The Spanish striker scored a brace and the Colombia international added to his tally of Europa League goals as the hosts regained first place in Group I
With an Adrian Lopez brace and strikes from Diego and Radamel Falcao, Atletico Madrid dominated Udinese with a 4-0 victory at the Vicente Calderon on Thursday night to climb to the summit of Europa League Group I.
The Spanish outfit began the match in inspired fashion, looking to cancel out their recent string of disappointing results with an important win. Their inspiration was quickly transformed into goals.
On the counterattack, Arda Turan dribbled past a defender in the middle of the pitch and picked out Adrian Lopez with a brilliant pass using the outside of his foot. The Spanish forward cut into the middle and easily struck the ball into the back of Samir Handanovic’s goal to open scoring in the seventh minute.
Five minutes later, Atletico were at it again. A classy back-heel from Falcao found left-back Antonio Lopez who swung in a cross to find Lopez who headed past Handanovic for his second goal of the night.
Los Colchoneros would not halt their march toward Udinese's goal as they were constantly looking to increase the scoreline. After some great teamwork in the 37th minute, they managed to do so.
Finding space to run at the Udinese defence, Diego found Falcao in the 18-yard box. With a first-touch back-heel, the Colombian flicked the ball to Lopez, who in turn unselfishly passed to Diego to tap the ball into the back of the net.
In the second half, the Italian outfit unsuccessfully tried to threaten keeper Thibaut Courtois’ goal. Instead of scoring, they conceded once more. Dribbling up the middle and skipping past Danilo, Falcao found space on the right and struck the ball across Handanovic`s goal to score his second goal and Atletico's fourth of the night.
With the victory, Atletico regain first place in Group I as they are now even on seven points with Udinese at the top of the table, and crucially seem to have regained their scoring touch.