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Primera División

  • 30 October 2011
  • • 19:00
  • • Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid
  • Referee: Javier Estrada Fernández
  • • Attendance: 40000

Atletico Madrid 3-1 Real Zaragoza: Adrian double offers coach Gregorio Manzano reprieve

Atletico Madrid 3-1 Real Zaragoza: Adrian double offers coach Gregorio Manzano reprieve

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The 23-year-old striker scored either side of an Alvaro Dominguez header to secure a comfortable win and ease the pressure on the club's under-fire boss

Atletico Madrid ended a run of seven matches without a win by defeating Real Zaragoza 3-1 at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday evening.

Adrian and Alvaro Dominguez fired Los Rojiblancos into a two-goal lead inside 30 minutes before the young striker added a third with a quarter of an hour left on the clock.

Helder Postiga managed to bring the score back to 3-1, but Gregorio Manzano's side held on for a victory which moves them up to ninth in the table that also serves to ease the pressure on the under-fire coach.

The hosts started proceedings in a confident manner which belied their current poor run of form, with Brazilian Diego pulling the strings in midfield.

After 19 minutes in which Atletico controlled possession without looking particularly threatening, Adrian settled his side's nerves when he opened the scoring with a fantastic header.

Turkish wideman Arda Turan was the architect, drifting in off the right wing before clipping a sumptuous ball towards the penalty spot, where the Atletico No. 7 was perfectly placed to leap and guide a header beyond Roberto in the Zaragoza goal.

Atletico continued to force the issue, and scored the second their play deserved on the half hour. Diego won a free-kick on the edge of the box, which Gabi took, floating the set-piece towards Diego Godin at the far post. The Uruguayan then forced the ball back across the face of goal, presenting Dominguez with the simple task of nodding into an empty net.

Zaragoza, on the other hand, were struggling to offer any sort of attacking threat. This forced their isolated frontman, Helder Postiga, to take it upon himself to drag his side back into things.

The Portuguese attempted an ambitious chip from 25 yards which sailed over the bar, before firing off an impressive snap-shot which forced a fine reflex save by Thibaut Courtois.

The visitors were more of an attacking force in the early stages of the second period, and Luis Garcia sent a near-post header wide before flashing a free-kick inches over the crossbar in the 53rd minute.

But they failed to sustain their early pressure, and the hosts eventually re-established their dominance in the final 20 minutes, adding their third and final goal in the 74th minute when Filipe Luis drove to the byline and cut back for Adrian to force home a third despite Roberto's best efforts to keep it out.

Postiga pulled one back in the 79th minute when he headed home a Luis Garcia corner, but the goal proved little more than a late consolation as the hosts held out for an important victory.