Antoine Griezmann reached 200 career goals this afternoon as his penalty was enough for Atletico Madrid to pick up a victory at home to Espanyol.
Atleti have only lost one match this campaign, and have managed to collect points in every game since that loss to Celta Vigo on September 1st. They nearly missed out on three points last weekend, with a late Griezmann goal resulting in a 3-2 win over Valladolid.
Espanyol have had a disastrous run of form recently, failing to pick up a single point from the last 15 available. The Periquitos also progressed to the next stage of the Copa del Rey on a technicality, eliminating Segunda side Cadiz via the away goal rule.
It was the visitors who looked more likely to score in the opening stages of the game, with Esteban Granero chipping a shot wide of the top-left hand corner, with Jan Oblak having to stop a similar shot from Borja Iglesias. The keeper also had to stop a ferocious 20-yard volley from Leo Baptistao near the half way mark, with the former Atleti striker seeing his follow up attempt strike the post.
Los Colchoneros finally tested Diego Lopez just before the half time whistle, with a Griezmann volley getting pushed away by the goalie.
The hosts played a better defensive game in the second half and finally secured the points in the 56th minute.
Granero kicked out at Koke in the box and Griezmann stepped up and smashed the call into the roof of the net to grab what turned out to be the only goal of the game.
Atleti now sit in second place of La Liga with Sevilla facing Leganes on Sunday. The two face each other in their first game after the winter break.
Espanyol sit in 13th position and host Leganes in the first game of Jornada 18, on Friday 6th January.
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Oblak; Arias, Savic, Godin, Saul; Correa (Montero, 72), Thomas (Martins, 77), Rodri, Koke; Kalinic (Vitolo, 65), Griezmann
Espanyol (4-1-4-1): Lopez; Rosales, David Lopez, Naldo (Melendo, 72), Didac Vila (Pedrosa, 82); Duarte; Baptistao, Darder, Granero, Sergio Garcia (Piatti, 70); Borja