Atletico return to thrash PSV

Atletico Madrid's first appearance in European club football's elite competition for 11 years was lined with silver - and a 3-0 Champions League thrashing of PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday.

Argentine Sergio Aguero proved the biggest thorn in the side of Huub Stevens' Dutch side, providing a ninth-minute opener and then giving the visitors a dream 2-0 lead before half time.

Portuguese midfielder Maniche then added a third goal in the 54th minute of the match to leave PSV scratching their heads.

It certainly left Stevens with a furrowed brow. "3-0 is obviously a huge slap in the face," said Stevens. "Morale-wise it is not a great thing to happen. But I prefer to lose 3-0 than to lose 1-0 three times. This result is a small catastrophe, especially because we lost at home, but it doesn't mean we are eliminated."

After Atletico's 4-0 win over FC Schalke 04 secured them a place in the Champions League group stages after an eleven-year absence from the competition, Spanish daily El País ran the headline "Atletico return to Paradise".

Their 3-0 win puts them top of group D ahead of Liverpool, who beat a determined Marseille side 2-1 at the Velodrome.

Aguero bagged the opener after some nice work between Maniche and Luis Garcia, and then took advantage of the frail PSV defence to claim his second of the night.

PSV were never in the match and in the second half were virtually reduced to spectators as Atletico dictated play.

The guillotine came down definitively in the 54th minute when Portuguese midfielder Simao dispossessed defender Edison Mendez just outside the penalty, slipped the ball to Luis Garcia who then turned provider for Maniche.