MADRID – Atletico Madrid needed Thomas Lemar to come off the bench and score an 85th-minute winner against Eibar on Saturday as they stretched their lead over Real Madrid to seven points in La Liga.
Real play at home to in-form Athletic Bilbao on Sunday but Atletico took another step towards finishing above their city rivals for a second consecutive year by squeezing past Eibar 1-0 at Ipurua.
Without Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa, who were both suspended, Diego Simeone's side looked set for a stalemate that would have given Real at least a sniff of second place.
Instead Lemar, on as a substitute, tucked home at the back post to end Eibar's resistance and reduce the gap behind run-away leaders Barcelona to six points.
Eibar have now won only once in their last eight games and stay 13th.