Madrid, Feb 7 (IANS) Atletico Madrid played a lacklustre first half but stormed back in the second to cruise past Eibar 3-1 in La Liga.
The turning point at Vicente Calderon Stadium here on Saturday came in the 46th minute when Eibar midfielder Sergi Enrich scored. But Atletico then took charge of the match and completely dominated the contest from that point onwards, reports Efe.
Atletico were out of sorts in the first half, lacking precision and under pressure from Eibar’s midfielders.
Then at the start of the second half, midfielder Saul Niguez lost the ball just outside Atletico Madrid’s penalty area and allowed striker Enrich to take possession and score in the 46th minute.
But the goal seemed to be what was needed for Atletico, who turned on the aggression and began their assault on Eibar.
That determined play led them to win three corner kicks in just 10 minutes, the last of which was perfectly executed by midfielder Koke and headed home by Uruguayan defender Jose Gimenez in the 56th minute.
The second goal was an almost identical strike, with Koke setting up Saul, who made up for his earlier blunder by heading the ball in.
The final score of the match came shortly before the final whistle, when veteran striker Fernando Torres notched his 100th goal for Atletico when he stretched to get his foot on a well placed cross by Belgian midfielder Yannick Carrasco.
The 31-year-old striker starred for Atletico Madrid between 2001 and 2007 and returned to the club early last year for a second stint after competing for Liverpool, Chelsea and A.C. Milan.
“It’s an honour and a prize to have scored my 100th goal and to be among the club’s greatest goal scorers,” Torres said.
Atletico Madrid now has 51 points and once again is tied with FC Barcelona at the top of the La Liga standings, although the Catalans, who square off against last place Levante on Sunday, have played two fewer games.