Atletico nets four in thrashing of Udinese
Madrid, Spain – Atletico Madrid bounced back from its 0 home win over Udinese in Group I action on Thursday.
Udinese claimed a 2-0 win over the Spanish side on Oct. 20, but Atletico responded with a punishing result, scoring three times in the opening half to put the contest beyond any doubt.
Adrian bagged a brace for Atletico in the first half while Diego and Falcao both chipped in with a goal apiece to complete the rout.
It took Atletico only six minutes to get in front, as Adrian collected a through ball before firing a low shot past goalkeeper Samir Handanovic at the near post. The Spanish striker doubled the lead just six minutes later with a darting run into the box to head home a cross played in front of goal.
Diego provided a third goal in the 36th minute and Falcao wrapped up the scoring in the 67th minute to add insult to injury for Udinese.
Atletico moves into a tie Udinese for first place in Group I as both teams are deadlocked at seven points apiece. But with both teams claiming a win against one another, Atletico holds the tie-breaker with a better goal differential.
Celtic kept its Europa League hopes alive on Thursday with a 3-1 win over Rennes in Group I's other match.
Anthony Stokes scored twice and Gary Hooper added a third to see Celtic overturn an early goal from Kader Mangane. The famed Scottish club sits third in the group with five points while Rennes rounds out the standings with two points.
In Group A, Tottenham suffered a shock defeat in a 1-0 loss at Rubin, while Dimitrios Salpigidis scored twice for PAOK in a 3-1 win over Shamrock.
In Group B, Hannover and Standard Liege both earned road wins, as the German side edged Copenhagen 2-1 and the Belgian side defeated Vorskla Poltava 3-1 to top the group on goal differential.
In Group C, Kevin Strootman struck late to help keep PSV Eindhoven in first place with a 3-3 against Hapoel Tel Aviv, and Miroslav Radovic provided two goals for Legia Warsaw in a 3-1 win over Rapid Bucharest.
In Group D, Sporting Lisbon stumbled for the first time Europa League play this season, falling to Vaslui 1-0, while Lazio kept pace in the table, earning a 1-0 win over Zurich.
In Group E, Dean Whitehead and Peter Crouch handed Stoke City a 2-1 win at Maccabi Tel Aviv, and Egemen Korkmaz tallied the lone goal for Besiktas in a 1-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv.
In Group F, a volley from Javier Pastore clinched a 1-0 defeat of Slovan Bratislava for PSG, while Red Bull Salzburg fell to Athletic Bilbao 1-0 behind a 37th minute goal from Ander Herrera.
In Group G, Taison scored twice to help group-leaders Metalist Kharkiv to a 3-1 win over Malmo, and Austria Vienna netted two goals in the second half to salvage a 2-2 home draw against AZ Alkmaar.
In Group H, Marlon King converted a penalty 16 minutes from time to see Birmingham City draw 2-2 at home with Club Brugge, while Braga moved to the top of the table on goal differential after a 5-1 thrashing of Maribor.
In Group J, Schalke was held to a 0-0 draw at home against AEK Larnaca, and Cristian Tanase provided two second-half goals to see Steaua Bucharest edge Maccabi Haifa in a 4-2 win.
In Group K, Adam Johnson recorded a brace for Fulham in a 4-1 home win over Wisla Krakow, while Twente topped Odense 3-2 thanks to a late goal from Leroy Fer.
In Group L, Anderlecht maintained its perfect Europa League record this season with a 3-0 home win over Sturm Graz, and Loko Moscow earned a 3-1 road win against AEK Athens.