Diego Forlan showed he has maintained his World Cup form by scoring twice to help give Atletico Madrid a 4-0 win against Sporting Gijon in their Spanish league opener Monday.
Jose Manuel Jurado and Simao Sabrosa added goals for Atletico, last season’s Europa Cup winner which took the league lead on goal difference.
Jurado connected with his right foot on a poor clearance by Sporting midfielder Diego Castro and shot powerfully into the top left corner of goal in the 11th minute.
Atletico was playing at home to a cheering, almost capacity crowd at the Vicente Calderon Stadium three days after beating Inter Milan 2-0 to win the European Super Cup for the first time.
Sporting goalkeeper Juan Pablo Colinas athletically saved a high ball at full stretch in the 24th minute as his team visibly struggled against a sharp-looking and motivated Atletico.
Sergio Aguero then beat four defenders before he toe-poked a soft ball which bounced off a defender across the goalmouth to land in front of Forlan, who swiftly slotted the ball into goal in the 39th minute.
Five minutes later Jose Antonio Reyes ran up the right wing and crossed a low pass which Forlan shot just wide right.
Aguero nearly added a third in the 58th minute when he wrong-footed Sporting’s defense to shoot toward the top right of goal, but Colinas punched out at full stretch.
Forlan, who won the Golden Ball in South Africa after leading Uruguay to the semifinals, scored his second in the 63rd, before Simao Sabrosa hit Atletico’s fourth goal in injury time.
Colinas was also forced to save two shots by Aguero in injury time.
In other weekend matches it was Barcelona 3, Racing Santander 0; Athletic Bilbao 1, Hercules 0; Valencia 3, Malaga 1; Sevilla 4, Levante 1; Espanyol 3, Getafe 1 and Real Sociedad 1, Villarreal 0. Mallorca held Real Madrid to a 0-0 draw, Deportivo La Coruna drew 0-0 against Zaragoza 0 and Osasuna was held to the same score by Almeria.