2014/2015 Spanish Primera División
  • Antoine Griezmann (55', 77')
  • Raúl García (63')

Atletico Madrid bounce back from Champions League exit against Elche

Atletico Madrid comfortably beat Elche 3-0 at home to resume normal service after being eliminated from the Champions League by Real Madrid in midweek.

The visitors came through the first half unscathed but fell behind to Antoine Griezmann's header on 55 minutes, and Raul Garcia doubled the lead before the Frenchman pounced again, scoring a double for a third consecutive Primera Division game.

The win sees Atletico tighten their grip on third spot, while Elche remain in 14th place, six points above the relegation zone.

Atletico boss Diego Simeone was forced to watch the game from the stands after being sent off in last week's game at Deportivo, with his assistant Mono Burgos calling the shots from the dugout.

There were five changes from the team that lost 1-0 to Real Madrid on Wednesday and were eliminated from the Champions League, with Gabi, Guilherme Siqueira, Jose Maria Gimenez, Raul Garcia and Fernando Torres returning to the starting line-up.

Atletico were comfortably the better side in the first half but, for the first time in nine league matches at the Calderon, failed to score.

Raul Garcia was twice denied by Elche goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton in the opening stages, while Torres missed two clear chances before the break.

Atletico upped their intensity after the break and Griezmann and Torres both squandered chances before the Frenchman finally broke the deadlock.

Juanfran had replaced Siqueira three minutes after the break as the Brazilian limped off injured, and the Spain international swung a cross to the back post. Koke half-volleyed towards the far top corner and Tyton did well to get across and parry the shot, but the ball spun up towards Griezmann, who calmly nodded in at the near post.

With Elche's resistance finally broken, Atleti looked to kill off the game. The second arrived eight minutes later, Garcia smashing the ball inside Tyton's near post from the edge of the area.

And 10 minutes after that Griezmann got his second. Elche failed to clear another ball into their box and Saul Niguez kept the danger alive, crossing towards the near post and Griezmann slid in across Tyton to score again from close range, netting his 22nd goal of a splendid first season with the Rojiblancos.

Spanish Primera División Standings

1 Atletico Madrid 16 +25 41
2 Real Madrid 18 +15 37
3 Barcelona 18 +20 34
4 Sevilla FC 18 +7 33
5 Villarreal 18 +9 32
6 Real Sociedad 19 +13 30
7 Granada 18 -8 27
8 Cádiz 19 -7 24
9 Celta Vigo 18 -6 23
10 Real Betis 18 -9 23
11 Levante 18 -1 22
12 Athletic Bilbao 18 -1 21
13 Getafe 17 -3 20
14 Valencia 18 -1 19
15 Eibar 18 -3 19
16 Real Valladolid 19 -9 19
17 Alavés 19 -8 18
18 Elche 17 -7 17
19 Osasuna 18 -12 15
20 Huesca 18 -14 12