Angel Correa's brace saw Atletico snap a four-game losing streak in la Liga at the expense of Rayo Vallecano.
After a nervy start to the game, Diego Simeone's side warmed to the task and went in front just before the half-hour mark when Correa reacted quickest amongst a scrum of players, after Mario Hermoso's shot was blocked, and rifled a shot home from close range.
From this point onwards, the result never seemed in doubt and Correa notched another from close range after a fine move which saw Thomas Lemar set free Renan Lodi on the left and he left his striker with an easy task from six yards out.
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The lead could have been augmented in the closing stages with Yannick Carrasco striking the post and Correa being denied a hat-trick by a fine reaction stop from Luca Zidane.
The win sees Atletico leapfrog their opponents into the fourth Champions League qualification berth.

TALKING POINT

Possible way forward for Atleti
In years past we would marvel at how Simeone got so much from his players to enable them to perform on level terms, at worst, with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Now, there is so much quality it is hard to fathom when they do not reach these standards.
The change in system to a 4-4-2 today was certainly one which will see them look more secure. Geoffrey Kondogbia, who like Kieran Trippier has been linked with a move away, was far more comfortable in the middle of the field, and as Atleti began to dominate after the slow start, Thomas Lemar and Yannick Carrasco tormented the opposition on the flanks. It will mean Simeone will have to make hard decisions when his star men come back, but one gets the impression this is something the Argentine will revel in.

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MAN OF THE MATCH

Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid) - Rarely can you have a team of ball players. Pedro was very important to the great Barcelona side of the early 2010s because of his unselfish running without the ball. Correa has a similar brief for Atletico with the talented wingers and fellow strikers he has as team-mates. In this way, he feels like the last remaining utilitarian player from the side built into a superpower by Simeone, and it was apt he got the team back into form here.

PLAYER RATINGS

Atletico: Oblak 6; Trippier 6, Gimenez 6, Hermoso 6, Lodi 7; Kondogbia 7, De Paul 7; Lemar 8, Carrasco 8; Correa 9*, Suarez 6.
Subs: Cunha 6, Felipe 6.
Rayo Vallecano: Zidane 6; Balliu 5, Saveljich 6, Maras 7, Fran Garcia 6; Comesana 6, Valentin 6; Palazon 6, Unai Lopez 6, Rodrigues 6; Guardiola 5.
Subs: Trejo 7, Bebe 6, Falcao 6, Martin 5.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

23' Suarez one-on-one! After dispossessing Saveljich, but he looks to dink the ball past Zidane only to totally miss-hit it and it skews well wide.
28'GOAL FOR ATLETICO! It has been coming. Carrasco's pull back found Hermoso who saw his shot blocked, but as the ball exited a scrum of players, Correa pounced on the rebound to give the hosts the lead.
54' GOAL FOR ATLETICO! And a fine one at that. Lemar drives towards the box then plays a perfect pass to Lodi on the left flank and his terrific low centre is slammed home by Correa.
68' Off the post! Carrasco is allowed to run into the box and drills a shot which takes a slight deflection off Maras onto the post.
81' So close to a hat-trick! Correa meets Carrasco's corner at the front post and clips towards the back post but Zidane saves well tipping away.

KEY STAT

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