An own goal from Joaquin Fernandez was all that was needed for Atletico Madrid as they edged to a narrow 1-0 win over relegation-threatened Real Valladolid at the Wanda Metropolitano.
In a first half where there were more yellow cards than there were shots on goal, the visitors actually looked to be creating problems for Atletico going forward and deserved to go into the break on level terms. Although the home side did dominate the possession, they created very little and looked short on ideas.
Coming out for the second half Atletico pushed for a winning goal and after 20 minutes of constant pressure Diego Simeone's men finally got the break through, when Saul Niguez's dangerous cross was turned into his own goal by Fernandez.
There was a late scare for the home fans when a penalty appeal for Valladolid was reviewed by VAR, but after extensive review the referee decided it was no penalty and the one goal was all that was needed for Atleti to secure a hard-fought 1-0 win.
Here's a breakdown of the afternoon's events.
Key Talking Point
Even though Barcelona look to already have one hand on the La Liga trophy, a win for Atletico would've meant the Catalans would have to win their game later on in the day to secure the league title where as a loss for Simeone's men would've clinched the title for Barça without them having to play.
In the end Atleti were able to get the win, although it was a far from convincing performance. They'd won four of their last five games heading into the clash with Valladolid, although the visitors - who are still fighting for their La Liga status for next season - posed many problems for Aletico's back line.
In the end they got the job done and in doing so delayed Barcelona's coronation for at least a few hours, although it wasn't a breathtaking performance by any means.
Starting XI: Oblak (9); Arias (7), Savic (7), Godin (8), Luis (6); Koke (7), Partey (6), Niguez (8), Lemar (7); Morata (7), Griezmann (6).
Substitutes: Rodri (7), Correa (7), Vitolo (6).
STAR MAN - Not for the first time this season, Jan Oblak saved his side on the day. He made some key saves in the first half to help his side keep the scored level, and survived a late onslaught from the visitors.
FT Atletico 1-0 Valladolid. Visitors had the better chances, but Atletico have Oblak, and Valladolid just have rotten luck.— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) April 27, 2019
How anyone with any understanding of football can honestly say that Oblak is not the greatest goalkeeper of all time is beyond me— AtléticoFans (@AtleticoFans) April 27, 2019
He had to be at his very best to deny a spirited Valladolid side, and in the end he did enough to keep yet another clean sheet and earn all three points for his men. Another fine performance which showed just why he's earned the nickname the Oblaktapus.
Starting XI: Masip (5); Moyano (6), Fernandez (6), Calero (7), Martinez (6); Plano (5), Herrero (5), Alcaraz (7), Rubio (6); Unal (6), Guardiola (6).
Substitutes: Villa (5), Regal (6), de la Fuente (6).
Simeone will be happy with the win but will no doubt be expecting a much better performance from his players when they travel to face RCD Espanyol on Saturday afternoon. As for Valladolid, their hopes of La Liga survival took a big blow, but they'll be hoping to grab what would be a crucial win when they host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday evening.