Koke scored two stunning goals as Atletico Madrid overcame the absence of Antoine Griezmann to romp to a 5-1 away win over Las Palmas in LaLiga.
Diego Simeone’s men claimed their first league victory of the new season – and the 200th of his managerial career at the club – without the suspended Griezmann, who was sent off in last week’s 2-2 draw against Girona.
A fast start ensured the visitors were not in danger of dropping further points on Saturday, Angel Correa and Yannick Carrasco strikes putting Atletico two goals up inside the first five minutes.
Jonathan Calleri headed in as Las Palmas briefly threatened a second-half fightback, but Koke sealed victory with two tremendous efforts.
Jonathan Viera had a late penalty for the hosts saved by Jan Oblak, before Thomas Partey netted with two minutes left to round off a miserable evening for the hosts.
Atletico now have four points from their first two games, while Las Palmas have suffered back-to-back defeats to start the campaign, a run that stretches to seven straight losses including the end of last season.
200 – Diego Simeone has reached his 200th win as Atletico Madrid manager in all competitions (200 wins in 321 games, 62.3%). Boss. pic.twitter.com/XI0dzUmupa
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 26, 2017
Atletico took the lead in the third minute with their first attack, Correa collecting a deflected flick from his strike partner Luciano Vietto before showing rapid footwork to evade two Las Palmas defenders and send his finish into the far corner, his quick strike taking home keeper Leandro Chichizola by surprise.
And it was two for Simeone’s men just 118 seconds later, with Carrasco collecting a pass from Saul Niguez, tricking his way past defender David Simon and firing into the far corner with a left-footed finish.
Las Palmas threatened for the first time when a bouncing effort from Viera was pushed to safety by Oblak.
But the Atletico goalkeeper was otherwise untroubled in a first half that concluded with home fans calling for Vietto, already booked, to receive a second yellow for a foul on Viera.
Vietto committed another foul early in the second half, prompting Simeone to replace him with Gabi and switch to a five-man midfield.
The hosts got a goal back in the 58th minute, Calleri heading in after finding space behind Diego Godin after Momo whipped in a wonderful cross from the left.
But the comeback was snuffed out inside four minutes, Koke curling a magnificent strike into the far corner from 20 yards after Pedro Bigas had made a hash of clearing Carrasco’s cross.
In the 75th minute, Koke scored in spectacular fashion again, sealing his first career double. Carrasco weaved into the box and was challenged by Mauricio Lemos as he shot, the ball bouncing into the path of the Spain international to produce an instinctive overhead kick.
Las Palmas had the chance for a consolation when Gabi clumsily fouled Viera in the box, but when the attacking midfielder took the resulting spot-kick himself, Oblak made an impressive save.
5 – Jan Oblak has saved more penalties than any other current La Liga ‘keeper since 14/15 in all comps (5/9 – exc. penalty shootouts). Cold. pic.twitter.com/k3o35mYpEr
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 26, 2017
Atletico wrapped up an impressive evening with a fifth, Koke dummying Carrasco’s cutback to allow Thomas to find the far corner with a strike from 20 yards that took a slight deflection.
Key Opta facts:
– Koke scored his first brace for Atletico Madrid in all competitions.
– Angel Correa has scored in three consecutive games for the first time for Atletico.
– Yannick Carrasco has scored 11 goals in La Liga since the start of last season, more than any other midfielder.
– Atletico have conceded more headed goals than any other side in La Liga this season (three).
– Atletico are on a run of 13 La Liga games away from home without losing (W7 D6), the best current run in the competition.
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