Atletico Madrid beat Alaves 2-1 at home on Saturday in La Liga to maintain their superb run of form since the season resumed, recording a fourth consecutive win to further tighten their hold on third place.
Midfielder Saul Niguez broke the deadlock by heading home a pin-point free kick from Kieran Trippier in the 59th minute, while Diego Costa sent goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco the wrong way from the penalty spot to double their lead in the 73rd.
The hosts had to endure an uncomfortable end to the match though as visiting forward Joselu scored a penalty in added time. The penalty was awarded for a handball by Atletico captain Koke, who will miss next week’s trip to Barcelona through suspension after earning a booking for the incident.
Atletico are third in the standings on 58 points after 32 games, with the win extending their advantage over fourth-placed Sevilla by four points and increasing their gap with fifth-placed Getafe by nine.
Alaves, who slumped to a third straight defeat, are 15th on 35 points, nine above the relegation zone.
Reuters / Marca