Carrasco continues fine form as Atletico roll in Copa del Rey play
Atletico Madrid made light work of their trip to Guijuelo on Wednesday, hammering the side from Salamanca 6-0 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey round of 32 meeting.
After a predictably energetic start from the hosts an upset was never likely to materialise and several fringe players did themselves favours with impressive displays. First half strikes from Saul Niguez and Sime Vrsaljko were added to in the second period by Yannick Carrasco (x2), Angel Correa and debutant Roberto Nunez to -- barring a miracle in the return -- seal their place in the final 16.
The look of delight on Nunez's face when he scored was priceless. Meanwhile the impressive trio comprising of Correa, Vrsaljko and Lucas Hernandez will have given Diego Simeone food for thought ahead of the visit of Espanyol this weekend.
Carrasco's dive for Saul's penalty. Do it in the last minute of the Champions League semifinal when desperate for a goal by all means, but there is no need against Segunda B opposition.
On the playing front, Stefan Savic still looks out of sorts and was almost embarrassed by the lowly opposition. Others such as Thomas Partey and Nicolas Gaitan while doing alright did not impose themselves as you might have expected.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Hard to give too much credit given the opposition, but got the selection and formation right. Still bellowing at his players for misplacing a pass when 5-0 up shows his passion for the team.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Miguel Moya, 6 -- Made a meal of an early cross but made up for it with a save one-on-one after the break.
DF Sime Vrsaljko, 8 -- Showed wonderful technique to volley in a near-post effort with the final touch of the first half. Untroubled in defence, his attacking instincts took over and the side looked very threatening whenever he was bombing down the wing.
DF Jose Maria Gimenez, 6 -- Had nigh on nothing to do all night. Dealt easily with the little he had to.
DF Stefan Savic, 5 -- Still showing glimpses of his wobbly form. Charged out of defence and completely missed his tackle to allow Guijuelo a run at Moya. Did little to convince he should be recalled as Diego Godin's regular partner.
DF Lucas Hernandez, 8 -- For someone who is not a full-back by trade he does a convincing impression. Did not have to do much defensively but was dangerous in attack, consistently overlapping and managed to bag himself an assist.
MF Nicolas Gaitan, 7 -- Uninvolved in the first 45, but looked good after the break with the opposition visibly shattered. Sent Carrasco in for his first and also played a lovely pass to Lucas that resulted in Correa's effort.
MF Thomas Partey, 6 -- A wonderful clipped pass set up Vrsaljko for his goal. Was combative as per but did not take his chance to shine as much as you might have expected.
MF Saul Niguez, 7 -- Skipper for the night, he calmly tucked away the penalty to get the ball rolling. Calm and collected in possession.
FW Yannick Carrasco, 8 -- Loses a point for his dive but apart from that was the best player on the park by a few country miles. Had previously hit the post and was denied by a flying save before showing excellent composure to bag twice after the break. Given a well-earned half hour break at the end.
FW Angel Correa, 8 -- A real nuisance for the home side's defence all night and looked as if he had a point to prove. Showed sublime skill, bagged an assist -- a fantastic one for Carrasco's first -- and also managed to get himself on the scoresheet.
FW Caio Henrique, 7 -- A positive debut. Saw a good effort saved early on and fit into the front three well.
FW Roberto Nunez (for Carrasco), 7 -- Admittedly, the joy on his face after netting a debut goal was worthy of a 10. Unlucky not to get a second late on.
FW Juan Moreno (for Henrique), 6 -- After seeing his mate Nunez get on the scoresheet tried a speculative effort that the keeper did well to stop.
FW Roberto Olabe (for Correa), NR -- Given a run out for the final 10 minutes.
Joseph Walker covers Atletico Madrid for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @Joe_in_espana.