Mandžukić takes Atlético through in style

Club Atlético de Madrid 4-0 Olympiacos FC
Mario Mandžukić's hat-trick ensured last season's runners-up will be back in the knockout rounds in the spring thanks to a comfortable victory.

Atlético ease into round of 16 with comfortable defeat of Olympiacos
Raúl García opens the scoring after defensive mix-up (9)
Mario Mandžukić scores hat-trick, including two in three second-half minutes (38, 62, 65)
Atlético's Miguel Ángel Moyà yet to concede in this season's competition
Next games: Juventus v Atlético, Olympiacos v Malmö (9 December)

Mario Mandžukić struck a hat-trick as Club Atlético de Madrid sealed their place in the round of 16 thanks to an emphatic Group A victory over Olympiacos FC.

Knowing a win would confirm their place in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages with a game to spare, the hosts made a fast start, Juanfran enjoying particular success down the right. The defender twice crossed for Mandžukić in the opening five minutes, although the Croatian was unable to apply the finishing touch, while a Raúl García header brought a smart stop from former Atlético goalkeeper Roberto, who enjoyed a mixed night on his return to the Vicente Calderón.

Last season's runners-up did not have to wait long to make the breakthrough, however, as Roberto cleared a back-pass straight to Juanfran inside the penalty area. The full-back unselfishly squared for García, who clipped a subtle finish over the sprawling keeper at the near post.

Éric Abidal volleyed over as the visitors offered a rare foray forwards in search of an immediate riposte, but it was Atlético who were turning the screw. Cristian Ansaldi forced a smart Roberto stop from distance before Tiago fired over from the edge of the box. A second goal was not long in coming, Ansaldi sending in a low delivery from the left that was completely missed by Alberto Botía, allowing a grateful Mandžukić to tap in from close range.

Roberto then denied Arda Turan on the stroke of half-time as the Group A leaders set a tone that would continue into the second 45 minutes. With Atlético dominating possession, their Turkish winger was allowed space on the right just past the hour, and his precise cross found Mandžukić for the forward's second goal of the night.

Three minutes later Mandžukić completed his hat-trick, nodding in a Gabi free-kick before departing to a standing ovation. His replacement Antoine Griezmann had an effort disallowed for offside, but not even that could dampen spirits on an excellent night for the Spanish champions.

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