La Liga: Atleti strengthens table lead after Real Madrid draws

La Liga
Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images
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A day after Barcelona drew the 16th place team on La Liga’s table, Real Madrid did the same and Atletico Madrid took full advantage.

Elche climbed back above Eibar when it scored late against Spain’s second-place side, and Atleti got the job done at the Wanda Metropolitano to strengthen its grip on first place.

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More terrific defense? Of course. Diego Simeone’s Atleti kept its 10th clean sheet in 14 games, having allowed just five league goals this season.

Elche 1-1 Real Madrid

Luka Modric’s early penalty was canceled after halftime by Fidel’s 52nd-minute penalty, leaving the reigning champs plenty of time to find a winner.

Despite 68 percent of the ball and a 14-6 edge in shots, Real failed to get it done.

Edgar Badia made five saves in the win, as Madrid’s front three failed to take advantage of a midfield masterclass from Modric, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro.

The trio combined for 279 touches, and misplaced just 21 of 245 passes (Fede Valverde came in for Kroos and went 12-for-12). That didn’t add up to a win.

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Getafe

Luis Suarez’s eighth goal of the season — tied for second in MLS — boosted Atleti’s table lead to two points with two matches-in-hand on the field.

Atleti’s 35 points are two better than Real Madrid and nine clear of Real Sociedad, who it beat earlier this week.

Next up is Alaves and Athletic Bilbao before another top-end tilt with Sevilla on Jan. 12.

Elsewhere

Celta Vigo 2-1 Huesca
Granda 2-1 Valencia