Atletico Madrid kept the pressure on Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga with a routine 4-1 rout of struggling Cadiz.
Diego Simeone’s team lost to Milan in midweek but made it seven games unbeaten in LaLiga thanks to second-half goals from Thomas Lemar, Antoine Griezmann, Angel Correa and Matheus Cunha.
Atleti’s goals were rare moments of quality in a match previously lacking much invention, with Lemar heading home from close range in the 56th minute before Griezmann drilled in from Marcos Llorente’s cross.
A slick team move saw Lemar’s replacement Correa net a third, with Cunha doubling his tally of league goals for the season after Jan Oblak’s own goal gave Cadiz a consolation.
Heading into Sunday’s encounter aiming to end a 12-match winless streak against Atleti in LaLiga, Cadiz very nearly had the lead inside the opening minute, but Llorente denied Ruben Sobrino a tap-in.
Atleti lost Jose Gimenez to injury and Alfonso Espino dragged wide prior to the break, with Cadiz starting the second half brightly.
But it was Atleti who struck first – Lemar getting above his marker to nod in from Yannick Carrasco’s inviting left-wing cross, his first headed goal in Europe’s top-five leagues.
Carrasco and Lemar combined again six minutes later, only for the latter’s heavy touch giving Ledesma chance to smother the shot.
Where Lemar’s first touch let him down, Griezmann showed no such lack of quality, sweeping in from Llorente’s cut-back after neat interplay down the right flank.
Atleti’s first league away win in four attempts was sealed in the 76th minute, Correa combining with fellow substitute Cunha to fire in.
Anthony Lozano’s deflected cross bizarrely looped in over the bemused Oblak, though Cunha raced through to restore the three-goal cushion straight from kick-off.
33 – With his goal against Cádiz, Antoine Griezmann 🇫🇷 has now scored against 33 of the 34 teams he has faced in @LaLigaEN (159 goals), only failing to score against his current club @atletienglish (12). Collector. pic.twitter.com/r3I6zMH0it OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 28, 2021
What does it mean? Tight at the top
Atleti moved onto 29 points with the victory, one behind league leaders Madrid, who were featuring in Sunday’s late kick-off at home against Sevilla, themselves on 28 points. As it stood at the end of proceedings in Andalusia, just three points separated LaLiga’s top five sides.
Griezmann keeps up his form
In a far from vintage display for much of the game, Griezmann stood out. His three chances created ranked only behind Lemar (four), while no player had more attempts (three).
Griezmann has now scored against 33 of the 34 teams he has faced in LaLiga. Indeed, the only side he has not found the net against is Atleti.
Oblak left red faced
To say Oblak had little to do would be an understatement. Atleti’s goalkeeper did not have a single save to make all game, and only had to claim the ball on three occasions, as per Opta data.
Yet he was left embarrassed when Lozano’s cross dropped down under his crossbar, with the 28-year-old failing to judge the flight of the ball and only able to nudge it into his own net. He cracked a smile, though can consider himself fortunate the match was already won.
Atleti host RCD Mallorca next Saturday, before their crucial Champions League meeting with Porto. Cadiz travel to seventh-tier Villa de Fortuna in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.