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 By PA Sport

Fernando Torres lifts Atletico into second place after Valencia fall

Fernando Torres picked an opportune time to get off the mark in the league for Atletico.
Fernando Torres guided Atletico Madrid to a win over Alaves.

Fernando Torres scored the only goal of a 1-0 victory over Alaves as Atletico Madrid took advantage of Valencia's slip-up to go second in La Liga on Sautrday.

Atletico dominated possession but struggled to turn that into clear-cut chances against lowly Alaves, who held out until the 74th minute.

Then Torres tucked away Sime Vrsaljko's cross to lift Atletico into second place, three points behind Barcelona, who play Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.

Atletico are now two points above Valencia, whose title hopes suffered a major blow with a 2-1 defeat by Eibar.

It was a deserved victory for the Basque side, who are pushing for Europe themselves and had the better of possession and chances.

Inui gave the hosts the lead four minutes after half-time but it was cancelled out by Santi Mina's equaliser.

However, it was Eibar who went on to take all three points, with Joan Jordan heading Ivan Alejo's cross in with only three minutes remaining.

The Basque derby failed to catch fire as Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad played out a goalless draw at San Mames.

With the sides separated by only two points in midtable, it was perhaps not surprising the match ended in stalemate, although visitors Sociedad enjoyed significantly more possession.

That did not translate into goalmouth action. Of the 17 efforts on goal during the game, only three were on target, with Sociedad forcing late chances through Inigo Martinez and Xabi Prieto.

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