Last weekend’s defeat at the Camp Nou may have been a knockout blow for Atletico Madrid‘s title hopes, but they showed that they’ll keep on fighting for points until the end of the season with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Celta Vigo.
An Antoine Griezmann freekick and a tidy finish from Alvaro Morata steered Diego Simeone‘s side to a victory that ensures they’ll finish this weekend in second place and ahead of Real Madrid.
Even though they were missing all four of their senior centre-backs, amongst others, Los Rojiblancos were able to keep a clean sheet thanks to the novel central defensive pairing of Toni Moya and Francisco Montero, and thanks to Jan Oblak.
While the two youngsters acquitted themselves well, they had the insurance of LaLiga Santander’s top goalkeeper behind them for whenever Celta‘s Iago Aspas-less attack did break through and the Slovenian was called upon twice in the first half.
In the 17th minute he had to make a double save, denying Maxi Gomez and then even more spectacularly pushing a Ryad Boudebouz to safety.
Sofiane Boufal forced another good stop from Oblak just past the half hour mark, as Celta created the clearer chances of the opening exchanges.
Yet Atleti took a lead into the dressing room at half time after Griezmann struck a freekick into the far corner, surprising Ruben Blanco.
Celta started the second half well and Atletico‘s lead was looking more and more slender, but substitute Morata sealed the victory in the 74th minute.
Griezmann played the striker through on goal and he blasted into the net after rounding the goalkeeper, sparking a passionate celebration from Simeone on the sidelines.
While some might think Atletico have nothing left to play for, the players and coach seem as committed as ever.