Atletico Madrid moved 10 points clear of city rivals Real and tightened their grip on second place in La Liga with a battling 1-0 victory away to Eibar in the pouring rain on Saturday evening.
Atleti started the stronger and took a deserved lead through Kevin Gameiro after some wonderful build-up play and that should have been the catalyst for a comfortable win as they dominated possession and chances.
However, after the break the home side dominated, and aerially bombarded Los Rojiblancos. Jan Oblak and Co. stood firm, though, and ensured Atletico returned to the capital with all three points.
Los Colchoneros are in a commanding La Liga position and look odds on to finish second at worst. Gameiro might now kick on following Diego Costa’s arrival, too.
The way Atletico sat off and allowed Eibar back into the game after the break was not good and the fact that they conceded so many chances would have come back to haunt them on another day.
Manager rating out of 10
7 — The decision to select Gameiro ahead of Fernando Torres paid off for Diego Simeone; however, he was overly cautious once they took the lead.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Jan Oblak, 8 — Produced a fantastic reflex save to ensure Diego Godin did not score an own goal. Showed great hands late as he held some tricky headers when surrounded by attackers waiting to pounce.
DF Sime Vrsaljko, 6 — Unable to attack with his usual gusto, but did put in one great cross that Koke should have done better from. Caught out a couple of times in the air and needs to improve that aspect of his game, though.
DF Jose Maria Gimenez, 7 — A strong showing from the young Uruguayan, who has given Simeone food for thought as to who partners with Godin moving forward.
DF Diego Godin, 7 — Always looks more comfortable next to his countryman. Produced one brilliant last-ditch block to deny a certain goal late.
DF Lucas Hernandez, 8 — We keep saying he is not a full-back but he does such a convincing impression of one. Did not put a foot wrong all evening.
MF Koke, 6 — Should have scored early on but more than made up for it with a perfect through ball for Griezmann in the buildup to the goal.
MF Thomas Partey, 6 — Tireless in the engine room. Kept things ticking over and never slowed down. Uses the ball very well and these are the kind of games he is pivotal in.
MF Saul Niguez, 5 — Put in a shift defensively; however, he should be contributing more going forward.
MF Angel Correa, 6 — A strange one. Threatened early on and fired in a cross that just evaded Gameiro. Looked dangerous but was totally anonymous after the half-hour mark and was subbed off 10 minutes into the second half.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 7 — Fantastic at linking the midfield and attack. Was extremely unselfish to set up Gameiro when he could have gone for goal himself. Missed a one-on-one that would have made the final quarter of an hour much more comfortable, though.
FW Kevin Gameiro, 7 — Was lively from the off and backed up his manager’s decision to pick him. Showed good pace and game awareness to stay onside before producing a composed finish to secure the points for Atleti.
Yannick Carrasco, 6 — His pace was useful on the counter; however, not for the first time the end product was not there.
Augusto Fernandez, 5 — Brought on to help shore things up in midfield but did not really have much success in doing so.
Fernando Torres, NR — Brought on to provide an out ball, but he was unable to hold it up.
Joseph Walker covers Atletico Madrid for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @Joe_in_espana.