EIBAR, Spain Ė A first-half goal by French striker Kevin Gameiro proved to be enough in second-placed Atletico Madridís 1-0 road victory on Saturday over Eibar, a win that leaves the Colchoneros six points behind La Liga-leading FC Barcelona.
Atleti snapped Eibarís seven-match undefeated streak in the Spanish league dating back to Nov. 20, including four straight victories at home.
The Armeros were unable to break down the second-half defensive wall put up by the visitors, who were content with their 1-0 lead at Ipurua Municipal Stadium in this northern city and able to keep the host side scoreless thanks to remarkable netminding by Jan Oblak.
Atletico controlled ball possession and created more scoring chances early on and were rewarded for that aggression when Gameiro beat goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic in the 27th minute after receiving a pass from Antoine Griezmann.
But the tenor of the contest changed after that score, with Atletico focusing more on defense than seeking out an insurance goal.
In the second half, Oblak made a pair of outstanding saves on an attempt by Sergi Enrich in the 63rd minute and a header off a corner kick by Paulo Oliveira in the 77th minute.
Atletico, meanwhile, patiently waited for an opportunity on the counterattack and nearly was rewarded when Griezmann failed to convert a one-on-one chance against Dmitrovic.
The game ended with Atletico holding on for a narrow win and Eibarís fans visibly frustrated that their teamís clear second-half superiority was not reflected on the scoreboard.
With the win, Atleti improved its record to 12-6-1 (42 points), while seventh-placed Eibar (27 points) missed out on a chance to provisionally leapfrog Sevilla into sixth place in the La Liga standings.
Barcelona (48 points) will have a chance on Sunday to widen its lead over Atleti to nine points when it takes on Real Sociedad at Anoeta Stadium.