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Ten-man Atlético dig deep to sink Espanyol

Sunday 24 February 2013 23.15 CET
Atlético celebrate Falcao's first-half penalty

Club Atlético de Madrid were made to work hard to maintain their 100% Liga home record as they survived the first-half dismissal of Gabi to secure a battling 1-0 success against RCD Espanyol.

The victory lifted Diego Simeone's side back within 12 points of leaders FC Barcelona, and four ahead of third-placed Real Madrid CF, both of whom won yesterday.

Espanyol went into the game undefeated in six but went behind to a Falcao penalty in the 38th minute, after Héctor Moreno had brought down Diego Costa in the box. Atlético lost Gabi to a second yellow card on the stroke of half-time, yet they held on to seal a 13th league win of the season at the Estadio Vicente Calderón.

RC Celta de Vigo gave their bid to beat relegation a timely boost with a 2-1 home win against Granada CF, as goals from Iago Aspas and Mario Bermejo moved the 18th-placed side to within two points of safety. Elsewhere, Real Valladolid CF are up to 11th courtesy of a 2-1 success at Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, Manucho getting the winner, and Real Betis Balompié defeated fourth-placed Málaga CF 3-0.

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