Apr 18, 2014 at 7.30pm UK at ​Vicente Calderon Stadium
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Miranda (72'), Costa (90' pen.)
Costa (63'), Garcia (73')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Sapunaru (49'), Coro (55'), Rivera (63'), Pelegrin (65')
Sapunaru (90')

Result: Atletico Madrid beat Elche to extend La Liga lead

Atletico Madrid beat Elche 2-0 to extend their lead at the top of La Liga to six points.

Atletico Madrid have extended their lead at the top of La Liga with a 2-0 win over Elche this evening.

Adrian Lopez of Atletico de Madrid competes for the ball with Damian Suarez of Elche FC and his teammate Javier Marquez Moreno during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Elche FC at Vicente Calderon Stadium on April 18, 2014© Getty Images

Diego Costa had a couple of chances early on, but had two shots saved by Manu Herrera while another finished in the side-netting.

Thibaut Courtois had to remain alert as the visitors had a dominant spell midway through the half, but the on-loan goalkeeper was able to save efforts from Javi Marquez and Cristian Sapunaru.

Koke and Adrian had half-chances for the hosts shortly before the break, but neither side was able to break the deadlock before the half-time whistle.

Joao Miranda of Atletico de Madrid claps his hands to celebrate scoring their opening goal with teammate Diego Costa and their teammate Filipe Luis as goalkeeper Manu Herrera of Elche FC reacts defeated during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Ma© Getty Images

It looked like the La Liga leaders had been handed a lifeline at the start of the second half as they were awarded a penalty when Sapunaru brought down Raul Garcia.

However, Herrera correctly read David Villa's straight-down-the-middle spot kick, keeping Elche on level terms.

The visitors were let off the hook again just seven minutes later when Villa headed past the keeper, only to see the offside flag raised against him.

As tensions started to rise between the two sides, Atletico continued to create the majority of the chances, but the visitors looked dangerous on the counter-attack.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 72nd minute when Miranda picked out the top corner with a header from a Jose Sosa corner.

Elche had a half-chance to get back on level terms just five minutes later, but Carlos Sanchez's header went straight into the arms of Courtois.

Sanchez looked to set up a chance shortly after, crossing the ball in for Alberto Botia, but he could not find the target.

The hosts were able to put the result beyond doubt in injury time when they were awarded their second penalty of the match.

This time Costa stepped up to take the spot kick and managed to beat the keeper to make sure of the win, while Sapunaru was sent off, having been booked for the second time for giving away the penalty.

The result leaves Atletico six points clear of Real Madrid, but having played one game more.

Diego Costa of Atletico de Madrid strikes the ball during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and RCD Espanyol at Vicente Calderon Stadium on March 15, 2014
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