Kevin Gameiro Rocket Eases Atletico Madrid Into Europa League Round of 16

Atletico Madrid advanced on the strength of its 4-1 first-leg win, but Kevin Gameiro added the exclamation point.
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Atletico Madrid eased into the Europa League Round of 16 after an outstanding strike from Kevin Gameiro completed a comfortable 1-0 win over FC Copenhagen at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The game was played out like a training exercise for the Spanish side due to their 4-1 win in the first leg already virtually putting the tie to bed.

Fernando Torres and Vitolo got rare starts but Diego Simeone for the most part still fielded a very strong side with Jan Oblak returning while Antoine Griezmann sat on the bench.

It didn't take long for Atleti to continue their goal-scoring streak. Gameiro was afforded far too much space in the seventh minute and he duly unleashed a venomous rocket off of his weaker left foot into the back of the net from 25 yards out. 

Torres almost added to the scoresheet six minutes later but Stephan Andersen was able to claw his deflected effort away.

Fellow attacker Angel Correa continued to look dangerous from the off and the Danish defense could not handle his pacey runs in behind. The Argentinian was having a lot of joy down Copenhagen's left hand side because former Middlesbrough man Viktor Fischer was allowing Juanfran to run past him and tag team poor Pierre Bengtsson.

El Nino came close again two minutes from halftime as Juanfran's cross was deflected off Copenhagen's goalkeeper and into his path but he just couldn't get enough contact on his header to direct it goalward.

Atleti almost had an goalscorer in the 58th minute as Diego Godin leaped highest at a set piece as he so often does. Gabi curled the free kick in and Godin's header sailed just over where the post and crossbar meet.

The goalscorer almost doubled the lead in the 64th minute. Gameiro raced through on goal but Andersen spread himself well to block his measured low finish and clear the danger.

Nico Gaitan replaced Correa - who was man of the match while he was on the pitch - but his replacement injected some much needed energy into the game and played some fantastic forward thinking through balls.

Thomas Partey tested Andersen as the final whistle blew and that was it all over. The draw for the Europa League round of 16 will take place at noon on Friday (February 23).