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Atletico Madrid routs Las Palmas 5-0 to end winless streak ahead of Champions League

Sat, Feb 17, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Atletico Madrid routs Las Palmas 5-0 to end winless streak ahead of Champions League

MADRID (AP) - Atletico Madrid ended its slump just in time for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Atletico routed Las Palmas 5-0 in the Spanish league on Saturday to end a three-game winless streak ahead of its match at Inter Milan in the first leg of the round of 16 in the Champions League.

Marcos Llorente and Angel Correa scored two goals each and Memphis Depay added another at the Metropolitano Stadium.

The victory moved Diego Simeone's team up to third in the standings, tied on points with fourth-place Barcelona, which plays at Celta Vigo later Saturday.

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Atletico and Barcelona are 10 points behind league leader Real Madrid, which visits Rayo Vallecano on Sunday. Madrid has a five-point lead over second-place Girona, which travels to Athletic Bilbao on Monday.

Atletico got the comfortable win despite head coach Simeone's decision to rotate the squad ahead of the trip to Milan on Tuesday. Forward Antoine Griezmann was among those on the bench, along with midfielder Rodrigo De Paul.

Striker Alvaro Morata was out because of an injury.

Llorente scored his goals in the 15th and 20th minutes while Correa - not always among Simeone's regular starters - found the net in the 47th and 62nd. Depay struck in the 87th.

"We are happy with the effort by the team," said Correa, who also had an assist. "Everything worked out well for us."

Atletico was coming off a 1-0 loss at Sevilla in the Spanish league and a 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of the semifinals of the Copa del Rey, a result that ended the team's 28-game unbeaten streak at home. Before that, Atletico needed a stoppage-time equalizer to draw 1-1 with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in the Spanish league. Its last win was 2-1 against Rayo Vallecano in January.

Las Palmas, which had won three of its last five league matches, stayed in eighth place, still not out of contention for a European place.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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Article Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
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