Diego Costa penalty seals crunch win for Atletico over Alaves in La Liga
After a slow start to Saturday’s game, Midfielder Saul Niguez broke the deadlock by heading home a pin-point free kick from Kieran Trippier just before the hour mark, while in-form forward Diego Costa made no mistake as he converted a penalty won by Marcos Llorente to double their lead in the 73rd minute of the game.
Two Atletico substitutes played a huge part in the second half to the build of the second goal. Joselu scored a stoppage-time goal for the visitors after a penalty was awarded for a handball by Atletico captain Koke, who will miss next week’s trip to Barcelona through suspension.
Atletico Madrid are now four points clear of Sevilla in fourth and have opened up a superb nine-point cushion over Getafe in fifth. They are well on course to qualify for the Champions League next season.
“It was a really hard-fought game, Alaves sat very deep and it was very hard for us to get near their goal or down the wing but we got the breakthrough from a set play then they opened up and our subs caused them damage,” said goal scorer Saul.
“I can sleep easily because the team is in very good form, we all worked hard in our homes during lockdown and after it and that has made the difference between us and our rivals.”
Atletico Madrid would be hoping Diego Costa keeps his form as their next one is a huge test away to Barcelona on Tuesday.