2015/2016 Spanish Primera División
  • Fernando Torres (37')
  • Antoine Griezmann (42', 81')
  • Juanfran (65')
  • Thomas (90'+1')
  • Rubén Castro (79')

Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid crush Real Betis ahead of Barca test

Antoine Griezmann scored twice as Atletico Madrid got in the mood for Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Barcelona by thrashing Real Betis 5-1 in the Primera Division.

Fernando Torres set the Rojiblancos on their way to their biggest win of the season with a vintage finish on 36 minutes, and a fortuitous goal from Griezmann before the break put Diego Simeone's side well in charge.

Angel Correa had an immediate impact after coming on for Torres in the second half, setting up Juanfran and then Griezmann, who restored Atletico's three-goal lead after Ruben Castro had reduced the deficit on the rebound.

Fellow substitute Thomas Partey completed the rout in stoppage time as Atletico tightened their grip on second spot and gave themselves an ideal send-off at the Vicente Calderon before heading to Barcelona.

With Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez and Stefan Savic all still injured, Simeone handed a debut to 21-year-old reserve-team player Nacho Monsalve, and Lucas Hernandez recovered from a back injury to make a rare start.

Betis went into the game with just one defeat from their last eight matches but struggled to contain Atletico from the off, Griezmann spurning two chances and Koke hitting the woodwork.

As half-time approached Atletico pushed further up in pursuit of an opener, all their outfield players committed forward in Betis' half. The breakthrough came from a perfectly weighted pass from Koke, who threaded the ball between two defenders into the path of Torres, who calmly lifted it over the body of Antonio Adan and into the far corner.

It was not long before Atletico got their second, and again Torres played a key role, taking on a defender on the right and sending in a cross which was only partially cleared. Griezmann picked it up just inside the area and looked to chip a pass towards Koke, but Adan woefully misjudged the ball and it went straight through his legs and in.

Adan did manage to make two good saves before the break to prevent an Atletico goal glut, saving from Torres with his feet and then scooping up a shot from Griezmann.

But he had to pick the ball out of his net a further three times in the second half.

Correa's entrance energised Atletico and the Argentinian had barely been on the pitch for a minute when he released Juanfran, who gave Adan no chance.

Castro hit his 16th league goal of the season to give Betis a brief moment to celebrate, capitalising on a blunder from Jan Oblak, who failed to hold a cross.

A determined Correa then raced into the box to lay the ball off for Griezmann to get another goal, and the Frenchman added an assist to his brace by setting up Thomas for the fifth.

Spanish Primera División Standings

1 Barcelona 38 +70 93
2 Atletico Madrid 38 +36 79
3 Real Madrid 38 +50 76
4 Valencia 38 +27 73
5 Villarreal 38 +7 61
6 Real Betis 38 -1 60
7 Sevilla FC 38 -9 58
8 Getafe 38 +9 55
9 Eibar 38 -6 51
10 Girona 38 -9 51
11 Espanyol 38 -6 49
12 Real Sociedad 38 +7 49
13 Celta Vigo 38 -1 49
14 Alavés 38 -10 47
15 Levante 38 -14 46
16 Athletic Bilbao 38 -8 43
17 Leganes 38 -17 43
18 Deportivo La Coruña 38 -38 29
19 Las Palmas 38 -50 22
20 Málaga 38 -37 20

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