Atlético Madrid moved one step closer to booking their place in the Champions League next season with a 1-0 victory over La Liga's bottom side Málaga.


Antoine Griezmann's early strike for Los Rojiblancos set the tone at La Rosaleda Stadium, and despite impressing at the start of the second half, the hosts found themselves pinned back for most of the game.


​Atlético's win has kept their near two-month unbeaten run in ​La Liga intact and has also increased their lead over Valencia in the table to 12 points.

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It took Atlético just 40 seconds to score the opening goal of the game, with Antoine Griezmann reacting the quickest from Saúl Ñíguez's deflected effort to dink the ball over Roberto and give Diego Simeone's side some early breathing space.


Filipe Luís saw a hopeful effort fly harmlessly wide of the post as the visitors pushed for a second goal, while Diego Costa wasted two opportunities from inside the hosts' penalty area.


It took Málaga 17 minutes to register their first effort at Jan Oblak's goal and the Boquerones should have found themselves back on level terms. Brown Ideye cleverly found some space in the box but the Nigerian striker could only direct his header wide of the post from close range.

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Chances were few and far between for both sides throughout the remainder of the first-half but Atlético looked to be in a comfortable position.


However, Málaga came out fighting after the restart and the likes of Keko, Youssef En-Nesyri and Roberto Rosales were causing the visitors problems.


Jan Oblak was forced into an outstanding save to keep out a Rosales free-kick, while Brown Ideye's acrobatic effort from an offside position was only denied by the woodwork.

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Atlético failed to create any real chances in the closing stages of the game and despite the introduction of Fernando Torres, Los Rojiblancos were forced to just sit back and soak up the pressure - something they did impeccably.


For all of Málaga's second-half chances, José González's side were unable to create any clear-cut efforts on goal and a late injury to Mehdi Lacen only compiled more missey onto the Boquerones as they took one step closer to relegation from La Liga this season.

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