truggling LaLiga champions, Atletico Madrid recovered from their shock midweek defeat by basement club Levante, with a comprehensive 3-0 thrashing of Osasuna on Saturday.
Strikers Joao Felix, Luis Suarez and Angel Correa were on target to lift Diego Simeone’s side to fourth spot with 42 points from 25 games.
They are 12 points adrift of leaders Real Madrid and three ahead of Barcelona, who will have a game in hand following their match against Athletic Club on Sunday.
“A great effort from everyone,” Simeone said postmatch.
“The team showed huge commitment. We were lucky to score early.
“They’re a very difficult team. We were lucky in the first half that their chance that hit the woodwork didn’t level the game.
“In the second half, our clinical counter-attacks gave us the possibility to win the game, at a difficult ground.”
The goal would have come as a huge relief to Felix as he had been struggling to gain Simeone’s trust and was making only his third start in Atletico’s last 15 league matches.
He rifled in a rebound from a corner in the third minute and after the break assisted Suarez, who scored the second when he lobbed rival goalkeeper Sergio Herrera from 40 yards.
Correa completed the rout with a lightning fast last-minute counter attack.
Felix said: “Yes I’m happy, we’re all happy. We played a bad game the other day as we all know but you get games like that.
“We knew how to turn the situation around, the dressing room is united. We’re all together, looking for our objective. We’re improving and we have to carry on like that.”
Manchester United are next up for Atletico in the Champions League knockout stages.
“We’ll rest now, we’ve had some tough games in a row, we have four days now to prepare the Manchester [United] game and we’ll do it with a lot of responsibility,” Simeone said.