Griezmann returns to match-winning form as Atletico beat Las Palmas
Atletico Madrid tightened their grip on second place in La Liga with a routine 3-0 win at home to second bottom Las Palmas on Sunday.
Los Rojiblancos have struggled at both ends of late, however they never looked like they were in any danger in this one. The Canary Island outfit offered little threat going forward and always appeared vulnerable at the back and after a scoreless first period it was just a matter of time.
Antoine Griezmann -- who hit the bar in each half -- was the man who broke the deadlock after half-time, with strikes from Fernando Torres and Thomas Partey rounding off a comfortable afternoon. The club will hope its recent blip is now behind it.
The goals returned and so did the defensive solidity.
Hard to nitpick, but the forms of Koke and Saul are starting to cause a bit of concern on the terraces.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Diego Simeone realised he could afford to dispense with a more defensive minded midfielder in favour of an attacker at half-time and was rewarded with three goals after the break.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Jan Oblak, 6 -- A long overdue easy afternoon. One Cruyff turn sold the onrushing forward up the river to the delight of the Wanda Metropolitano crowd.
DF Juanfran, 7 -- Looked like the Juanfran of old. Put in a wonderful cross that Griezmann flicked onto the post but got the assist his performance merited with a wonderful through ball for the Frenchman to open the scoring.
DF Jose Maria Gimenez, 7 -- Solid. Did the little that was required of him with ease. Must now surely remain his countryman's partner for the rest of the season.
DF Diego Godin, 7 -- Looks so much more composed with Gimenez next to him. It is like he is a different player.
DF Lucas Hernandez, 6 -- Continues to ably deputise at full-back, but in games when Los Colchoneros are on the front foot, playing a centre-back as a makeshift left-back is not ideal. That is not his fault, though.
MF Koke, 5 -- One of few black marks. Is in wretched form. Blazed over the bar from a promising position in an underwhelming first half and was hooked at the break.
MF Gabi, 7 -- Excels in these kind of games when he has time on the ball to pick passes and mop up. Put in a couple of wicked set pieces, too.
MF Saul Niguez, 6 -- Better than in recent weeks, but that is not hard. Still does not control these games the way he should, however looked much more confident once Atleti were 1-0 up and his pressing almost led to a second.
MF Angel Correa, 8 -- Simeone is persisting with him and Correa finally paid him back. Led the charge forward that resulted in him slipping in Torres for his goal, but perhaps his most telling contribution was a brilliant last-ditch tackle as Las Palmas countered from an Atletico corner.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 9 -- This is more like the Griezmann we know, running the show. An impish back-heeled flick flew onto the post in the first period but he was not to be denied as he showed great pace and composure to open the scoring. Hit the woodwork again with a wonderful chip.
FW Fernando Torres, 8 -- A late inclusion owing to Kevin Gameiro's upset stomach, but took his chance by producing a top-drawer finish to seal the points.
MF Yannick Carrasco, 8 -- Atletico looked much better with his directness on the pitch. Unlucky not to score, but unselfishly set up Thomas to put the icing on the cake.
FW Vitolo, NR -- Good work in build-up for the third.
MF Thomas Partey, NR -- Showed pace and presence of mind as he kept up with Carrasco and got himself a goal.
Joseph Walker covers Atletico Madrid for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @Joe_in_espana.