David Villa delivers for Atletico
Diego Costa and David Villa delivered again for Atletico Madrid, whose Spanish league title charge continued to gain strength Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao.
Villa enjoyed Atletico's best opportunities at the Vicente Calderon Stadium and put the hosts ahead after 32 minutes by volleying Juanfran's headed-on cross through the crowded area into goal.
Nine minutes later, Koke delivered a perfect ball to Costa, who the cut back to dribble around Erik Moran and fire a low shot beyond goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz for his joint league-leading 13th goal of the season.
Bilbao rarely threatened and were reduced to 10 men in the 81st minute when Moran was shown a second yellow.
Atletico's 11th win in 12 rounds left it one point behind leader Barcelona, who has 34 points following their 1-0 win over Espanyol on Friday. Real Madrid, which beat Rayo Vallecano 3-2 on Saturday, is third with 28 points.
Also Sunday, Valencia lifted some pressure off coach Miroslav Djukic with their first win in five rounds, a 1-0 victory at Getafe thanks to an impressive first-half strike from Dorlan Pabon.
The Colombian striker unleashed a powerful shot from 30 meters in the 40th minute that flew beyond goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya into the left corner.
Granada scored in stoppage time for a 1-0 win at Levante.
Levante had a penalty in the 25th minute, but midfielder Nabil El Zhar saw his spot kick saved by Roberto Fernandez.
That left the game scoreless until Keylor Navas was beaten by Piti's free kick, although Granada teammate Manuel Iturra likely distracted the Levante goalkeeper as he stood alone between him and the defensive wall as the ball spun over and in.
Malaga also needed an injury time winner from late substitute Samuel Sanchez to beat Real Betis 3-2.
Roque Santa Cruz and Eliseu put Malaga ahead in each half only for Joan Verdu to cancel out the opener with a 33rd-minute free kick, and Jordi Figueras to equalize again with an angled header in the 61st.
But Sanchez scored in the fourth minute of added time by volleying in a rebound after Francisco Portillo's effort came off the crossbar.
Six minutes of added time were added after Betis defender Damien Perquis was taken from the field in an ambulance after colliding with Fabrice Olinga in the 55th.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.