Antoine Griezmann struck again as Atletico Madrid kept the pressure on Barcelona at the top of La Liga by beating in-form Getafe 2-0 on Saturday.
Griezmann now has eight goals in as many games, his latest helping Atletico register their sixth win in seven league matches. The only dropped points came in a respectable draw away to Sevilla.
Saul Niguez tapped in a second before half-time at the Wanda Metropolitano to complete an impressively smooth victory over a Getafe side that had lost only once, to Barcelona, in 12 outings.
Renowned for their tenacity, Getafe strayed in the final minutes, when Djene Dakonam and Leandro Cabrera were both sent off.
Griezmann could have been playing for Barca had his decision been different last summer but instead he is fast-becoming the sharpest thorn in their side, driving Atletico almost single-handedly at times to a sustained title challenge.
Alvaro Morata could yet join this month, even if reports in the Spanish press have suggested a deal with Chelsea is proving difficult to close.
But with Griezmann in this sort of form and Diego Costa expected back next month, perhaps Atleti are less in need, with some fans even appearing to chant against Morata’s arrival, although they were quickly drowned out by boos.
“The opinion is respectable, people can say what they want,” Simeone said. “I look for players that serve the club and the team.”
It is no coincidence that Griezmann’s surge has coincided with a consistent run for Atletico, which looks timely too, with Real Madrid in La Liga and Juventus in the Champions League both to come at the start of next month.
Sevilla jumped above Real into third after earlier thrashing Levante 5-0, with all of their goals coming in the second half. Valencia move up to seventh after continuing their revival by beating Villarreal.
Barca and Real both have games in hand to come on Sunday, however, the former away to Girona and the latter up against Espanyol.