Spanish La Liga
Atl Madrid1Espanyol0

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Espanyol

Atletico Madrid kept the pressure on La Liga leaders Real Madrid as they maintained their unbeaten home league record with a win over Espanyol.

David Villa had a header saved as the hosts controlled the opening half without creating many chances.

But Spain international Diego Costa slotted in the opener after the break from Villa's pass.

Costa shot over the bar later on from a tight angle after rounding goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.

Atletico have not won La Liga title since 1996, but Saturday's win keeps them just three points behind city rivals and league leaders Real Madrid with 10 matches remaining.

Barcelona are four points further back in third ahead of their home match against Osasuna on Sunday.

Diego Simeone's Atletico are yet to lose at home in the league this season, scoring 44 goals in 15 matches.

They went into the match having reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 1997 with a 5-1 aggregate victory over AC Milan on Tuesday, sealed by a 4-1 scoreline on the night.

Espanyol are one of only three teams to have beaten Atletico this season but they rarely looked capable of pulling off another shock result at the Vicente Calderon.

The home side struggled to find their rhythm in the opening stages but were only denied an opener by goalkeeper Casilla, who parried Villa's glancing header wide.

Casilla then had to be alert to keep out Costa's header before the Brazilian-born Spain international had a good penalty claim turned down after a challenge by Espanyol defender Juan Fuentes.

Atletico dominated possession in the first half but struggled to break their resolute Catalan opponents down.

The second-half start in a similar fashion until Costa's 22nd league goal of the campaign came when he latched on to Villa's pass and calmly converted.

Espanyol substitute Jhon Cordoba almost levelled when he beat goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defender Toby Alderweireld to the ball, but the latter recovered to clear.

Courtois, who had suffered a heavy blow to the head, then blocked David Lopez's shot as Atletico hung on to a crucial victory.

Line-ups

Atl Madrid

  • 13Courtois
  • 20Juanfran
  • 3Filipe Luis
  • 14Gabi
  • 12Alderweireld
  • 2GodínBooked at 69mins
  • 24SosaSubstituted forKokeat 52'minutes
  • 5TiagoBooked at 90mins
  • 9VillaSubstituted forRaúl Garcíaat 80'minutes
  • 19Diego Costa
  • 10TuranBooked at 52minsSubstituted forDiegoat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Aranzubia
  • 6Koke
  • 8Raúl García
  • 11Rodríguez
  • 18Giménez
  • 21Diego
  • 22Insúa

Espanyol

  • 13Casilla
  • 16López RodríguezBooked at 32mins
  • 18Fuentes Hernández
  • 14López Silva
  • 19Colotto
  • 15Moreno
  • 8Stuani
  • 4Sánchez MataBooked at 83minsSubstituted forFernández Iglesiasat 85'minutes
  • 9García de la Fuente
  • 10Afonso FernandesSubstituted forTorjeat 89'minutes
  • 20SabrosaSubstituted forCórdobaat 62'minutesBooked at 78mins

Substitutes

  • 1Parreño Boix
  • 3Rodríguez
  • 6da Silva Junior
  • 22Fernández Iglesias
  • 23González Casanova
  • 24Córdoba
  • 25Torje
Referee:
Pedro Jesús Pérez Montero
Attendance:
45,000

Match Stats

Home TeamAtl MadridAway TeamEspanyol
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home8
Away8
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Atlético de Madrid 1, Espanyol 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Atlético de Madrid 1, Espanyol 0.
Diego (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Fuentes (Espanyol).
Attempt missed. Sergio García (Espanyol) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Javi López.
Offside, Atlético de Madrid. Koke tries a through ball, but Diego is caught offside.
Corner, Atlético de Madrid. Conceded by Javi López.

Booking

Sergio García (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card.
Diego Godín (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sergio García (Espanyol).

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Gabriel Torje replaces Pizzi.
Corner, Atlético de Madrid. Conceded by Héctor Moreno.
Attempt blocked. Raúl García (Atlético de Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Diego.
Foul by Gabi (Atlético de Madrid).
Álex (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Jhon Córdoba (Espanyol) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Pizzi.

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Álex replaces Víctor Sánchez.

Booking

Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Raúl García (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol).
Offside, Atlético de Madrid. Gabi tries a through ball, but Diego Costa is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Atlético de Madrid. Raúl García replaces David Villa.
Attempt missed. David López (Espanyol) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Christian Stuani.

Booking

Jhon Córdoba (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card.
Toby Alderweireld (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jhon Córdoba (Espanyol).
Corner, Espanyol. Conceded by Thibaut Courtois.
Attempt saved. David López (Espanyol) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Víctor Sánchez.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Thibaut Courtois (Atlético de Madrid) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Atlético de Madrid. Diego replaces Arda Turan.

Booking

Diego Godín (Atlético de Madrid) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Diego Godín (Atlético de Madrid).
Jhon Córdoba (Espanyol) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt saved. David López (Espanyol) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sergio García.
Attempt missed. Diego Costa (Atlético de Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high.
Arda Turan (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Héctor Moreno (Espanyol).

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Jhon Córdoba replaces Simão.
Offside, Atlético de Madrid. David Villa tries a through ball, but Diego Costa is caught offside.
goal

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