Madrid, March 2 (IANS) Atletico Madrid had an easy time at the Vicente Calderon, dominating Real Sociedad 3-0 to move within five points of La Liga leaders Barcelona.
The Colchoneros, playing their fourth football match in 10 days on Tuesday, had no need to strain themselves against a Sociedad squad bearing little resemblance to the side that went undefeated in its previous five games, reports Efe.
Despite the team’s hectic schedule, Atletico head coach Diego Simeone made only one change to the line-up that triumphed 1-0 in last Saturday’s derby against Real Madrid.
Atletico midfielder Saul nearly put the hosts ahead in the second minute and the first goal came just six minutes later when Sociedad defender Diego Reyes sent the ball into his own net while trying to clear Koke’s cross.
Atletico had three additional chances before the break, two for Diego Godin and another for Antoine Griezmann.
The second goal came just 35 seconds into the second half, as Griezmann stole the ball and passed off to Luciano Vietto, who fed it to Saul in the area for an easy strike to make it 2-0.
Sociedad’s Alberto de La Bella set up the final goal for Atletico, pulling down Griezmann, who converted on the penalty at the one-hour mark to boost the winning margin to 3-0.
Atletico Madrid have 61 points after 27 matches, five points behind first-place Barcelona, who have a game in hand.
Real Sociedad, meanwhile, sit in the ninth place, with 34 points.
Las Palmas routed visiting Getafe 4-0 in Tuesday’s other La Liga match, allowing the Canarian club to vault over Getafe and Rayo Vallecano to 15th place, three points above the relegation zone.