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2015/16 UEFA Champions League, Group Stage
  • Saúl Ñíguez (23')
  • Jackson Martínez (29')
  • Óliver Torres (63')
  • Denis Dedechko (89' OG)

Atletico Madrid score four goals in victory against Astana

Atletico Madrid brushed aside Astana 4-0 on Wednesday evening to return to winning ways at the Vicente Calderon stadium in the Champions League.

The Spaniards, surprise 2-1 losers at home to Benfica in the previous round, turned in a dominating performance and went ahead in the 23rd minute through Saul Niguez.

Jackson Martinez opened his goalscoring account in the competition by hitting Atletico's second of the evening six minutes later.

Substitute Oliver netted his first Champions League goal in the 63rd minute to make it 3-0 before an own goal from Astana defender Denis Dedechko one minute from time wrapped up the win.

The victory put Los Rojiblancos top of Group C and ahead of Benfica - who fell 2-1 at against Galatasaray in Turkey - on goal difference, while result has left Astana at the foot of the standings.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone left Fernando Torres on the bench and played Antoine Griezmann alongside Martinez in attack.

The home side, who halted a three-game winless run with a 2-0 triumph over Real Sociedad in the Primera Division on Sunday, enjoyed a strong start.

In the sixth minute, Diego Godin's header from Gabi's cross was saved by Astana goalkeeper Nenad Eric.

Shortly after, Eric was called on again to make two saves to clear Godin and Griezmann's close-range headers.

Astana fell behind midway through the first half.

Yannick Ferreira Carrasco's cross found Niguez in the six-yard box and his back-heel finish beat Eric.

Atletico kept up the pressure and doubled their lead in the 29th minute. Niguez failed to control a cross from the left but Martinez was at hand and drove a left-footed shot from the heart of the area that took a deflection off a defender to beat the goalkeeper.

The home side almost made it 3-0 before half-time but Martinez's powerful header from Juanfran's cross was kept out by Eric.

Astana first tested Jan Oblak seven minutes after the re-start.

Junior Kabananga got past his marker and drilled a left-footed shot from 20 yards that was saved by the Atletico keeper.

Atletico then made it 3-0 as a fast break saw Gabi set up Oliver in the area and he struck the ball past a helpless Eric and into the back of the net.

With 12 minutes remaining, Torres, who had replaced Martinez in the 67th minute, had a good chance to score his 100th goal for Atletico but saw his right-footed attempt from 12 yards kept out by Eric.

With seconds remaining, Dedechko struck Juanfran's low cross into his own net while attempting to stop Torres from scoring.

Tournament debutants Astana suffered their second loss in three games while Atletico celebrated their second win.

The Spaniards travel to Kazakhstan next month to face Astana.

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