Alvaro Morata scored the winner in the 94th minute Atletico Madrid won 1-0 at Girona on Monday and strengthened their hold on third place in La Liga.
After La Real, fourth, drew in Mallorca on Sunday, Atletico moved three points ahead of the Basque side with their last win in Montilivi.
Morata headed home from close range after Angel Correa’s corner, with Atletico surviving a lengthy VAR check to see if the striker had gone astray.
“To me it was very clear (that it works), but if it wasn’t I would have gone home by bike,” Morata tell DAZN.
“(My team) was angry because I touched it, but the VAR gave it, so I’m happy.
“It’s hard to look at it without touching it. They might be more angry if I didn’t touch it and didn’t go inside.”
Girona, 12th, started well and thought they had won a penalty when Stefan Savic was handled in the box, but goalkeeper Taty Castellanos was unable to do so.
After Atletico’s 6-1 win over Sevilla at the weekend, Simeone kept his faith in Memphis Depay and Antoine Griezmann.
The pair quickly combined, with Depay to meet Griezmann, whose effort was saved by Paulo Gazzaniga.
Griezmann then turned to the creator and crossed to Depay, who saw it from close range.
Yannick Carrasco also tested Gazzaniga in the first half, playing well on the left and getting forward at every opportunity.
Depay tried again as Atletico took control of the game.
At the beginning of the second half, Griezmann, one of the best players, set up Marcos Llorente but Gazzaniga denied him.
Atletico appealed for a penalty after being tackled by Oriol Romeu but the referee saw Rojiblancos defender Mario Hermoso pushing the Girona midfielder with the ball when watching the VAR replay.
Jan Oblak was called into action for the first time to deny Viktor Tsygankov, and again to deny David Lopez, who tried to lob him from wide.
Atletico’s Slovenian keeper made another fine save to deny Rodrigo Riquelme late on, with the loan midfielder almost scoring against his parent club.
As the game went on, substitute Morata made a surprise save to rob Atletico of three points from a draw, their fourth win from their last outing. five La Liga.
“It’s a pity, we made a big effort, (a result) got away from us in a good way and it’s a shame because it’s important,” said the defender of Girona Santi Bueno on DAZN.
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