Antoine Griezmann started the rout as Atletico Madrid prepared for the upcoming derby against Real Madrid with an emphatic 3-0 LaLiga win over Huesca on Tuesday.
In their first top-flight meeting with the visitors, Diego Simeone's side ran riot in the space of 17 first-half minutes to put the result beyond all doubt.
Griezmann opened the scoring in the 16th minute when he tucked in Diego Costa's cut-back, Thomas Partey then getting in on the act with a sublime long-range finish.
Koke's VAR-awarded third piled further misery on Huesca soon after, as Atleti warmed up for Saturday's Madrid derby at the Santiago Bernabeu in emphatic fashion.
Atleti did not have to wait long to take the lead, Costa racing clear of Huesca's defence before selflessly squaring to Griezmann for a simple finish.
Huesca's resolve would be broken again just before the half-hour - Partey arrowing a strike into the bottom-left corner from 25 yards.
And Atleti were celebrating a third four minutes later - Koke's pass, intended for Angel Correa, leaving keeper Axel Werner flat-footed - and although the goal was initially disallowed for offside, VAR rightly overturned the referee's decision.
Jose Gimenez's calf injury dealt Atleti a blow shortly before half-time, Simeone wasting no time in taking the Uruguayan off, but the cushion did allow the manager to rest his key men with an eye on the derby as both Griezmann and Costa made way early in the second half.
Substitute Juan Aguilera almost restored some pride for Huesca with a close-range flick late on, but Jan Oblak pulled off a fine save to maintain Atleti's clean sheet.
What does it mean: A timely return to form for Atleti
Atleti's sluggish start to the season had created some concern, but on the back of their victory over Getafe last time out, Simeone's side - now up to third - were at their best, providing the perfect preparation for Saturday's trip across the city.
Thomas joins the Partey
With Saul Niguez and Rodri both rested, Partey took his chance in Atleti's midfield, capping off an all-action performance with a goal of the highest quality - his first of the season.
Franco must halt Huesca's hellish run
Huesca have now lost their last four fixtures, conceding 13 goals and scoring just two, and coach Leo Franco must find a way to tighten up at the back if the minnows are to survive.
It's a huge weekend for Atleti, as they make the short journey to face their arch rivals in the first Madrid derby of the season in LaLiga. Huesca, meanwhile, host Girona.
20 de marzo 2019
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