A typical display of compact and disciplined defending helped Atletico Madrid see off Celta Vigo at the Balaidos Stadium and climb to third in La Liga.

By 90Min
October 22, 2017

A typical display of compact and disciplined defending helped Atletico Madrid see off Celta Vigo at the Balaidos Stadium and climb to third in La Liga.

Kevin Gameiro's first-half goal, scored from a scrappy, poorly defended corner, was all that separated the two sides.

Celta had their moments and tested the resilience of Atletico, but they lacked the necessary guile to break down their stubborn opposition.

The hosts started promisingly, controlling the tempo of the game and dominating possession. Perhaps unsurprisingly given their away performances of recent weeks, Atletico appeared somewhat disjointed and tentative, though there were very few opportunities in a cagey opening.

It was Jan Oblak called into action first, tipping over a powerful header with a reflex save, while at the other end Antoine Griezmann's low effort brought a stretched save from Sergio Alvarez just before the half-hour mark.

But from the resulting corner, Atletico took the lead, Gameiro capitalising on a lose header from Sergi Gomez to swivel and find the net.

Diego Simeone's side began to settle following the goal, which had come from very little and seemed to derail a Celta team that had been lively in the early stages.

A late scramble caused some concern in the Atletico defence just before half-time, but they escaped with their lead intact.

MIGUEL RIOPA/GettyImages

More intricacy and creativity was required for Celta after the break; they had tested Oblak predominantly with long range efforts and the visitors had been largely untroubled.

Atletico were content to maintain their shape and allow the home side to probe, and Iago Aspas nearly levelled from a well-struck free-kick that bounced off the top of the bar.

There was an increased threat from Celta but they were up against a typically compact and dogged Atletico, who were not willing to relinquish their lead easily.

MIGUEL RIOPA/GettyImages

The away side were fairly reluctant to throw players forward, instead looking to see out a narrow victory, although Griezmann perhaps should have put the contest to bed with 70 minutes played when he headed over from close range.

Then it was Maxi Gomez's chance to squander an opportunity from a few yards out, striking a volley against the well-placed Juanfran.

Celta were not lacking in effort as they committed players forward in the final ten minutes, but there was no way past Atletico's relentless blocks and tackles.

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