Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke confident of progression

Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke

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Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke believes the club are now in a good position to qualify from Group A in the Champions League after hitting Malmo for five on Wednesday night.

The 2013-14 runner’s up fell to a shock defeat in their group opener against Greek side Olympiakos but have swiftly recovered with victories over Juventus and Malmo.

Atleti who are priced at 21.00 to win the Champions League were made to work hard to edge into the lead against the Swedish side with Koke breaking the deadlock on 48 minutes.

The Spanish champions had a number of opportunities to open up a lead prior to that in the first half but spurned their chances in front of a sell-out crowd.

Koke was inspired throughout the tie and came away with a goal and three assists as he laid goals on for Mario Mandzukic, Antoine Griezmann and Diego Godin.

Summer signing Alessio Cerci bagged the fifth from the bench in additional time and although Koke admitted that the opening 45 minutes were frustrating he believes that they now hold a good chance of reaching the knockout stages.

Koke said: “We tried in the first half but they didn’t give us much space. We tried with a lot of crosses and we had bad luck when Griezmann hit the crossbar.

“We tried to score from close range, from distance, in the end we worked hard and I was lucky to score the first, and from there the goals came.

“We have to go and win our remaining games to avoid relying on others. We have six points we’re at the top and that’s what’s important.”

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