Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres and Thomas Partey were on target as Atletico Madrid were made to work for Sunday’s 3-0 win over lowly Las Palmas.
Griezmann opened the scoring in the second half to settle the nerves at the Wanda Metropolitano and Torres added a second before Thomas’ strike two minutes from time added gloss to the scoreline. The victory enabled Atletico some light relief following their Copa del Rey exit at the hands of Sevilla.
Diego Simeone started his three-match touchline ban after being sent off during Atleti’s 3-1 defeat to Sevilla in the Copa del Rey in midweek and Diego Costa was also missing, still not fit after injuring himself in the 1-1 draw with Girona on Jan. 20. Nevertheless, it was a lively opening five minutes, with Las Palmas’ Gabriel Penalba and Atletico’s Koke exchanging shots at goal.
Torres was central to most of the early attacking forays, setting up Gabi before going close himself midway through the first half.
Griezmann had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes but his effort from Juanfran’s cross hit the post. At the other end, Jan Oblak was largely untroubled on his 100th La Liga apparance. Jairo Samperio went close for the away side with a right footed shot from outside the box but Las Palmas were largely kept at arm’s length.
While unable to call the odds on the touchline, Simeone made a half time switch and introduced Yannick Carrasco for the under-performing Koke, whose dip in form continued here. Carrasco was soon into the thick of the action, finding Griezmann who shot over before having a go himself.
Griezmann finally made the breakthrough on 61 minutes, finishing smartly from Juanfran’s assist to beat Leandro Chichizola. Angel Correa then found Torres, who made no mistake 12 minutes later.
With the game all-but over, Thomas added a third on 88 minutes to wrap up the victory and keep Atletico comfortably second behind runaway leaders Barcelona.
Las Palmas, meanwhile, remain second from bottom and five points adrift of safety.