Atletico on song as Rennes exit
Atletico Madrid secured top spot in Group I of the UEFA Europa League after easing 3-1 past eliminated Rennes at the Vicente Calderon.
Radamel Falcao, who scored 17 goals in Porto's Europa League-winning campaign last season, and Alvaro Dominguez netted first-half efforts for already-qualified Atletico before Arda Turan added a third 11 minutes from time.
Rennes pulled a goal back through Georges Mandjeck in the 86th minute, but it was nothing more than a consolation for the French side, who finished bottom of the group with just three points from their six games.
Atletico coach Gregorio Manzano, who has found himself under increasing pressure following an inconsistent start to his tenure since taking charge in the summer, named a strong side for the match even though the La Liga side was already assured of a top-two finish.
It was Rennes who would come closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening half hour though as Chris Mavinga rattled the crossbar with a header from Yacine Brahimi's 16th minute free-kick. Atletico survived that scare and they took the lead in the 37th minute when Falcao slotted home from the penalty spot.
Mandjeck was penalised for his challenge on Adrian Lopez inside the area and Falcao, who joined Atletico for a club record €40 million from Porto, beat Abdoulaye Diallo from 12 yards. Atletico had to wait just four minutes for their second goal as defender Dominguez got on the end of Diego's free-kick to head past Diallo.
With hopes of a maiden group victory disappearing, Rennes tried to hit back in the second half and Yacine Brahimi saw a shot tipped round the post by Sergio Asenjo before Vincent Pajot headed wide from close range.
Alexander Tettey was also denied by Asenjo before Atletico ended the French side's attempted fightback when Turkey international Turan fired home from the edge of the box to make it 3-0.
Despite that setback, Rennes continued to push forward and, after Asenjo had tipped over a Dimitri Foulquier header, the visitors got on the scoresheet when Mandjeck nodded in Brahimi's outswinging corner.