Atletico Madrid cruised into the last 16 of the Copa del Rey thanks to a 5-0 rout of Rayo Majadahonda on Thursday.
Diego Simeone fielded a strong starting XI for the game, which was played at the Wanda Metropolitano despite Majadahonda being drawn as the home team, and they never looked like they would suffer an upset after Matheus Cunha’s early opener.
Renan Lodi and Luis Suarez then made it three before the interval as the Colchoneros threatened to run riot.
Substitute Antoine Griezmann – who later hobbled off with an injury – added a fourth after a fine move, before Joao Felix wrapped up the scoring with a sumptuous finish.
3 – @atletienglish have scored three goals in a first half of a game for the first time this season in all competitions, also recording their best tally of shots attempted in a first half (14) of this campaign. Intensity. pic.twitter.com/ahpnLoOTM3
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 6, 2022
Atleti’s relentless early pressure told after 17 minutes when Matheus Cunha fired home after Yannick Carrasco had blocked an attempted clearance.
Lodi then opened his account for the season nine minutes later, superbly firing into Alvaro Fernandez’s top-left corner from 15 yards after being picked out by Thomas Lemar.
Suarez, who had earlier been denied by Fernandez, added a third four minutes before the interval, the Uruguay international slotting home Marcos Llorente’s low cross from 12 yards.
Simeone’s men started the second half at a sluggish pace, but they added a fourth in the 67th minute when Griezmann slammed the ball into the roof of Fernandez’s roof after combining superbly with fellow substitute Angel Correa.
Joao Felix added further gloss to the scoreline with 11 minutes remaining, cutting in from the left and whipping the ball into the top corner.
What does it mean? Griezmann injury mars routine win
Given the strength of Simeone’s starting XI it was little surprise to see Atleti blow their less illustrious opponents away with consummate ease.
The only blot on their copybook was the injury to Griezmann, who was visibly upset as he walked down the tunnel.
Suarez’s typically composed finish was his first Copa del Rey goal for Atleti and his 20th overall. Since his arrival in Spain ahead of the 2014-15 season, only Lionel Messi (27) has scored more goals in the competition.
Giralt’s game cut short
Majadahonda goalkeeper Gorka Giralt was cruelly denied the chance to test himself against some of Spanish football’s biggest names after suffering a hand injury inside the first minute. The 26-year-old cut a despondent figure as he walked off the pitch to be replaced by Fernandez.
Fourth-placed Atleti return to LaLiga action on Sunday when they visit Villarreal, who sit four places and four points beneath them.