La Liga - Courtois heroics deny Osasuna draw

Mon, 30 Jan 21:55:00 2012

Diego Godin scored Atletico Madrid's goal in a 1-0 win over Osasuna - but it was on-loan Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois who ensured them of the three points at the Reyno de Navarra.

Diego Godín Radamel Falcao Adrián López Atlético Osasuna Liga 2012 - 0

Under new manager Diego Simeone, Atlético have now taken ten points from 12 available and are yet to concede a league goal having scored eight times.

They picked up another three points in their quest to force themselves into contention for a Champions League place as Godin scored from close range on 40 minutes after Andres Fernandez had managed to claw out a Falcao effort.

They are up to 29 points in seventh place level on points with Athletic Bilbao, but only two points adrift of fourth-placed Levante and Espanyol in fifth spot. Osasuna are in 10th spot with 27 points in a congested table.

Much of the credit should go to Courtois, who stood firm to deny the home side a point they deserved for their exertions in the second period.

He made a fine diving save to repel Raul Garcia's header from Roland Lamah's cross on 73 minutes before doing likewise to halt the lively Dejan Lekic's headed effort from David Timor's ball as Atletico somehow clung on under severe pressure.

The first half was a fairly insipid affair with Andres Fernandez blocking a stinging Koke volley on 35 minutes as both teams seemed to cancel each other out.

Simeone was missing the suspended Gabi and Diego, while Antonio Lopez was out injured, but Atletico could have put the game to bed early in the second period when Fernandez dived bravely at the feet of Adrian after he had cut a dash through the heart of the Osasuna defence on 52 minutes.

Falcao managed to evade a few challenges on a slalom run seconds later before rounding Fernandez. He seemed certain to score only to miskick with the goal gaping.

In the end, it was not decisive in the final outcome.

Under former Argentina captain Simeone, a huge fan favourite at the Calderon where he won a league and cup double as a player in 1996, Atletico have drawn once and won three on the trot without conceding a goal.


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