Atletico earn narrow win over bottom side Almeria

AFP , Sunday 10 Dec 2023

Atletico Madrid climbed provisionally third in La Liga with a tight 2-1 win over bottom-of-the-table Almeria on Sunday.

Atletico Madrid s Spanish midfielder #25 Rodrigo Riquelme challenges Almeria s Portuguese goalkeeper #25 Luis Maximiano during the Spanish league football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and UD Almeria at the Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on December 10, 2023. AFP


Diego Simeone's Rojiblancos took an early two-goal lead through Alvaro Morata and Angel Correa, but Leo Baptistao pulled Almeria into the game after an hour.

Atletico held on for the victory as the Andalucian strugglers threatened to pull level at the Metropolitano.

"They pressed us in the second half, we couldn't find solutions and it was hard for us," Atletico forward Antoine Griezmann admitted to Movistar.

Griezmann struck in the sixth minute as Atletico started brightly, but his goal was ruled out for a close offside call against the French striker.

Instead he soon turned provider by winning the ball back and feeding Morata, who darted into the area, danced away from goalkeeper Luis Maximiano and finished well to put the hosts in front.

Griezmann was involved in the second goal too in the 22nd minute, feeding Marcos Llorente, who cut the ball back for Correa to turn home from close range.

Almeria, still winless, offered little in the first half but gave a more spirited display after the break.

Former Atletico forward Baptistao netted the rebound after Jan Oblak made a fine save from Alejandro Pozo's deflected effort, which clipped the eventual scorer on its way to goal.

Oblak made fine saves to deny Sergio Arribas and Baptistao as Almeria angled for an equaliser, while Memphis Depay fired over at the other end.

"We started very slowly. Coming from behind against Atletico Madrid in their stadium is very hard," Baptistao told Movistar.

Real Madrid lead La Liga by a point from Girona, who face champions Barcelona, fourth, later Sunday in a Catalan derby.

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