very little spark up until that point.

Moments later, the former San Lorenzo man was presented with another golden opportunity, but opted to try and square the ball for Jackson rather than go for the second goal himself.

His first touch was magnificent and sent him clean through on goal, but the pass across wasn’t quite as good and was intercepted by Diego Llorente before the striker could tap home.

Rayo enjoyed most of the possession, but didn’t create too many chances against a fierce backline that included regulars Diego Godín and Filipe Luís, making his 200th appearance in red and white.

Adrián Embarba came closest for them with a shot in either half, Moyá parrying away the first, and breathing a sigh of relief when the midfielders second half drive curled inches wide of his post.

The game changed – yet again – with Simeone’s substitutions, the Argentine boss opting to sure things up by sending on Antoine Griezmann and Gabi for the closing stages.

Grizi was heavily involved in his 20 minute cameo, and almost claimed an assist with a lovely slide-rule pass to Jackson. However, Yoel was equal to his left-footed effort.

Ten minutes from time, Atleti finally doubled the lead as Rayo failed to clear from a corner, allowing Antoine Griezmann to nip in and finish acrobatically from close range.

Almost straight from kick-off, Thomas went through on goal after robbing the last defender, but he ran out of room and Yoel got down again to tip the ball out for a corner.

In the first minute of stoppage time, Griezmann scored his second and the team’s third to put the gloss on the result, beating the Rayo ‘keeper to Gabi’s pass and tapping into an empty net.

The result puts the rojiblancos comfortable into tomorrow’s quarter-final draw, where we will face one of Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Valencia, Sevilla, Celta Vigo, Las Palmas or Mirándes.

Before that it’s back to league action with another crucial away trip, Las Palmas the hosts on Sunday in the first match of the segunda vuelta.

Atlético Madrid Rayo Vallecano
Atlético Madrid 30 Rayo Vallecano
Correa 40' 
Griezmann 80' 
Griezmann 90+1' 
Competition Copa del Rey (16)
Location Vicente Calderón
Date 14 January 2016
Kick Off 20:30 CET

Team Lineups

Atlético Madrid
Kranevitter (73')
Correa (70')
Jackson (83')
Substitutes used
Griezmann ('70)
Gabi (73')
Óliver (83')
Rayo Vallecano
Llorente (54')
Zé Castro
Lass (66')
Montiel (59')
Substitutes used
Dorado (54')
Manucho (59')
Bebé (66')
  • Koke

    Why doesn’t Simeone play Correa much anymore? He went from starting games against Real Madrid to barely even getting minutes off the bench in weeks. The kid is class – he’s a really rough gem, one that will take a lot of moulding but that you know will end up being incredible. I think he needs more game time. He scores out of nothing and creates chances all the time.

    Griezmann, what a player. Please, please don’t leave us. It’s such a shame that he never has the privilege of being paired with a competent striker. I can’t even imagine what kind of horror opposition defenses would have if they had to face a strike partnership of Griezmann with either Falcao or Costa in their primes. I think the guy is one of the top 5 goal scorers in the world. He scores goals in literally every way imaginable. I really hope he stays. It’s not easy to score as often as he does in a team that barely scores 1 or 2 goals every game and struggles often to create chances. If somehow our midfield and attack start ticking he could easily reach 30-35 goals a season.

    Jackson continues to disappoint. I rated him so highly when he was at Porto and while I didn’t ever see a reason to sign him I was excited after we signed him. It’s a bummer to see him struggle so badly. On the bright side, Partey looks really good, and Oliver had some dangerous through passes on his cameo. This transfer ban sucks but even if we can’t make signings for a while we have a young, deep squad brimming with enough talent to last for years.

  • Kris

    He’s trying to not rush it with Angel Correa. And I am completely with him on this one. Because every time Correa steps foot on the pitch, you damn well expect him to play very well and I think that’s also due in part of Simeone’s tough love towards him. Correa also probably enjoys this and will continue to fight for his sport.
    I am pretty sure they have a very healthy relationship and Correa really appreciates Simeone.
    But again, fielding three defensive minded center mids is not a good idea, Simeone.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I believe we will see a very dangerous partnership between Vietto & Grizi in this second half of the season .
    Vietto needed some time to adapt, he couldn’t catch his breath in his first training and Cholo & Mono were laughing at him, he had an appendectomy, but sometimes I feel some people have forgotten all that .
    Once again : I think Vietto is our best signing this season .

    People also seem to forget that Jackson had an injury that sidelined him for almost 8 weeks and 11 games, Jackson hasn’t completed a 1000 minutes yet, but some people are comparing his numbers with those of Mandzukic at this stage of the season and completely ignore the number of minutes each of them played, 1922 for Mandzukic compared to 982 for Jackson (in all competitions)
    I’m not saying that Jackson is good or is bad, I’m saying that it’s still early to judge him, or to judge Vietto who played 200 minutes less than him .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    How many times did Gabi make such a lovely assist, and how many times he didn’t get the credit ?! .. almost all the times .
    But when Cesc or Xabi Alonso do it they receive too much praise .
    Gabi made many of those perfect long passes last season but yet almost everybody described his season as a bad or even a very bad one, including many Atleti fans .

    Once again Oliver makes a great throw pass or long pass and puts one of his teammates on a clear scoring situation but he misses it, and Oliver doesn’t get an assist to his name, tonight it was for Carrasco in the last minute of the game .
    The poor kid !

  • Rowly

    The other thing to remember with Jackson is that he went to the Copa Anerica in the summer so didn’t have a proper pre-season, same as the summer before due to the World Cup. 2 summers with disrupted pre-seasons will have an impact. Aguero has also struggled this season for the same reason in my opinion. We need to be patient with Jackson, I still believe he will come good.

  • Hannu

    Though Mandzukic was injured in other half of the season and people were kicking him out even though he did manage to bring quite many goals in first half of the season. What I am saying is that it doesnt really look like he is going to get even close to that but maybe it is too early to judge Jackson but he just doesnt really look like he is going to improve but I hope I am wrong! When not injured playing time should be deserved and I think Vietto and Correa deserve it more.

  • Jonathan

    I disagree with you about Jackson. Jackson is 29 years old, that is an age when there is no excuses, and you need to prove yourself worthy, especially with a price tag of 35M. And it’s not just his poor numbers, he just does not look like the same player he was at Porto. It could be the injuries or the pressure from the enormous price tag, but still. If he won’t start scoring soon, he will not get more chances, and that is not only bad for us, but for his own career.

    About Vietto, I think it’s true. The guy barely gets minutes, yet delivers every time. Against Celta, made a great assist to Griezmann, and I hope you’re right about the partnership between them. If it is true, I believe we could beat even Barcelona.