MADRID, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid overcame the absence of injured striker Diego Costa to beat struggling Las Palmas 3-0 on Sunday, with goals from Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres and Thomas Partey, to go eight points behind Liga leaders Barcelona.
Atletico went into the game with their confidence knocked down a peg by their King’s Cup elimination to Sevilla in midweek and their disappointing draw at home to Girona in their previous league outing, but in the end they had too much quality for Las Palmas, who are 19th in the league standings.
The visiting side deployed a high defensive line and although they managed to cause Atletico problems they paid the price for their risky approach when Griezmann latched on to a rolled pass from Juanfran to race unchallenged towards goal and score in the 61st minute.
Griezmann had hit the post twice before scoring and was the catalyst for the second goal, intercepting a pass high up the pitch to help work the ball towards Torres, who beat a defender before producing a confident finish high into the net. Partey nudged a Yannick Carrasco pass into an empty net in the 88th.
Atletico took advantage of Valencia’s defeat to Real Madrid to move six points clear in second place and they trail Barcelona by eight, although the Catalans can restore their lead to 11 if they beat Alaves at home later on Sunday. (Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Clare Fallon)