Raul Garcia's first-half header is enough for Atletico Madrid to beat Valencia and stretch their advantage at the top of La Liga to six points.
Raul Garcia's first-half header was enough for Atletico Madrid to beat Valencia this afternoon and stretch their advantage at the top of La Liga to six points.
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Early on, Francisco Alcacer and David Villa went close at either end before Koke missed a clear opportunity to put the visitors ahead after being found by Diego Costa.
Garcia struck two minutes before the interval by looping a header from Gabi's cross over Vicente Guaita and into the net.
Costa squandered the opportunity to double Atleti's lead seven minutes after the break when he failed to beat Guaita after going through one-on-one.
Valencia could have equalised but first Jonas was denied by Thibaut Courtois before Sofiane Feghouli fired just wide.
In the final moments it was Atletico who had the best chance to score the second but Costa couldn't squeeze his shot past Guaita after appearing to round the Valencia stopper.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men just after the 90-minute mark when Juanfran clattered into Pablo Piatti, but it was too late for Valencia to mount a comeback.
Atletico are now six clear of Real Madrid and seven ahead of Barcelona, but both have a game in-hand.
Diego Simeone's side next travel to London for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Half-Time Report: Garcia heads Atletico into lead >