Atletico dig in once more to edge previous struggling Rayo

Atletico dig in once more to edge previous struggling Rayo

Vallecas (Spain) (AFP) – Joao Felix’s excellent go arrange Koke’s winner as Atletico Madrid jumped to 3rd in La Liga on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano.

With Barcelona taking part in Real Madrid within the Clasico on Sunday, Atletico took benefit at Vallecas, their fifth consecutive victory giving them some respiration area within the combat for the highest 4.

They needed to see out the final 9 minutes with 10 males after Angel Correa, on in its place, was despatched off. But simply as they did towards Manchester United on Tuesday within the Champions League, Atletico dug in and held on.

They now have a five-point lead over Real Betis in fifth and sit three forward of Barcelona in fourth, even when Betis have one recreation in hand and Barca two.

Diego Simeone’s aspect actually head into the worldwide break with momentum for the run-in, after rounding off a wonderful seven days that started with victory towards Cadiz earlier than knocking out United.

The draw on Friday ensured the reward for that end result might be a gathering with Manchester City within the final eight and whereas Atletico might be clear underdogs towards the reigning Premier League champions, they’re additionally constructing kind and confidence at simply the correct time.

Felix has been key, this his seventh objective or help in his final seven matches, the 22-year-old repaying Simeone’s religion whereas Luis Suarez once more began on the bench.

This was the sixth consecutive recreation Suarez has been named in its place and, with the faster, extra agile pairing of Felix and Antoine Griezmann up entrance, Atletico have hit their stride.

Rayo keep twelfth, after making it 10 league video games with out a victory. They have been in competition for the European spots only some weeks in the past however now sit simply eight factors above the relegation locations.

Felix was on the coronary heart of the decisive second within the forty ninth minute as Koke collected on the sting of the realm and performed inside to the Portuguese. 

As Rayo’s defence turned to Felix, no one noticed Koke persevering with his run, besides the ahead, who slid the ball by first time for Koke to twist within the end.

Griezmann ought to have made it two however was denied by a close-range save from Stole Dimitrievski and Atletico have been nearly undone when Oscar Valentin’s pushed cross discovered Randy Nteka free 5 yards out. Somehow Nteka skewed over.

Correa was despatched off within the eighty fifth minute for what gave the impression to be an altercation with Rayo’s Alejandro Catena and Rayo went shut in injury-time, after Dimitrievski was despatched up for a nook. The ball dropped free for Ivan Balliu and he shot low, however straight at Jan Oblak.

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