Atletico Madrid overcame the absence of injured striker Diego Costa to beat struggling Las Palmas 3-0 on Sunday, with goals from Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres and Thomas Partey, to go eight points behind Liga leaders Barcelona.
Atletico went into the game with their confidence knocked down a peg by their King’s Cup elimination to Sevilla in midweek and their disappointing draw at home to Girona in their previous league outing, but in the end they had too much quality for Las Palmas, who are 19th in the league standings.
The visiting side deployed a high defensive line and although they managed to cause Atletico problems they paid the price for their risky approach when Griezmann latched on to a rolled pass from
Juanfran to race unchallenged towards goal and score in the 61st minute.
Griezmann had hit the post twice before scoring and was the catalyst for the second goal, intercepting a pass high up the pitch to help work the ball towards Torres, who beat a defender before producing a confident finish high into the net.
Partey nudged a Yannick Carrasco pass into an empty net in the 88th.
“It wasn’t easy because of the circumstances of the previous games and we lost (Kevin) Gameiro to illness last night as well as Costa but the team dug deep to overcome these difficulties,”
Atletico coach Diego Simeone told reporters.
“Las Palmas pressed us very well and when we recovered the ball we couldn’t attack quickly, we still had chances but overall we lacked a bit of pace so in the second half we brought in Carrasco and he gave us the space we were looking for and we were able to make the most of the team’s collective efforts.”
Atletico took advantage of Valencia’s defeat to Real Madrid to move six points clear in second place and they trail Barcelona by eight, although the Catalans can restore their lead to 11 if they beat Alaves at home later on Sunday.