Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has backed Diego Costa to re-find his goal scoring form after failing to net in the 2-0 win over Real Sociedad.
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.
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.
Speaking after the game, Simeone was quizzed on the form of former Chelsea man Costa and his lack of goals.
“He is extraordinary and very important for us, for all the things he does in the dressing room. If you play like he did [against Sociedad], you are very close to scoring. It is the way.”
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.