Atletico cruise into knockout stages
Atletico Madrid's superb start to the season continued on Wednesday as an effortless 4-0 win over hapless Austria Vienna saw them qualify for the Champions League last 16 as winners of Group G.
Atletico, who have won 11 of their 12 matches in La Liga this season and won all four of their Champions League group games, eased to victory with goals by Miranda, Raul Garcia, Filipe Luis and the prolific Diego Costa, who took his tally to 13 goals in his last 11 games.
Costa would have had two but for missing a penalty in the second half.
Atletico's appearance in the last 16 is their first since the 2008/09 season and their victory also registered a new club record for successive wins in Europe's elite competition with four, beating the previous mark set by their predecessors in the 1958/59 campaign.
"I'm pleased with the way the team played," said Atletico coach Diego Simeone.
"We're into the Last 16, the side played well, and so now we can relax a bit more for the last two games against two good teams."
Atletico wasted little time in taking control of the game as Miranda scored in the 11th minute, knocking the ball home from close range after Garcia had failed to get proper contact on Koke's corner.
Garcia missed another good chance a few minutes later but made no mistake in the 25th minute as he headed home after being set up by Costa, adding to the goal he scored against the same opposition a fortnight ago.
Costa went close himself a minute after that but his dipping volley was well saved by the visitors 'keeper Heinz Lindner, who had made several other good saves in the first half to keep the score relatively respectable.
However, he was picking the ball out of his net for the third time on the stroke of half-time, saving an Adrian Lopez shot only for Filipe Luis to finish into an empty net.
Garcia came close to doubling his tally for the evening 20 minutes into the second half, only to see his header saved by Lindner.
But Costa finally got on the scoresheet eight minutes from time, finishing off Garca's backheel into his path with real gusto, and many of the so-called bigger clubs will be hoping to avoid Simeone's men in the knockout stages.
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