Angel Correa and Antoine Griezmann netted in the final three minutes as Atletico Madrid beat a spirited Rayo Vallecano 2-0 in La Liga.
After struggling to break through for the majority of Wednesday’s clash at Vallecas, Diego Simeone’s side finished with a flourish to take themselves back above Real Madrid in the table.
Atletico’s front three of Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, Griezmann and Fernando Torres all tested Yoel in the opening 45 minutes but were unable to break the deadlock.
The second half saw chances at both ends but Yoel and Jan Oblak were equal to everything thrown at them, the latter on hand to save from Alhassane Bangoura.
Simeone turned to Correa just after the hour and it ultimately paid dividends as he broke the deadlock after converting Thomas Partey’s pass in the 88th minute.
Griezmann added extra gloss to the victory two minutes later with his ninth of the campaign, sealing all three points and leaving Rayo in the bottom three.
After soaking up early Rayo pressure, Atletico soon found their stride and began to pepper the hosts’ goal with Saul Niguez and Jose-Maria Gimenez going close in the opening 10 minutes.
Ferreira Carrasco then took centre stage as he was presented with two chances in quick succession, the Belgian’s first effort superbly saved by Yoel before he dragged his second wide.
Atletico’s quest for the game’s opening goal quickly brought another opportunity in the 21st minute as the ball broke to Griezmann in the penalty area, but his snapshot was kept out by the busy Yoel.
With the half-hour approaching Torres was given his first sight of goal, the striker bustling his way into the penalty area only to see Yoel get another strong hand to his looping effort.
The visitors did not have it all their own way, though, and were grateful to Oblak in the 35th minute as he got down well to save Javi Guerra’s low effort.
Rayo continued to threaten after the restart as Bangoura met a cross-field pass on the edge of the penalty area, his first-time volley was well hit but easily held by Oblak.
Slowly the game began to open up and Saul went close to breaking the deadlock just after the hour, the midfielder unable to stretch enough to convert Ferreira Carrasco’s low shot.
Guerra quickly turned the focus on Atleti’s goal with a surging run in the 69th minute, the striker twisting away from his marker to cross low for Bangoura, only to see Oblak make a timely interception.
Diego Godin saw a header well saved by Yoel, but the goalkeeper could do nothing to deny Atletico’s two late strikes.
Correa showed composure to volley home from 15 yards to open the scoring, before Griezmann raced onto Jackson Martinez’s excellent pass to chip the ball superbly over Yoel and complete Atletico’s win.
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