Elche 0-1 Atletico Madrid: LaLiga leaders survive late penalty scare to stay top for Barcelona clash

class=”styled__BannerImage-sc-1wadlxz-1 iLJqYu styles_articleMainImage__Lj_Qv”>Marcos Llorente (c) celebrates with his Atletico Madrid team-mates

Marcos Llorente (c) celebrates with his Atletico Madrid team-mates

Elche captain Fidel missed a stoppage-time penalty as Atletico Madrid picked up a narrow 1-0 win to tighten their grip on top spot in LaLiga ahead of next week’s huge showdown with Barcelona.

Diego Simeone’s side lost 2-1 to Athletic Bilbao last weekend and were fortunate to avoid another slip-up against relegation-threatened Elche in Saturday’s contest at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero.

Marcos Llorente scored what proved to be the all important goal for Atleti with his 12th league strike of the campaign in the 23rd minute after Luis Suarez had one chalked off for a marginal offside.

However, Elche wasted a glorious chance to snatch a share of the spoils in the 91st minute as Fidel fired a penalty against the post, meaning Atletico move ​five points clear of Real Madrid and Barca, who both have a game in hand to play.