La Liga: Atlético 1 – 0 Espanyol
Diego Costa shoots Atlético past Espanyol
Atlético earned a hard-fought victory over Espanyol on Saturday night. The Rojiblancos struggled against the Catalans, but a goal by Diego Costa separated the sides.
In the 55th minute the excellent David Villa sliced a pass into the path of Diego Costa, who used his pace and power to get away from his defender before scoring with his left foot. It was one of only two attempts on target by the home side, who were sloppy in possession and who seemed to suffer from exhaustion after an intense midweek Champions League clash.
Perhaps to battle tiring legs, Diego Simeone had introduced four changes to Wednesday’s line-up, one of them being David Villa. El Guaje was lively throughtout the entire game on Saturday and was unfortunate not to score on a number of occasions in the first half. First he saw a header from close range saved by Kiko Casilla and some minutes later Villa again came close with a header, but but that time his attempt was off target.
After half an hour of play Villa, Arda and Diego Costa sliced through the Espanyol defence, but left back Fuentes managed to intervene at the latest possible moment. It was Atleti’s last opportunity until Costa decided the game shortly after the break.
A few moments after his goal, Diego could have added a second when he went around Casilla, but he lost his balance and ultimately fired the ball over the crossbar instead of into the empty net.
Other than a deflected shot by Sergio García in the first half, there was little Espanyol offered offensively. But the people at the Vicente Calderón held their breath fifteen minutes before time, when Thibaut Courtois stayed down after taking a knee to the head from substitute John Córdoba. Tibu seemed dizzy, but was able to continue and guide Atleti through the final stretch of the game, which was nerve wracking and panicky. In the end Atleti held on to their lead to copy Real Madrid’s result from earlier on the night, and we can now sit back and wait to see the result of our neighbour’s clash with Barcelona next week as we’re assured at least one of our rivals will drop points in the race for La Liga.
|Diego Costa 55'|
|15 March 2014|
|Raúl García (80')|
|Álex Fernández (85')|