Espanyol 0 Atletico Madrid 1: Griezmann makes the difference with landmark goal

Atletico Madrid recorded a narrow 1-0 win over Espanyol courtesy of an Antoine Griezmann strike in the second half.

Antoine Griezmann scored his 100th goal in LaLiga to help Atletico Madrid to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday.

Both sides struggled to create any chances of note until Griezmann struck with 16 minutes left to clinch victory.

Diego Simeone's men were high on confidence heading into the game following their Champions League quarter-final win against Leicester City, having also won six out of their last seven LaLiga fixtures.

But Espanyol had every reason to be optimistic as well following their recent home form, with the Catalans emerging victorious in each of their last four league games at the RCDE Stadium.

And it was a tight affair in Barcelona, with Griezmann eventually the hero after a clinical finish late in the second half.

This weekend's results leave Atletico in third place in the table with 68 points from 33 games, three points clear of fourth-placed Sevilla, while Espanyol sit ninth on 49 points.

Espanyol made an encouraging start to the game and threatened early on when Jose Jurado volleyed just over the crossbar after some good work from Gerard Moreno down the left, while they were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty when Saul Niguez seemingly handled the ball inside his own area in the ninth minute.

Atletico’s first moment of danger came when Yannick Carrasco tried his luck with a powerful long-range strike from 25 yards out, but goalkeeper Diego Lopez responded well to prevent his side from going a goal down.

The home side remained arguably the more dangerous side of the two, though, and Pablo Piatti got an opportunity to break the deadlock early in the second half, seeing his low shot trickle just wide after taking a deflection off Stefan Savic.

Diego Godin then had a chance to hand Atletico the lead when he beat his marker to the ball after a corner from the right, but the defender aimed his header just wide of the target.

The visitors slowly started pushing forward in search of the opener and Griezmann eventually found the net in the 74th minute, coolly slotting a shot past Lopez from a narrow angle for his 100th goal in the Spanish top flight.

Leo Baptistao could have levelled the scoring again when presented with a gilt-edged chance just minutes later, but goalkeeper Jan Oblak showed his class with a fine save to deny the attacker and ensure Atletico took home the full three points.

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