Antoine Griezmann, Angel Correa and Kevin Gameiro were all on target as Atletico Madrid took control of their Copa del Rey quarter-final by beating Eibar 3-0 in the first leg at the Vicente Calderon on Thursday.
Clinical Atletico dominated the match, winning their fourth home game in five to leave Eibar facing an uphill battle to qualify for the semi-finals.
After a slow start and a goal disallowed for offside, Griezmann – clearly unaffected by increasing speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United – put Atletico ahead by taking advantage of poor goalkeeping from Yoel Rodriguez to guide home a simple header.
Eibar should have prevented the second goal too, when Correa reacted first to a scramble in the box and poked home Atleti’s 500th goal in all competitions under Diego Simeone.
500 – Ángel Correa has scored the 500th goal for Atletico under Diego Simeone (all competitions). Milestone. pic.twitter.com/8OY4RO3Rmj
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 19, 2017
More slack defending enabled substitute Gameiro to head home the third goal just five minutes after replacing Correa, ensuring Atletico have one foot in the semi-finals.
Eibar look to have very little chance of progressing after the second leg at Ipurua on Wednesday having now only beaten the club from the capital once in 10 meetings.
The first shot of the game took 20 cagey minutes to arrive, with Bebe leading a break down the right to test Miguel Angel Moya with an audacious drive that may have crept inside the near post.
Atletico thought they had opened the scoring after 24 minutes, only for the offside flag to deny them after Stefan Savic flicked Koke’s free-kick in off the post.
But Simeone’s men took the lead four minutes later, with Yoel clearly at fault.
Jose Maria Gimenez beat the out-of-position Eibar goalkeeper to another Koke set-piece and Griezmann diverted a header from the second ball into the unguarded net for his fourth goal of 2017.
Moya saved another speculative Bebe strike after 51 minutes as both sides struggled to create clear chances in a tight match, but Atletico then took control of the tie with another goal.
Yannick Carrasco raced clear through the left channel and cut inside before having a shot saved by Yoel. Eibar missed multiple chances to clear the rebound and Correa punished them by tucking the ball away.
Poor marking from the visitors then allowed Atletico to score an easy third with just their third shot on target after 68 minutes, Griezmann heading across goal for Gameiro to nod in at the back post.
Eibar were unable to grab a goal to improve their hopes of qualifying in the closing minutes. Imanol Sarriegui wasted their best chance by shooting wide with six minutes to go, with Atletico near-certain to book their place in the last four next week.
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