Copa del Rey: Atlético 3 – 0 Rayo
Rojiblancos put transfer ban behind them with comfortable derby win
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||30||Rayo Vallecano|
|Copa del Rey (16)|
|14 January 2016|