Spanish La Liga
Atl MadridAtlético Madrid1EspanyolEspanyol0

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Espanyol

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa

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
  • 20Torres Belén
  • 3Filipe Luís
  • 14Fernández Arenas
  • 12Alderweireld
  • 2GodínBooked at 69mins
  • 24SosaSubstituted forKokeat 52'minutes
  • 5Cardoso MendesBooked at 90mins
  • 9VillaSubstituted forGarcia Escuderoat 80'minutes
  • 19Diego Costa
  • 10TuranBooked at 52minsSubstituted forRibas da Cunhaat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Aranzubia
  • 6Koke
  • 8Garcia Escudero
  • 11Rodríguez
  • 18Giménez
  • 21Ribas da Cunha
  • 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

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Atlético de Madrid 1, Espanyol 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Atlético de Madrid 1, Espanyol 0.

  3. Post update

    Diego (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Fuentes (Espanyol).

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sergio García (Espanyol) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Javi López.

  6. Post update

    Offside, Atlético de Madrid. Koke tries a through ball, but Diego is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Atlético de Madrid. Conceded by Javi López.

  8. Booking

    Sergio García (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card.

  9. Post update

    Diego Godín (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Sergio García (Espanyol).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Espanyol. Gabriel Torje replaces Pizzi.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Atlético de Madrid. Conceded by Héctor Moreno.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Raúl García (Atlético de Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Diego.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Gabi (Atlético de Madrid).

  15. Post update

    Álex (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    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.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Espanyol. Álex replaces Víctor Sánchez.

  18. Booking

    Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Post update

    Raúl García (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol).

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 15th March 2014

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