Late goals from Antoine Griezmann and Rodri helped Atlético Madrid move up to joint first place with Barcelona in La Liga as Los Rojiblancos dispatched Alavés 3-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Nikola Kalinić gave the hosts the lead with a goal midway through the first half, but they had to hold off a spirited fightback from their visitors in the second before ending a scrappy game with a flattering scoreline.
The result draws Atlético level with Barcelona on 28 points, although the Catalans are a game in hand and play local rivals Espanyol this evening.
Check out our roundup of the game below.
Key Talking Point
With Diego Costa expected to be out for two months following foot surgery, manager Diego Simeone will be relieved that other players have stepped up to the plate in the striker’s absence, particularly Kalinić.
Having broken his Atlético duck in the Copa del Rey victory over Sant Andreu earlier in the week, the Croatian made it two in two by converting Thomas Lemar’s whipped cross in with his stomach in the 25th minute.
Starting XI: Oblak (5); Arias (7), Savić (6), L. Hernández (5), Saúl (8*); Correa (6), Partey (7), Rodrigo (6), Lemar (6); Kalinić (7), Griezmann (6).
Substitutes: Vitolo (6), Giménez (6), Francisco Montero (6).
STAR MAN – Saúl showcased his versatility, starting at left-back before moving into his regular midfield position, and contributed all over the pitch. In a feisty game that featured nine yellow cards, the 24-year-old showed maturity and kept his nose clean.
WORST PLAYER – Normally so assured, Jan Oblak had an uncharacteristically nervy game, particularly in the second half – flapping at crosses and at one point pushing a harmless ball out of play for a corner while under no real pressure from the opposition.
Atléti will seek to secure top spot in Champions League Group A next Tuesday when they visit Club Brugge, before travelling to Valladolid on Saturday.