Miranda lifts Atletico Madrid up to second

Atletico Madrid moved up to second in La Liga as Miranda scored the only goal in a 1-0 win away to Almeria on Wednesday.

The champions had to rely on their threat from set-pieces once more as the Brazilian centre-back rose highest to thump home Koke’s corner.

Diego Simeone’s men now trail Barcelona by a point with the Catalans in action later on Wednesday, away to Malaga.

Miranda’s goal was the sixth out of seven Atletico have scored in the league so far that came from a set-piece, but Simeone insisted he isn’t worried at his side’s inability to score from open play.

“To get a corner you have to attack. The team is working well to generate this possibility,” said the Argentine, who will return to the touchline on Saturday at home to Sevilla after completing a five-match ban.

“It doesn’t worry me to win by scoring from set-pieces because it is part of the game.”

Atletico had uncharacteristically conceded five goals in their last two games as they lost away to Olympiakos 3-2 in the Champions League before being held 2-2 at home by Celta Vigo at the weekend.

However, they were rarely put under pressure by an Almeria side lacking in ambition and could have put the game out of the hosts’ reach in the first half.

Diego Godin opened his account for the season against Celta and he was only denied an early opener by Ruben Martinez’s outstretched boot as he powered Koke’s corner towards goal.

Martinez also made fine saves to twice deny Raul Garcia and a long-range effort from Martinez as Almeria held on to go in level at half-time.

However, their resistence was broken on the hour as Miranda nipped in front of his marker to nod home at the near post.

Arda Turan missed a great chance to seal the three points moments later as Martinez stood up once more to make a fine save, but Atletico saw the game out without suffering any serious scares.

Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao’s disastrous start to the campaign on the domestic front continued as they lost 2-1 at struggling Rayo Vallecano, thanks to two goals from on-loan Atletico striker Leo Baptistao.


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