Primera Division: Atletico Madrid strike early to beat Real Sociedad 2-0
Last Updated: 08/04/15 7:44am
Atletico Madrid kept up the pressure on La Liga top two Barcelona and Real Madrid with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Real Sociedad at the Vicente Calderon.
Atletico had the points all but wrapped up inside the opening 10 minutes after netting twice, first through an own goal from Mikel Gonzalez and then a second from former Sociedad favourite Antoine Griezmann.
Sociedad's defence did not cover themselves in glory for either goal and they could find no way back after that as third-placed Atletico moved to within two points of Real Madrid in second and six behind leaders Barca, both of whom play on Wednesday.
Defending champions Atletico had won 12 of their previous 15 home league matches this season, losing only once, while Sociedad had managed to pick up just one win in 14 away games, so it was little surprise when the Rojiblancos took immediate control of proceedings.
David Moyes' visitors hardly helped themselves though, with defender Gonzalez gifting the hosts a second-minute lead when he inadvertently glanced Koke's inswinging corner into his own net.
That came after Atletico had already struck the post through Arda Turan's effort and Sociedad's problems worsened in the 10th minute when the hosts doubled their lead.
Again it should probably have been averted as, instead of turning Koke's 20-yard shot behind for a corner, young Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli parried it straight back out in front of him and Griezmann thumped the loose ball into the roof of the net.
Griezmann, who joined Atletico from Sociedad last summer for a reported £24million, declined to celebrate the goal but the damage had already been done for the San Sebastian outfit, who would have moved up to eighth with a win.
Atletico's dead-ball prowess continued to cause problems and Griezmann was close to converting another dangerous corner in the 13th minute before Sociedad finally created a threat at the other end of the pitch, Gonzalo Castro's low shot bringing a diving save out of Jan Oblak.
It was Atletico who were in control, though, and they almost added a third before the break when Koke's looping cross beat the back-peddling Rulli and hit the crossbar.
Diego Simeone's champions also kept Sociedad at arm's length during the second half, and could have netted in the 56th minute only for Guilherme Siqueira to fire a chance wide after 22-year-old Rulli had tried to push out a cross.
Sociedad introduced Esteban Granero with nine minutes to go for their final throw of the dice and the former Real Madrid man almost earned his side a lifeline in the 88th minute.
However, his superb curling free-kick from 25-yards out drew an equally top-drawer save out of Oblak as it arrowed towards the top corner, and Atletico were left to celebrate a third successive 2-0 victory in La Liga.