Atleti keep dreaming

Barcelona's resounding victory makes tonight's clash with the 13th-placed Galicians a must win for Cholo's charges. Depor have not beaten Atleti in their last eight meetings

Carrasco is back in the fray for Atlético Madrid as they face Depor

Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid play hosts to Victor Sánchez’s Galicians tonight knowing that a failure to win would effectively hand the league title to Barcelona. The Catalans resounding 6-0 slaughter of Getafe earlier today saw them widen the gap between first and second to eleven points.

Standing in Los Rojiblancos’ favour is their excellent record at home against Depor: nine wins in a row at the Vicente Calderón, with an average of 2.6 goals per game.

The line-ups:

Atlético Madrid XI: Jan Oblak; Juanfran, Giménez, Godin, Filipe Luis; Koke, Gabi, Carrasco, Saul; Griezmann, Vietto

Subs: Correa, Thomas, Oliver Torres, Moya, Kranevitter, Lucas Hernández, Jesús Gamez

Deportivo La Coruña XI: Lux; Manuel Pablo, Lopo, Arribas, Laure; Borges, Mosquera, Bergantinos; Fajr, Rodríguez, Cartabia

Subs: Cani, Riera, Alberto, Pletikosa, Gutiérrez, Navarro, Rober Suarez

First Half

1-0: A wave of relief washes over the Calderón as Atleti find a way past Lux. Filipe whips in a speculative cross towards the far post. A lack of communication sees Arribas and Laure fail to clear the danger and man-of-the-hour Saul doesn't hesitate to nip in and nod the ball into the back of the net.

45 - Shocking miss from Griezmann! The Frenchman pounces on an Arribas mistake in the centre circle, nearly breaks the sound barrier as he darts toward the visitors' goal, tries a cheeky outside of the right boot finish at Lux's near post but sends his effort wide of the mark. 

Second Half

53 - A fierce effort from Carrasco comes crashing off the woodwork.

54 - The Belgian tries his luck again, this time cutting inside from the left, brushing past a few defends before pulling the trigger but the Depor shot-stopper is able to make an easy save.

The mattress makers have made life far more uncomfortbale for their guests since the break. The return of Carrasco has offered Simeone's men a creative edge they had been lacking during his absence (yes, I know they scored six goals in their previous two games, but you know what I me).

2-0: Griezmann makes upfor his miss at the stroke of half time. Koke plays a disguised past behind the defence, the Atleti talisman outfoxes the offside trap and doubles his team's lead with a superb finish.

Griezmann makes way for Kranevitter. Cholo will have the cotton wool ready to keep his star striker in prime nick ahead of the PSV game midweek.

3-0: Gabi catches the Galicians napping with a very cleverly taken quick free kick over the top. Correa is on the receiving end of the pass and finishes clinically. Atlético have now scored three goals in each of their last three games.