16.02.2019 18:47 h

Griezmann lifts Atletico past strugglers Rayo

Antoine Griezmann scored a second-half winner as Atletico Madrid defeated neighbours Rayo Vallecano 1-0 in La Liga on Saturday to provide a timely boost ahead of next week's Champions League showdown with Juventus.

The French forward netted the only goal on 74 minutes as Atletico shook off two successive defeats, including last week's 3-1 loss at home to Real Madrid, to reclaim second place in Spain.

Griezmann struck for the ninth time in his last 11 outings, forcing home from six yards after Alvaro Morata laid off a high, looping ball inside the area.

Diego Simeone's side moved to within four points of leaders Barcelona, who host Real Valladolid later, ahead of Wednesday's visit of Italian champions Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid, two points behind Atletico in third, could move back into second when they host Girona on Sunday.