Sports Desk, Jan 6 (EFE).- Atletico Madrid routed third-division Rayo Majadahonda 5-0 Thursday to advance to the final 16 in the Copa del Rey, but an injury to Antoine Griezmann cast a shadow over the triumph.
The Colchoneros were up 3-0 on first half goals by Matheus Cunha, Renan Lodi and Luis Suarez when coach Diego Simeone decided to send Griezmann on for Thomas Lemar in the 57th minute.
The French striker had been out since Dec. 12. Initially due to a rough tackle by Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal in the derby and later because of a positive Covid-19 test.
Griezmann contributed a goal in the 66th minute, but left the pitch hurt less than 10 minutes later and Atleti, having already used all of their substitutions, finished the contest with 10 men.
The manpower disadvantage didn’t prevent Joao Felix from making it 5-0 in the 79th minute.
“Griezmann is a tremendously important player for us and it’s a misfortune that he got injured today,” Simeone said at his post-match press conference.
The prolonged absence of the Frenchman would be bad news for the defending LaLiga champions as they try to emerge from the slump that has seen them fall 14 points behind league leaders Real Madrid.
Sevilla, currently second in LaLiga, are also through to the Copa del Rey round of 16 after beating third-division side Zaragoza 2-0 Thursday.
Jules Kounde opened the scoring in the 31st minute and Rafa Mir got an insurance goal with 20 minutes left in regulation.
Thursday’s major upset unfolded in Gijon, where second-tier Sporting came from behind to beat LaLiga club Villarreal 2-1, derailing what looked like the Europa League holders’ best chance for a trophy this season. EFE