Antoine Griezmann found the net after just three minutes of play on Saturday evening and that was all it would take to snatch all three points from Espanyol at the Vicente Calderon. Los Rojiblancos currently sit second in La Liga, with Luis Enrique's side disposing of Real Sociedad 4-0 earlier in the day, and are just two points behind Barcelona as they quietly build momentum for a sustained title challenge.
The goal was Griezmann's second in three games in the league and his fourth in four in all competitions. Atletico will be delighted with that return but will be disappointed that they could not kill off the game despite having efforts from Fernando Torres, Thomas Partey and Yannick Carrasco. This appears to be a growing trend for Cholo's side but they continue to win and the questions is: How good can they be if some of those scoring chances are converted?
It was a typically strong defensive performance with Oblak's third clean sheet in a row in League competition.
GOAL | Atleti 1-0 Espanyol Griezmann scores! Can Atletico get a win and remain in second place? Courtesy: SkySports pic.twitter.com/4GYB9CZtdQ— fanatix (@therealfanatix) November 28, 2015
Tiago injury worry
Atletico lost their main man in midfield when a seemingly innocuous tackle on Marco Asensio resulted in the Portuguese anchor man writhing in pain on the ground. He was stretchered off and was replaced by Yannick Ferreira Carrasco.
We await news on the injury and the replays show him holding his right calf as he was stretchered off.
Oliver Torres made the most of his inclusion in the team with an industrious display. He set Griezmann up for his goal and worked hard for his side. Simeone continues to play him in games that Atletico are likely to hold a lot of possession in and this game will do his confidence the world of good as he had to adapt when Tiago was replaced.
Fernando Torres replaced Luciano Vietto after 75 minutes with El Nino in search of his 100th goal in Atletico colours. He has not scored since the 19th of September in a 2-0 over Eibar. The hunt for that illustrious goal continues, however, as Torres was unable to get on the scoresheet despite continued pressure by Atletico deep into the game
Atletico will need to find a replacement for Tiago if his injury is to be as serious as it looked and Saul Niguez was quietly excellent today for his side. Thomas Partey also came on for his first appearance of the season for the side. He was efficient and effective in central midfield and showed off his athletic ability on more than one occasion. He also had an excellent effort turned around the post late on that might have killed off the game.
Atletico play Deportivo Reus on the 1st of December in the first leg of their Cope del Rey showdown. From there, it is two away games against Granada and then Benfica in a game that could define their entire European season. They welcome Raul Garcia and Athletic Bilbao to the Calderon after that and will be in good shape after this round of games to continue their pressure on Suarez, Messi, Neymar and Barcelona.