Espanyol ease four past Atletico
The midfielder fired past Thibaut Courtois from 30 yards in the fifth minute before he raced into the area and struck his second two minutes later. Romaric scored Espanyol's third before Radamel Falcao pulled one back for the visitors just after half an hour in a dramatic opening period.
Sergio Garcia added the home side's fourth in the 54th minute before Arda Turan volleyed Atletico's second from just outside of the area with seven minutes left on the clock. Espanyol moved up into eighth place in the table with the win, while Atletico fell to tenth.
Espanyol dominated the match and Verdu got them off to a flying start with two goals in two minutes, both with powerful strikes. Having taken control of the game early on, Espanyol continued to press and Garcia tested Courtois again with a shot from the centre of the area, before Romaric netted the third in the 19th minute.
Romaric makes it three
Romaric linked up with Garcia, who played him in with a great ball from the left wing, allowing the midfielder to fire home from 12 yards. Falcao gave the visitors a lifeline in the 32nd minute when he headed Eduardo Salvio's cross past Espanyol goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez from close range.
But any hopes of a comeback proved shortlived. After the break, Garcia increased the home side's lead from close range before Thievy Koulossa almost scored Espanyol's fifth, only for Atletico goalkeeper Courtois to tip the ball round the post.
Garcia fired a volley wide before Koulossa forced another save from Courtois as the home side continued to bombard Atletico's goal. Courtois did well to deny substitute Cristian Gomez in the 67th minute after Hector Moreno had a chance cleared off the line by Atletico defender Joao Miranda.
Atletico scored through Turan, who fired home a superb volley from 20 yards, but it was too late for the visitors to mount a comeback.