Atletico breeze past Las Palmas ahead of Inter clash

For Atletico the result will be a confidence booster before they travel to face an in-form Inter, who lead Italy's Serie A by 10 points from second-placed Juventus

Reuters
Published : 17 Feb 2024, 04:58 PM
Updated : 17 Feb 2024, 04:58 PM

Marcos Llorente and Angel Correa both scored twice to help a depleted Atletico Madrid thrash visitors Las Palmas 5-0 in LaLiga on Saturday, as manager Diego Simeone rested key players ahead of a midweek Champions League last-16 tie at Inter Milan.

Atletico moved up to third place in LaLiga on 51 points, level with Barcelona who play at Rafa Benitez's Celta Vigo later on Saturday. They are five points behind Girona and 10 adrift of leaders Real Madrid, both of whom have a game in hand.

Despite French forward Antoine Griezmann being on Simeone's list of rested players, Atletico dominated proceedings and made the most of their chances against a usually solid Las Palmas who arrived in the capital with the second-best defensive record in LaLiga with 20 goals conceded in 24 games, behind only Real Madrid's 15.

"What we rehearsed over the last few days went very well. We knew that Las Palmas played the way they always tried to play, and that's how the first goals came - we robbed them of some balls that we were able to convert," Correa told DAZN.

"That made the game easier."

Atletico were relentless in their pressure up front and forced several errors from the Las Palmas defence, who gifted the ball twice early to Correa only for him to miss both times.

However, Llorente didn't waste the gift given by Kirian Rodriguez with a bad clearance attempt and scored from the rebound in the 14th minute. Six minutes later, after another mistake from the Las Palmas defence, he struck from close range to give the locals a two-goal lead before the break.

Correa was finally on target in the 47th minute, netting a volley from a cross by Koke. He then extended the lead from the penalty spot after Samuel Lino was fouled inside the box, and Memphis Depay came off the bench to add to the scoreline with a strike in the 87th minute.

For Atletico the result will be a confidence booster before they travel to face an in-form Inter, who lead Italy's Serie A by 10 points from second-placed Juventus.

"It's going to be a very difficult challenge but we hope to play a great game together and bring back a good result," Correa told DAZN.