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.
|Torres, Costa, Eto´o and Morata - Can Higuain finally fill Chelsea´s Drogba void?|
|In-form Nadal reveals pre-Melbourne doubts|
|Cardiff dressing room is sombre - Choo|
|Nadal plays tennis from a different dimension, says stunned Tsitsipas|
|Van Bronckhorst to step down as Feyenoord boss|
|Osaka unfazed by Nissin ad controversy as Australian Open final looms|
|Mikel joins Middlesbrough on short-term deal|
|New serve, new Nadal – Aus Open may be start of unexpected hard-court assault|
|Starc takes landmark wicket as Aussies dominate day one|
|Skriniar close to new Inter contract|
|Imperious Nadal blasts past Tsitsipas into Melbourne final|
|Former Cardiff boss Solskjaer praying for good news on missing Sala|
|Sanchez to face Arsenal as Solskjaer backs Gunners fans to spur him on|
|I did nothing wrong! - Pliskova stunned by ´unbelievable´ Osaka|
|Solskjaer optimistic about De Gea, Martial contracts|
|Young ready to lead Pacers in Oladipo´s absence|
|Kvitova breaking down mental barriers in Melbourne run|
|Neymar has ´painful recurrence´ of foot injury, PSG confirm|
|Sala search begins for third day|
|Pochettino fears VAR will ´annoy´ Premier League fans|
|Osaka through to Melbourne decider after Pliskova thriller|
|Tsitsipas Souvlaki official as Australian Open star is honoured in Melbourne|
|Pacers earn big win over Raptors, Oladipo injured|
|Harden pleased to entertain Knicks fans in 61-point display|
|Kvitova overcomes extreme heat for spot in Aus Open final|
|Man United have their club back – Scholes revels in Solskjaer revival|
|Harden matches another Chamberlain feat with 61-point game|
|Capitals give up fourth hat-trick in five games|
|Durant leaving Warriors would be ´great´ for NBA, says McGrady|
|McEnroe: Serena choked in Australian Open loss|
|De Jong an ´important addition´ at Barca, says Valverde|
|´Better outcome than we originally feared´ – Agent on Anthony Davis injury|
|Pacers sweating on Oladipo injury after Indiana star leaves on stretcher|
|De Jong: I spoke to PSG and City before signing for Barca|
|Guardiola wants finals habit at Man City|
|Lakers star LeBron won´t face Timberwolves|
|Valverde doesn´t regret resting Messi despite Barcelona loss|
|In my heart and in my prayers - Ben Yedder pays tribute to missing Sala|
|Real Madrid reclaim world´s highest-earning club title from Manchester United|
|Messi absence no excuse for Barcelona loss, says Suarez|
|Humble Higuain excited by Sarri reunion|
|He must not come and cry after – Goncalves unapologetic over Neymar injury|
|Serie A record-breaker under Sarri - the Opta numbers behind new Chelsea striker Higuain|
|PSG boss Tuchel ´worried´ after Neymar sent to hospital with another foot injury|
|Coles commits to New Zealand and Hurricanes until 2021|
|Guardiola praises City mentality on ´dangerous´ Burton pitch|
|England won ´attritional´ battle, says Anderson after latest landmark|
|AEK, Brose Bamberg secure last-16 spots|
|Sevilla 2 Barcelona 0: Resting Messi backfires for Copa del Rey holders|
|Sarri: Chelsea players agree with me on motivation comments|
|Morata asked to leave Chelsea a month ago, says Sarri|
|Paris Saint-Germain 2 Strasbourg 0: Neymar suffers injury scare in Coupe victory|
|Anderson´s four-wicket haul rocks Windies|
|Burton Albion 0 Manchester City 1 (0-10 agg): Holders coast through to clinch Wembley return|
|PSG´s Neymar hobbles off in Coupe de France clash|
|De Ligt bored of Ajax departure rumours|
|Piatek completes AC Milan move after Higuain exit|
|Super Bowl LIII: Rams RBs v Patriots RBs|
|Chelsea seal Higuain loan|
|Ismaily kicked out of CAF Champions League after fans throw stones, bottles|
|England star Itoje pens new Saracens deal|
|Palace keeper Hennessey charged over Instagram post|
|Chelsea warn supporters over anti-Semitic chanting ahead of Tottenham EFL Cup tie|
|Joshua primed to make call on next opponent|
|Super Bowl LIII: Brady v Goff|
|Sala search suspended as Cardiff chairman confirms club wanted different travel arrangements|
|Cruyff, Koeman, Kluivert - De Jong following pantheon of Dutch Barca greats|
|Sarfraz apologises for comments picked up by stump mic|
|Djokovic: Pouille deserves top-10 spot|
|Hazard must be more demanding if he wants to leave Chelsea, says Ballack|