Atlético Madrid extended its undefeated run in LaLiga to nine games on Monday night after a tough 1-0 victory over Girona at Montilivi. The goal came late, with Álvaro Morata turning in Ángel Correa’s flick after a deflection in front of the Girona goal.
90:31 - Álvaro Morata's goal has been the latest away goal for @atletienglish in @LaLigaEN (90:31) since September 2021 (Thomas Lemar v Espanyol at 98:56).— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 13, 2023
With 13 games left to play, Atlético are now six points clear of Real Betis in fifth place and have a three-point cushion over Real Sociedad in fourth.
“(Montilivi) is always difficult, it’s a hard place for us. We hadn’t won here until now, and the truth is Girona played at a good rhythm,” Diego Simeone told DAZN after the game. “We had two or three important situations to score in the first half that lacked precision ... Tough, difficult, very close game, and the goal came at the most beautiful moment of the game — when it was ending.”
Only Barcelona have won more games (9) than Atlético (7) in LaLiga since football returned after the World Cup. Only Real Madrid have more expected goals in LaLiga since that time as well, while only Madrid and Real Sociedad have fewer expected goals against them.
This really is, as Simeone said, a new team since the turn of the year. The last time Atlético went on such a streak of good form, they won the league.
8 - @atletienglish haven't lost any of their last eight games in @LaLigaEN (W5 D3), since their 1-0 defeat against Barcelona in January, and they haven't gone on more games without losing in a single season in the competition since February 2021 (GP11 W9 D2).— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 13, 2023
“I hope we continue like this,” Morata said scoring after his 10th goal of the season. “There’s a really good environment right now, you can notice that we are much stronger together and we want to continue like that.”
Atlético are currently eight points behind Real Madrid in third, with a Clásico to be played against Barcelona at the weekend. The chances of Atlético catching Carlo Ancelotti’s side are slim, but to think they are within touching distance after such a poor start to the league is quite the feat.
“It’s such a pity that we are so far behind the front two,” Jan Oblak said after the game. “We are going to fight to finish as high as possible. I’m sure that the season will end well. It’s a pity we can’t fight for a trophy, but we have to go to the maximum until the end of the season.”