An early first-half strike from Isaac Romero gave us a vital three points at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán and our first home win since September.
We started the game on the front foot and inside the opening ten minutes Romero spun Axel Witsle and broke down the left wing and teased in a dangerous cross toward the six-yard box but Jan Oblak came out and gathered.
Marcos Acuña then went close to opening the scoring when he dribbled inside and unleashed a powerful strike which Oblak pushed behind for a corner. From the resulting corner, the Argentine crossed the ball into the box and the ball was flicked on at the near post. Arriving at the far post was Romero to crash home a header from close range and give us an early lead.
Our young star could have made it two minutes later as we almost capitalised on a defensive mistake when a mistimed header from Mario Hermoso found its way to Óliver Torres. The midfielder dinked a cross to Romero who headed straight at Oblak, when either side of the Slovenian could have been a second.
The striker was arguably unlike to not have had a hattrick inside the opening half hour after he picked out a high, swirling ball and broke away to the edge of the six-yard area, but he smashed the ball against the crossbar and Youssef En-Nesyri on the follow up couldn’t direct and effort goalwards.
Isaac was at the centre of it all and nearly turned provider with five minutes to play in the first half. Boubakary Soumaré again won the ball back in a defensive position and we attacked quickly on the counterattack. Romero drove down the left to allow the space for Torres to have a shot one on one with Oblak but he stood firm to make the save.
Ørjan Nyland’s first proper test of the half only with half-time looming as Álvaro Morata was fortunate to collect a deflected pass and race through but the Norwegian closed the space and made a great close-range save to keep Atleti at bay.
At the start of second half there was a heart-in-the-mouth moment as substitute Molina delivered a low cross into the six-yard box which Antoine Griezmann stabbed goalwards. A miraculously goal line clearance from Jesús Navas however prevented the away side from equaliser before the ball rebounded back off Memphis to our relief, wide of the post.
We had the ball in the back of the net with ten minutes played in the second half as Ocampos latched onto a Torres through ball as he chipped the ball over Oblak and calmly slotted the ball into the net, only to see his celebration cut short by the offside flag.
Isaac was showing the kind of form that has seen him promoted to the first team in recent weeks and again had a powerful shot from distance that Oblak did well to save. Up the other end, Marcos Llorente also had a shot from outside the box that Nyland got behind.
As the game entered the closing stages in developed a frenetic pace as we looked to try and hit Aleti on the counterattack. Loïc Badé found himself as the furthest player forward following a corner and dribbled towards goal and did well to retain possession but couldn’t manufacture a chance to kill the game off.
Ocampos found himself with the ball deep in the Atleti half as the clock ticked into the final seconds of the four minutes added on. Atleti tried in vain to clear the ball for one last attack but it wouldn’t be and as the whistle was blown and a vital three points were confirmed.