Carrasco and Gameiro crush Malaga

Yannick Ferreira Carrasco starred for Atletico Madrid as they cruised to a 4-2 win over Malaga at Estadio Vicente Calderón on Saturday.

Atleti didn't take long to get the scoring started, with Carrasco breaking the deadlock in just the seventh minute after picking up a pass from Antoine Griezmann. The Belgian forward beat his man with relative ease and fired the ball into the far corner.

Kévin Gameiro doubled Atleti's lead after 24 minutes when an untidy header from Bakary Koné put Ignacio Camacho in trouble, with the French striker stealing in and finishing at the near post.

Malaga pulled one back in the 31st minute through an outrageous strike from Sandro, whose free-kick near the touchline was thumped into the box and ended up in the far corner, a remarkable effort if it was truly intended as a shot rather than a cross.

Griezmann could well have scored in the 37th minute when he was put in behind by Diego Godin's ball over the top, but Cameroonian goalkeeper Carlos Kameni denied him at the near post.

However, Los Rojiblancos still took a two-goal lead in at halftime after Gameiro latched onto Griezmann's cushioned header to round Koné and slot home.

Gamiero almost had his third of the night when he cut through the Malaga defence soon after the restart, while Godin came close in the 54th minute when he almost managed to get on the end of Ángel Correa's cross.

Diego Simeone's men then suffered a blow as they went down to ten men, Stefan Savic seeing his second yellow card of the evening on the hour mark for a cynical foul on Gonzalo Castro.

The Boquerones then made their numerical advantage count as they put themselves back in the tie in the 64th minute when Camacho met Castro's cross for a close-range header.

Simeone responded immediately after the goal by putting holding midfielder Tiago at the expense of diminutive striker Gameiro.

Castro made sure both teams finished the match with 10 men when he picked up his second yellow card in the 88th minute for a dangerous sliding challenge.

The match looked to have fizzled out in the closing stages before Carrasco put the tie to bed in the 86th minute, beating Federico Ricca before hammering a vicious effort in from a tight angle.