Millennium Post

Mandzukic hat-trick fires Atletico Madrid

Mandzukic hat-trick fires Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, thanks to a 4-0 win at home against Olympiacos at the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Wednesday. Atletico kicked off the game with Mario Mandzukic fit to play after suffering a shoulder injury at the weekend and last season's beaten finalists also knew a win was important if they were to avoid Juventus in the last game of the group stage in two weeks. Once again Atletico's effectiveness from set pieces proved decisive as Raul Garcia scored with his left foot from the edge of the six yard box as early as the ninth minute following a free kick taken by right back Juanfran Torres.

Mandzukic doubled Atletico's lead on a chilly Madrid night seven minutes from half time when he was on hand to poke home a cross from left back Cristian Ansaldi. The Croatian added a third goal shortly after the hour following a cross by Arda Turan, who along with Koke, has been Atletico's main provider this season. The result was placed beyond any lingering doubt when Mandzukic completed his hat-trick just three minutes later after Gabi swing another ball into the area from a free kick. The win means Atletico have secured their place in the next round, but Olympiacos can still join them in the last 16 if they beat Malmo while Atletico win in Turin.
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