Atletico Madrid return to top of table with win over Celta Vigo
Atletico Madrid returned to the top of the Primera Division standings with a 2-0 victory at Celta Vigo.
After seeing title rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid record big winning margins on Saturday, the pressure was on Diego Simeone's side to respond and, as they usually have so far this season, they delivered.
They found it tough to break down a dogged home team in the first half but Antoine Griezmann made the breakthrough after 49 minutes and substitute Yannick Carrasco made sure of the three points with 10 minutes remaining.
The win moved Atletico two points ahead of second-placed Barcelona, who have a game in hand, and four points clear of city rivals Real. Celta stay fifth in the table.
In the first half it was very tight and competitive affair as Celta matched Atletico stride for stride and they had the first chance after 20 minutes when Iago Aspas got between the two central defenders but guided his header wide from six yards out.
Atletico were restricted to very few goal scoring opportunities with their best chance coming just after the half hour mark but, after a good team move, Griezmann's shot from the edge of the penalty area cleared the crossbar.
Griezmann had looked a constant threat with his movement off the ball causing Celta problems and that is what led to the Frenchman opening the scoring four minutes into the second half.
He started the move outside the area and used his change of pace to get into the box where he side-footed home Luciano Vietto's low cross along the six-yard line at the far post.
It was Griezmann's clever ball round the corner to Vietto that created the chance but he did not admire his pass and was rewarded with his 13th goal of the season.
Celta, looking to avoid back-to-back home defeats and a third straight league loss, then had to gamble and began leaving themselves short in defence as they chased the equalising goal.
They were caught out in the 80th minute following a long goal kick from Jan Oblak. With the wind and rain blowing in his face, home defender Gustavo Cabral misjudged his header and Carrasco collected the loose ball 35 yards out.
The substitute embarked on a powerful drive forward, getting a little luck with a ricochet off the recovering Cabral as he entered the penalty area, before firing a left-foot shot beyond Sergio Alvarez with the aid of a slight deflection off Sergi Gomez.