Atletico Madrid kept their winning run going with a 1-0 victory against Real Sociedad ahead of a challenging trip to derby rivals Real Madrid.
Filipe Luis’ first-half goal was enough as Atletico Madrid took a further step towards Champions League qualification by opening up a three-point gap ahead of fourth-placed Sevilla in the La Liga table.
Diego Simeone’s men fired 13 shots in the first half at the Vicente Calderon and, although they faded a little after the break, firm defensive play saw them secure a fifth successive La Liga win which piles more pressure on Sevilla ahead of their trip to Barcelona later today.
Although sluggish at the opening minutes, once Atletico found their stride Real Sociedad struggled to keep them quiet and Filipe Luis gave them a deserved lead in the 28th minute by finishing off a brilliant one-two with Fernando Torres to score his second goal in as many games.
Torres’s assist would also equal his his best assist tally in a single LaLiga season (five in 2006/07), and the former Liverpool striker should have doubled Atletico’s lead later in front of an open goal, only to find the woodwork from close range.
They wasted another two glorious chances on the stroke of half-time – with Yannick Carrasco shooting straight at keeper Geronimo Rulli when set up by Griezmann, and Luis then doing the same on the rebound.
In the second half, La Real managed to dominate possession but a lack of creativity saw them unable to really challenge the Atletico defence, allowing Jan Oblak to remained untested and Atletico to hold on for the win.
This was the Madrid team’s fifth successive win in La Liga, their best run since April 2016 when they won six, and a good win in their sails as they travel across town to play table leaders Real this weekend, who themselves are travelling to Butarque for their own game against a struggling Leganes.