Kevin Gameiro marked his first LaLiga start of the season with a goal as Atletico Madrid’s four-game winless run in all competitions came to an end with a 1-0 success at Celta Vigo.
Diego Simeone’s men are still unbeaten domestically this term, but a 2-1 Champions League loss at home to Chelsea towards the end of September preceded three consecutive draws – including a potentially costly stalemate at Qarabag on Wednesday.
However, that miserable streak was brought to a close against Celta as Gameiro found the net 28 minutes into his league return, having replaced Angel Correa in the line-up after missing the start of the campaign with a groin injury.
That goal came during a rare bright spell for Atleti with the visitors spending much of the game on the back foot and having to rely on goalkeeper Jan Oblak to keep Celta at bay.
Celta started positively, but Oblak comfortably dealt with an early strike from Iago Aspas, who then shot wide from a similar position on the edge of the area.
Oblak was tested rather more strenuously by a looping Sergi Gomez header that looked destined for the top-left corner before the keeper intervened.
Another save followed as Pione Sisto cut inside from the left to shoot hard and low, with Atleti then belatedly drawing a first notable stop from Sergio Alvarez as he smothered the ball at Antoine Griezmann’s feet on the 25-minute mark.
Alvarez was alert again to divert a low Griezmann drive around the post, but the opener came from the subsequent corner. Sergi Gomez nodded an outswinging delivery back towards his own goal and Gameiro pounced, swivelling to thrash the ball past Alvarez.
Oblak remained busy, continuing to deal with efforts from long range before smartly gathering Daniel Wass’ low strike.
Another Oblak stop followed the interval as he parried a testing Aspas volley to safety, before the Celta forward clipped the top of the crossbar with a free-kick from just outside the area.
Both sides felt they had cause to be frustrated with referee Jose Munuera with around 25 minutes remaining – Celta’s Jonny avoiding a second yellow card for a foul on Juanfran moments before Sisto’s cross looked to strike Gabi’s arm in the box.
Griezmann nodded narrowly wide at the end of a rare Atleti attack, but another siege on Oblak’s goal then saw substitute John Guidetti drill into the sidenetting.
Oblak held Aspas’ curler and fell on Guidetti’s optimistic flick in stoppage time as Atleti saw out the victory.