Kevin Gameiro's first-half goal was enough as Atletico Madrid laboured to a 1-0 win over Eibar, whose seven-match unbeaten LaLiga run came to an end.
Diego Simeone made 10 changes from the 3-0 Copa del Rey defeat of Lleida on Tuesday, with Diego Costa among those left on the bench, and while Atletico hardly produced a memorable performance, Gameiro's well-crafted goal proved to be all they needed
Atletico looked capable of making light work of Eibar early on, playing some great football and creating decent chances for Angel Correa and Koke.
As such, it came as little surprise when the breakthrough did arrive, as Gameiro rounded off a fine break with his fourth league goal of the season.
But, thereafter Atletico offered very little from an attacking perspective, an aspect of their performance which stayed with them deep into the second half, with Eibar looking the more purposeful.
Eibar's need for an equaliser saw Atletico defend desperately towards the end and the hosts also had a penalty shout turned down, but Simeone's men held on to move them to within six points of pacesetters Barcelona, who head to Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Atletico looked unperturbed by Eibar's excellent recent run of form during the early exchanges, as they took charge and crafted a couple of excellent chances.
The first came about at the end of a well-worked passing move by the visitors, Correa sending a cross-cum-shot – with Gameiro almost getting to it – agonisingly wide of the bottom-left corner.
And a similar move in the 11th minute presented Koke with the chance to score, but the Spain international slammed into the side-netting following Sime Vrsaljko's cross.
There was to be no denying Atleti just before the half-hour mark, though.
5 - Antoine Griezmann has assisted with his first touch in opposite box - he is the player who has assited in most Kevin Gameiro's goals as Atletico players in La Liga. Partners pic.twitter.com/NzC0sxh8w4— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 13, 2018
Antoine Griezmann sprang the offside trap when chasing Saul's through pass and coolly squared to his compatriot Gameiro, who tucked past the helpless Marko Dmitrovic.
Eibar nearly responded with a quick equaliser, but Sergi Enrich headed Joan Jordan's right-wing cross just over.
The home side offered a lot more attacking intent after the break and enjoyed plenty of possession, with the half-time introduction of tricky Chile international Fabian Orellana making a significant difference.
Even with their improved performance, Eibar had to rely on a slice of luck for their first clear chance of the second half just after the hour mark, as Enrich's header took a huge deflection off Diego Godin and was crucially stopped on the line by a relieved Jan Oblak.
Eibar's pressing almost resulted in them getting punished on the break 16 minutes from the end, but Dmitrovic did well to block Griezmann's effort at the end of a swift counter.
Atletico somehow survived in stoppage time, as Kike Garcia sent a glancing header just past the left-hand post, before Augusto Fernandez got away with handling the ball in the area in the build-up to another brilliant chance which Enrich prodded wide from close range.
Key Opta stats:
- Atletico have won more games by a one-goal margin than any other side in LaLiga this season (8).
- Antoine Griezmann has provided five assists in LaLiga this season and he only needs three more to equal his best record in a whole season (eight in 2016-17).
- Griezmann made only two touches in the opposition half, in his assist to Gameiro and in Atletico's only shot on target in the second half.
- Eibar attempted more crosses against Atletico (37) than against any other team in LaLiga this season.
