Substitute Adrian Lopez hit an important winner as Atletico Madrid beat Celta Vigo 1-0 on Friday to keep the pressure on Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
The win, Atletico’s ninth straight victory at home this season, moves the club from the capital to within six points of Barca in second position ahead of the Catalan side’s game at Valladolid on Saturday.
Diego Godin, Diego Costa and Koke had all missed first half chances for the home team in a game they began controlling.
However, a strong Celta performance after the interval meant the match was looking increasingly like a draw until Adrian came on for Costa on 72 minutes.
Five minutes later he hit an unstoppable left-footed shot, his second goal in the league this season, from 25 yards to break the deadlock and earn Atletico three vital points.
Atletico had to play out the last five minutes with 10 men after centre-half Joao Miranda was dismissed for a second yellow card but held on for a hard-earned win.
Earlier, Valencia beat Getafe 4-2 at home to make it two wins out of three for new manager Ernesto Valverde.
Valencia went two ahead early on with with goals from Roberto Soldado and Jonas Goncalves before Alvaro Vazquez reduced the gap for the visitors on 12 minutes.
Ricardo Costa restored the two-goal advantage for the home side with a header on 30 minutes only for ex-Valencia defender Alexis to reduce the lead again on the hour.
Nelson Valdez hit the home side’s fourth in injury-time as Valencia joined Getafe on 24 points in the top half of the league.