Spectacular Saul strike lights up Atletico rout of Real

Substitute Saul Niguez scored a spectacular overhead kick for Atletico Madrid.

 Atletico Madrid’s midfielder Saul Niguez celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on 7 February, 2015. Picture: AFP

BARCELONA - Substitute Saul Niguez scored a spectacular overhead kick for Atletico Madrid who tore apart local rivals Real Madrid 4-0 to open up the La Liga title race on Saturday.

Real, who were missing key players defensively, began sluggishly and goalkeeper Iker Casillas was at fault as he allowed a Tiago Cardoso shot from the edge of the area to slip under his right hand after 13 minutes.

The goal still did not wake up Real who quickly conceded another from Saul who had come on for the injured Koke.

Guilherme Siqueira tore down the left wing, Saul met his cross with a bicycle kick and the ball flew in off the post.

Atletico continued to create chances and Antoine Griezmann went close several times before bundling in a Saul header from close range with Raphael Varane slow to react after 66 minutes.

Mario Mandzukic further punished the Real defence with a header from a Fernando Torres cross after 89 minutes.

Atletico have now beaten Real in the domestic Super Cup, twice in the league and knocked them out of the King's Cup since losing the Champions League final to their neighbours last season.

Real lead the table on 54 points while Atletico go level on 50 with second-placed Barcelona who face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.