A goal by Antoine Griezmann ensured Atletico Madrid ended a losing streak before it faces Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus in the Champions League.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) A goal by Antoine Griezmann ensured Atletico Madrid ended a losing streak before it faces Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus in the Champions League.
Griezmann's late goal was about all Atletico could muster in attack to beat crosstown minnow Rayo Vallecano 1-0 in the Spanish league on Saturday.
The win that came after losses to Real Betis and Real Madrid lifted Atletico ahead of Madrid and into second place, before the latter hosts Girona on Sunday. Atletico moved to within four points of leader Barcelona before it hosts Valladolid later.
Griezmann netted his team-leading 12th goal in the league to flip a match that Rayo had under control.
Alvaro Morata controlled a high ball with his chest in the area and knocked it to Griezmann, whose shot took a deflection before finding the net in the 74th minute.
Diego Costa played the final half hour for Atletico in his first action since recovering from a left-foot injury that required surgery in December.
Atletico hosts Juventus in the opening leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Wednesday. Atletico, runner-up in 2014 and 2016, is eager to reach the June 1 final hosted at its home stadium, the Wanda Metropolitano.