Aguero
AP

Sergio returns, stars in Atletico victory

Sergio Aguero enjoyed a starring return to the Atletico Madrid ranks on Saturday with both goals in a victory over Real Mallorca.

Aguero sat out Atletico's last two matches due to fitness concerns, but he wasted little time in stamping his class on this match, netting twice in the opening half-hour.

His first arrived in the 12th minute when he coolly lobbed the ball over Mallorca goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya after latching onto a headed pass from strike partner Diego Forlan.

The two Atletico forwards were also involved in their side's second goal in the 28th minute, although Lady Luck also played a big part with Forlan's hopelessly miscued effort finding Aguero at the far post, giving the young Argentinian an easy tap-in.

Atletico deserved to be in front at half-time, but Mallorca certainly gave their hosts some food for thought, especially early on when Aritz Aduriz and Fernando Varela both had decent efforts for the visitors.

Aduriz had another half-chance just before the break, but he seemed surprised to see a free-kick find its way through to him at the far post and the former Athletic Bilbao hit man failed to get any power on his shot.

Aduriz went much closer immediately after half-time though, and he can consider himself unlucky after his acrobatic effort smashed against the Atletico crossbar.

The rebound then fell to Mallorca captain Juan Arango, but his first-time shot was gratefully snapped up by Leo Franco.

Suarez was then left muttering to the heavens after heading a decent chance wide from a corner as the Balearic Island side continued their impressive start to the second half.

Having seen their side take just one point from their previous four matches, the Atletico fans were starting to get a little jittery at that stage and their mood would not have improved when a poor defensive header allowed Suarez another shooting opportunity.

Once again though, Leo Franco was equal to the task, diving to his left to deflect the shot away for a corner.

Mallorca, who started the game one point above Atletico in eighth spot, may have been enjoying the better of the game in the second period but the home side still posed a threat through the ever-dangerous Aguero.

The 20-year-old had hardly been involved after the break but he still almost completed his hat-trick in the 71st minute when his looping effort clipped the top of the bar.

Aguero was replaced to a standing ovation with 10 minutes remaining, with coach Javier Aguirre presumably having more than one eye on Tuesday's Champions League match at Liverpool.

Atletico continued to struggle though and Mallorca could have set up a grandstand finale if substitute Pierre Webo had made the most of his gilt-edged chance with six minutes remaining.

The Cameroon international looked certain to score when he got on the end of Arango's left-wing cross but from just five yards out he could not take advantage, although Leo Franco must take a lot of the credit with a brilliant one-handed save.

Leo Franco then denied Aduriz with his feet as Mallorca made a late, but ultimately fruitless, bid to get something from their impressive second-half display.

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