|Ruud awakening for Ferrer in Bastad|
|Nibali withdraws from Tour de France with back fracture|
|Fabinho: I´ll try to convince Mbappe to join Liverpool|
|Beating Messi boosted France´s World Cup belief – Lloris|
|Carnoustie saving the worst until last|
|McIlroy´s youthful exuberance could be a bad sign for Carnoustie contenders|
|Saints triumph at second-placed Wigan|
|Anfield atmosphere sweetened Alisson on Liverpool|
|Bouchard reaches Gstaad quarter-finals|
|´What are you waiting for?´ - Alisson reveals Salah text messages|
|´Full package´ Alisson could not be missed - Klopp|
|Alisson to Liverpool: Brazil star becomes most expensive goalkeeper in history|
|Alisson to Liverpool: Brazilian´s stats blitz Mignolet, Karius|
|Liverpool sign Alisson in world-record deal|
|The Open 2018 diary: Spieth´s got ball skills as Finau proves the scratch golfer|
|Woods: Score doesn´t reflect how well I played|
|Can we go to Paris now? - Thomas in a hurry after conquering Alpe d´Huez|
|Thomas: I could have finished stronger|
|Kisner shines at baked Carnoustie as McIlroy, Rahm and Thomas loom|
|Sarri´s mentality made me a better footballer - Jorginho|
|Tax rates played a role in Ronaldo joining Juventus, says LaLiga president|
|Aggressive McIlroy doing it his way, not the fairway|
|I let him have it - Spinazzola ribs Ronaldo over Juve shirt number|
|Thomas makes it back-to-back wins|
|Ramos may remain for Spain but Luis Enrique promising surprises|
|Cazorla still playing through pain after Villarreal appearance|
|Vegas to Carnoustie - a hellish trip for Jhonattan|
|NFL training camp 2018: Five under-the-radar rookies to watch|
|Woods off to a flyer as Thomas charges|
|Sanchez given green light to join Man Utd tour|
|Greipel, Groenewegen and Gaviria latest sprinters to abandon Tour de France|
|Luis Enrique hopeful over Pique as he plots a Spanish evolution|
|I had a brain fart - Spieth disappointed with missed opportunity|
|I´ve sacrificed too much to quit, says injury-plagued Rossi|
|Klopp rejects Henderson´s plea to return early to Liverpool training|
|Open champion Spieth loses ground in scrappy finish|
|Alexis Sanchez hints visa issue sorted as United States trip beckons|
|Kovac an admirer of Pavard, expects James to stay|
|Dzeko happy at Roma and eyeing silverware|
|Eels win basement battle with Bulldogs|
|Kluivert to follow Totti´s example after taking ´big step´ with Roma|
|Kisner hopes to return Claret Jug favour to Spieth|
|FIBA bans 13 players & two coaches over Philippines-Australia brawl|
|Spieth and Rahm in the mix as Kisner sets the target|
|Monchi insists Roma remain ambitious as Liverpool close in on Alisson|
|Cavendish thanks ´race that shaped career & heart´ after cruel Tour exit|
|No Trent Bridge Ashes Test as England confirm schedule|
|Ajax tell Barcelona not even ´insane´ money will buy De Ligt, De Jong|
|Hamilton agrees two-year Mercedes extension|
|Uran withdraws from Tour after failing to shake off injuries|
|Spieth tees off Open defence|
|Zidane has shown no will to coach France, insists FFF president|
|Risking the curse - Steelers star Brown lands on Madden 19 cover|
|Pogba silenced his critics with World Cup displays – Ibrahimovic|
|Warburton overwhelmed by support following retirement|
|Wilshere excited by tactics of Wenger-like Pellegrini|
|Deschamps never considered France exit prior to World Cup win|
|Persepolis eye Champions League after Iran impress at World Cup|
|Sandy Lyle gets The Open underway at Carnoustie|
|Roosters sign England international Hall|
|Ovechkin, Kim earn major honours at ESPY Awards|
|Owens not ´actively seeking´ to play in NFL again|
|Argentina need Messi – Tevez urges Lionel not to retire|
|Minnesota United 2 New England Revolution 1: Ramirez, Quintero sink stuttering visitors|
|Shaw: I want to be first name on Man United teamsheet|
|Manny Machado dealt to Dodgers|
|Pjanic hails Ronaldo arrival but refuses to confirm Juve future|
|Perotti: Roma can cope without Liverpool-bound Alisson|
|Klopp hopes Liverpool building towards title tilt|
|Karlovic exits as four seeds bow out in Newport|