Atletico Madrid beat Real Sociedad 1-0 to register its fifth win in a row in the La Liga. Filipe Luis scored for the second straight match as Atletico opened up a three-point gap ahead of fourth-place Sevilla. Sevilla take on Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night.
Luis found the net from close range in the 28th minute after a quick exchange of passes with Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres.
Atletico has now won eight of its last 10 league matches and have conceded only once in the last five league games. Leader Real Madrid face Leganes as they continue to top the table.
Atletico is now 10 points in front of fifth-place Villarreal, who beat Real Betis 1-0, and if they continue to remain in the top-three, then they will automatically qualify for the Champions League, while the fourth-place club has to go through a playoff. Meanwhile, Real Sociedad dropped from fifth to seventh in the standings as they lost their fourth match on the trot.
Luis is in sublime form and ahead of the Madrid derby on Saturday at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, he fancies his chances against the table toppers. “We go into the derby with a lot of confidence,” he said after the match. “We have a lot of injured players, but I think our form is unbeatable. After all we’ve been through this season, I think we’re in the perfect form to take on the derby.”
He said that the team was fitter and is brimming with confidence. “I am very happy,” he said in his post-match interview.”It’s not normal [for me to score] and I don’t remember having previously scored two goals in two consecutive league matches. Yet I still have to improve and keep helping the team.”
Villareal, Bilbao win
In other matches, Athletic Bilbao beat Espanyol 2-0 to go sixth on 50 points. Villarreal also won 1-0 at Real Betis to move to fifth place, with 51 points.
Aritz Aduriz scored twice in the first half for Bilbao as they won their fourth match in five games. The veteran striker converted a 17th-minute penalty and sealed the victory in the 37th as they look to cement their Europa spot. Aduriz has scored four goals in the last three league games with Bilbao.
Espanyol are ninth on the table. Adrian Lopez scored for Villarreal as they beat Real Betis, who remain in 14th place and still aren’t clear of the relegation zone.
Athletic Bilabao 2 (Artiz Aduriz 2) beat Espanyol 0
Real Betis 0 lost to Villarreal 1 (Adrian Lopez)
Atletico Madrid 1 (Flipe Luis) beat Real Sociedad 0