MADRID: Antoine Griezmann put up a stellar performance to take Atletico Madrid back on the winning track as they claimed a commanding 3-0 win over Real Valladolid in La Liga on Saturday.
Griezamann, Alvaro Morata and Mario Hermoso scored first-half goals to earn points for Atletico just for the second time in their last seven league matches.
With a fifth straight defeat, Vallodolid, however, entered the unwanted relegation zone as they slipped to the 18th place after Sevilla went one point ahead of them following a 1-0 victory over Cadiz.
Atletico, on the other hand, jumps to the fourth and are 10 points behind table-toppers Barcelona, who still have two games in hand.
At Metropolitano, the home side took the commanding position early on, striking all three of their goals in a 10-minute span.
Griezmann set up the opener with a flick for Morata to score in the 18th minute, before getting on the scoresheet himself with a brilliantly executed backheel goal.
The Frenchman played a part in the third goal as well, finding Hermoso with a free-kick. Hermoso’s 28th-minute header was blocked by Valladolid goalkeeper Jordi Masip but the rebound landed back at his feet and the Atletico defender found the net.
Earlier, Espanyol beat Real Betis 1-0 thanks to the decider scored by Martin Braithwaite in the 43rd minute.
Meanwhile, Real Sociedad earned a dominant 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano with a strike each from Alexander Sorioth and Ander Barrenetxea.