Following the heaviest defeat Atletico Madrid have suffered during Diego Simeone’s tenure as manager, two goals from defenders saw the capital side become the new leaders of La Liga.
Simeone made four changes to the side that suffered a humiliating 4-0 loss away to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday, with Santiago Arias, Stefan Savic, Angel Correa and Rodri taking to the field in place of Juanfran, Filipe Luis, Thomas Partey and Thomas Lemar.
Real Sociedad sat in 12th position prior to kick off and were hoping that a win over an uneasy Atleti side could propel them into the top half of the league. Asier Garitano made three changes to the team that drew 0-0 at home to Girona on Monday evening, with Mikel Oyarzabal, Jon Bautista and Sandro Ramirez being replaced by Luca Fuentes, David Zurutuza and Willian Jose.
The hosts had a slow start to the match, and Antoine Griezmann nearly broke the deadlock in the 25th minute, however his overhead kick sailed over the bar. Ruben Pardo hit two shots off target in quick succession, but it was Atleti that grabbed the opener on the stroke of half time. Angel Correa cleverly skipped past Kevin Rodrigues and hit a low cross that Raul Navas failed to clear, the loose ball finding Diego Godin who slotted in to give Los Colchoneros an advantage at the break.
Simeone brought Lucas Hernandez off at half time as a precaution over a muscle problem and replaced him with Filipe Luis. The Brazilian grabbed the winner in the 60th minute, smashing the ball from the left hand side of the box past former Atleti keeper Moya to secure the three points.
Atletico will remain at the top of the table should Barcelona fail to beat Real Madrid in Sunday’s El Clasico. The side travel to Catalonia on Tuesday for a Copa del Rey Round of 32 match with Tercara Division side Sant Andreu.
Real Sociedad remain in 12th place and face Celta Vigo in the cup on Thursday.
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Oblak; Arias, Savic, Godin, Lucas (Filipe Luis, 45); Correa (Lemar, 82), Koke, Rodri, Saul; Diego Costa, Griezmann
Real Sociedad (4-2-3-1): Moya; Espinoza, Elustondo, Navas, Rodrigues; Illarramendi, Zubeldia; Pardo, Fuentes (Januzaj, 81), Zurutuza (Sandro, 59); Jose (Juanmi, 68)