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Played
January 4, 2014 10:00 AM EST
Estadio La Rosaleda — Málaga
Referee:‬ José Teixeira‎
Attendance:‬ 26911‎
 
 
Koke 70′
Top of the Match
Koke
Koke
Atletico Madrid
Koke
Koke
Atletico Madrid
Flop of the Match
Juanmi
Juanmi
Malaga
Juanmi
Juanmi
Malaga

Malaga 0-1 Atletico Madrid: Koke sends Rojiblancos three points clear of Barcelona

Diego Simeone's men came off second best during the first half at La Rosaleda but their 21-year-old midfielder secured three precious points with his 70th-minute strike

By Mark Doyle

ALBERTO ANGELERI DIEGO COSTA MALAGA ATLETICO MADRID LA LIGA 01042014
Getty Images
Koke scored the only goal of the game as Atletico Madrid moved three points clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Malaga.

The Rojiblancos struggled to get going during the opening half at the Rosaleda but they improved after the interval and claimed a crucial victory when their homegrown 21-year-old midfielder fired home with just 20 minutes remaining.

With winter champion Barcelona hosting Elche on Sunday, Atletico went into the game knowing that it would almost certainly have to win at Malaga if it was to end the weekend still level on points with the Blaugrana at the summit of the standings.

However, it was Malaga which began the brighter of the two sides, with defender Sergio Sanchez firing over the bar seven minutes in, after the ball had dropped invitingly for him in the area.

Indeed, the Rojiblancos did not threaten the home side's goal until the 23rd minute, when Willy Caballero dealt easily with a low drive from Juanfran.

The hosts upped the ante just after the half-hour mark, with Eliseu Pereira testing Thibaut Courtois at the end of an incisive drive into the area.

Vitorino Antunes let fly just moments later but his curling effort from wide on the right-hand side never looked like creeping inside the far post.

Still, there was no denying that Malaga looked the more likely as a slightly underwhelming first half drew to a close.

Credit to Diego Simeone's men, though, they looked far more energetic after the break, with the introduction of Adrian Lopez in place of the ineffective Oliver Torres playing a key role in their transformation.

Indeed, Adrian went close to opening the scoring on 62 minutes after finding some space in the area but he was closed down by Antunes at the last second.

However, Atletico finally made the breakthrough soon after when Koke pounced on a loose ball and calmly fired home to secure three precious points for the visitors.


Malaga

13
Willy Caballero
Goalkeeper
3.00
2
Jesús Gámez
Defender
3.00
3
Weligton
Defender
2.50
-
Antunes
Defender
89′
3.00
-
Marcos Angeleri
Defender
41′ 77′
2.50
18
Eliseu
Midfielder
66′
2.50
21
Sergio Sánchez
Defender
2.50
6
Camacho
Midfielder
3.00
-
Sergi Darder
Midfielder
24′
2.50
-
Samuel
Striker
87′
3.00
26
Juanmi
Striker
65′
2.00

Atletico Madrid

3.00
13
3.00
2
3.00
3
Filipe Luis
Defender
3.00
20
Juanfran
Defender
53′
3.00
23
Miranda
Defender
10′
3.50
5
Tiago
Midfielder
26′
3.50
6
Koke
Midfielder
70′
2.50
10
Arda Turan
Midfielder
62′
2.50
-
Oliver Torres
Midfielder
46′
3.00
9
3.00
19

Substitutes

1
Carlos Kameni
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
Flávio
Defender
 - 
77
P. Morales
Midfielder
77′
 - 
17
Duda
Midfielder
65′
2.50
-
B. Anderson
Midfielder
 - 
27
Portillo
Midfielder
 - 
9
2.50

Substitutes

 - 
1
Dani Aranzubia
Goalkeeper
 - 
12
 - 
22
3.00
11
 - 
19
Guilavogui
Midfielder
 - 
24
José Sosa
Midfielder
2.50
7
Adrián
Striker
46′

Coach/Manager

-
2.50

Coach/Manager

3.50
-
 
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Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atlético de Madrid
27 5
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0