BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — João Félix scored and assisted Luis Suárez in Atlético Madrid’s 3-0 victory over Osasuna in the Spanish league on Saturday, giving the struggling defending champions a boost before face Manchester United.
Félix crushed a poor clearance by Osasuna goalkeeper Sergio Herrera for the opener in the third minute. Felix’s pass in the 59th launched a counter-attack which Suárez capped off with a superb left-footed shot – 40 yards out – over the head of Herrera, who was caught by his line.
Ángel Correa completed the win in the 88th with his team-high 12th goal of the season.
Atlético’s first away win in the league since late November came after an embarrassing home loss to Levante. Victory in Pamplona saw Atlético move past Barcelona to fourth place.
Man United – and former nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo – are the next test for Atlético when they visit the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Wednesday in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg.
Diego Simeone’s Atlético needed a convincing victory after their worst run of results since the Argentine coach took over the club and made it a winner ten years ago. Beyond the goals, Atlético finally showed the same defense that Simeone made the foundation of their success by keeping their first clean sheet in eight games.
“We are happy with today’s victory after such a bad game, but we were able to turn it around,” said Felix, 22, after making his 100th appearance in all competitions for Atlético. “It gives us confidence after scoring three goals and not conceding once.”
Villarreal also warmed up for Juventus after striker Arnaut Danjuma scored a hat-trick to lead his side to a 4-1 win at Granada.
Unai Emery’s side also edged past Barcelona and took fifth place before hosting Juventus in their Champions League match on Tuesday.
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