A superb late free kick from Falcao saw high-flying Atletico Madrid secure a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad at the Anoeta in La Liga.
One of Europe’s most in-form teams, Atletico travelled to San Sebastian to face Real Sociedad in fine form.
On the back of nine consecutive wins Atletico were confident of coming away with maximum points again, but La Real were on an impressive run of their own, having only lost once at home in the last 13 encounters.
The first half ended goalless with Real dominating possession at a rain-swept Anoeta where their opponents struggled to come to terms with the conditions and were unable to find any fluency to their game.
The hosts should have had a penalty at the conclusion of the first half when a rebounded free-kick was smashed goalwards by Real Sociedad captain Xabi Prieto and Atletico skipper Gabi blocked the ball with both hands, only for the referee to miss the incident and unjustly award a free-kick to the visitors.
A more evenly-contested second half was settled by a superb free-kick from 'El Tigre' Falcao following a needless, lazy foul committed by Asier Illarramendi as the game petered out and players from both teams tired in the difficult rainy conditions.
La Real will feel hard done by after having had the better of the game, but a glorious chance blazed high and wide by Carlos Vela late in the second half proved to be costly as Falcao showed him how it should be done with his winning goal at the death.
Indeed, it was highly frustrating for the hosts to concede the goal in the manner they did, especially given the solid job done by their centre-halves Mikel González and Iñigo Martínez who allowed Falcao no space as the Colombian star laboured alone in attack.
Europa League holders Atletico have now won seven Liga games in a row and 10 in all competitions including the 4-1 destruction of Chelsea in the Super Cup and two Europa League wins.
They are one of the strongest sides in Europe on current form and are level on points with Barcelona at the top of the league table after eight games.
Atletico continue their Europa League defence this week at home to Academica Coimbra.
- Sports & Recreation
- Atletico Madrid
- Real Sociedad
- La Liga