Soccer-Atletico thump third-tier Rayo Majadahonda 5-0 in Copa del Rey

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Atletico Madrid Training - Ciudad Deportiva Wanda Atletico de Madrid, Madrid, Spain - December 6, 2021 General view during training REUTERS/Susana Vera

MADRID (Reuters) -Atletico Madrid thrashed third-tier Rayo Majadahonda 5-0 away in the Copa del Rey to reach the last 16 on Thursday.

A year after Atleti suffered a humiliating 1-0 loss to Unio Esportiva Cornella in the last-32, manager Diego Simeone played a full-strength side against their neighbours, ensuring there was no chance of any surprises this time.

Matheus Cunha, Renan Lodi and Luis Suarez gave Atletico a comfortable lead in the first half. Antoine Griezmann, who came off injured, and Joao Felix wrapped up the win after the break.

"Of course, the Cup is a priority for us," Brazilian striker Matheus Cunha told reporters. "You have to win regardless of who you are. The most important thing is to win and advance."

It was a solid performance by Atletico the day after holders Barcelona and Real Madrid had trouble beating lower-tier sides.

On Wednesday Barca fought back to secure a 2-1 win at third-tier Linares Deportivo, while Real gained revenge for defeat by Alcoyano last year as they won 3-1 with two late goals.

They joined Sevilla, Cadiz, Elche, Athletic Bilbao, Espanyol, Real Sociedad, Valencia, Real Betis, Rayo Vallecano, Mallorca and third-tier Atletico Baleares, who eliminated LaLiga side Celta Vigo with a 2-1 win on Wednesday, in the next round.

Two other top tier sides were eliminated on Thursday by lower division teams. Unai Emery’s Villarreal lost 2-1 at Sporting Gijon and Osasuna went down 1-0 at Girona, with both second-tier clubs also advancing into the last-16.

The draw for the next round will take place at the Spanish Football Federation on Friday. Lower-tier teams will be drawn first to host LaLiga sides after which it will be an open draw.

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; editing by Ken Ferris)

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