Atletico Madrid routs Malmo 5-0, Champions league
MADRID (AP) — Atletico Madrid overcame a sluggish start to score five second-half goals in a 5-0 rout of Malmo and move top of Group A in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Atletico lacked accuracy in its first-half corners, something that visibly exasperated coach Diego Simeone after a chance went wide in the 44th minute.
Whatever Simeone said at halftime clearly had an effect as Atletico returned with real determination.
Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion turned home Arda Turan’s threaded cross in the 48th, opening the floodgates.
Mario Mandzukic made it 2-0 in the 61st, Antoine Griezmann found the net two minutes later and Diego Godin headed home in the 87th before Alessio Cerci scored in injury time.
Atletico has six points and leads Olympiakos on goal difference. Juventus and Malmo have three points each.
Atletico’s first real opportunity didn’t come until the 20th minute when it counter-attacked with Arda Turan and Juanfran Torres racing for goal, but when Mandzukic arrived he failed to get his shot past Malmo’s defense.
Atletico’s Brazilian defender Siqueira hit a long-range shot in the 30th, but Malmo goalkeeper Robin Olsen grabbed it easily.
Atletico ’keeper Miguel Moya tipped Magnus Eriksson’s free kick over the bar in first-half injury time.
“We began the second half very strongly and then found ourselves a goal up, and thanks to that the team went forward and played really well,” Koke said.
Mandzukic tapped in Torres’s perfectly-weighted cross and two minutes later Griezmann scored his second goal in three matches when he shot hard against a falling Olsen’s legs, with the rebound rising high before bouncing into goal.
Cerci finished the rout in injury time when he hit the post only to latch onto the rebound for Atletico’s fifth goal.
“The coach told us at halftime to insist and insist that in the end the goal was going to come and in the end our players went up and got the goals that we needed,” said right-back Torres.