Joao Felix’s excellent move 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 Actual Madrid within the Clasico on Sunday, Atletico took benefit at Vallecas, their fifth consecutive victory giving them some respiration area within the struggle 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. However simply as they did in opposition to Manchester United on Tuesday within the Champions League, Atletico dug in and held on.
They now have a five-point lead over Actual Betis in fifth and sit three forward of Barcelona in fourth, even when Betis have one sport 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 superb seven days that started with victory in opposition to Cadiz earlier than knocking out United.
The draw on Friday ensured the reward for that consequence shall be a gathering with Manchester Metropolis within the final eight and whereas Atletico shall be clear underdogs in opposition to the reigning Premier League champions, they’re additionally constructing kind and confidence at simply the precise time.
“I feel we’ve got discovered the important thing, we’ve got elevated the depth, the crew is taking part in higher and that’s mirrored within the outcomes,” stated Koke.
“Now we have grown collectively,” added Simeone.
Felix has been key, this his seventh purpose 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 sport 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 rivalry for the European spots just a few 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 world and performed inside to the Portuguese.
As Rayo’s defence turned to Felix, no person noticed Koke persevering with his run, besides the ahead, who slid the ball by means of first time for Koke to curve 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 virtually undone when Oscar Valentin’s pushed cross discovered Randy Nteka free 5 yards out. In some way 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.