Thomas Partey scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner as Atletico Madrid salvaged a 1-0 away victory over Deportivo La Coruna in LaLiga.
Just as it looked like Diego Simeone’s men would continue a troubling run of form, Thomas beat Costel Pantilimon with an impressive curling strike when captain Gabi laid a free-kick into his path.
The late winner rescued Atleti, who were facing a fourth consecutive draw across all competitions after failing to create a clear goalscoring opportunity in regulation time.
Victory is a huge boost to Simeone, whose side had endured a disappointing home draw against Qarabag on Tuesday to leave them in huge danger of suffering a group-stage exit in the Champions League.
It is still nine games since they scored two or more goals, but Atleti remain unbeaten in LaLiga and move up to third in the table above city rivals Real Madrid, who do not play their game in hand against Las Palmas until Sunday.
And they sit within five points of leaders Barcelona, who host fifth-placed Sevilla later on Saturday.
Depor, meanwhile, remain 16th after suffering their first defeat under new boss Cristobal Parralo.
The hosts were the better side in a quiet first half, with Zakaria Bakkali firing over from one 20-yard opportunity after being fed in a set-piece that was awarded when Stefan Savic was booked for hacking down Fede Cartabia at the edge of the area.
Depor then had a penalty claim turned down when centre-back Sidnei somehow found himself on the right wing. He impressively cut inside and twisted his way into the area past Saul Niguez and Lucas Hernandez, before going down under a challenge from the latter.
After a poor first half for Atletico, Simeone made a half-time substitution, with Nicolas Gaitan brought on for the ineffective Angel Correa.
And Gaitan had an immediate impact, feeding Antoine Griezmann to fire the first shot on target straight at Pantilimon within a minute of the restart.
The substitute was then denied by Pantilimon himself from a 20-yard half volley, with Diego Godin heading just wide from the resulting corner.
Guilherme headed just wide for Depor and Cartabia’s deflected effort tested Jan Oblak before Simeone made another switch, Kevin Gameiro replacing Augusto Fernandez.
Neither side created a clear chance as the second half became increasingly scrappy, with Simeone’s final change seeing defender Jose Gimenez brought on for an unhappy Griezmann, even though he had Fernando Torres and Luciano Vietto available.
A poor game looked set to finish goalless until the first minute of added time, when Lucas won a free-kick from Sidnei in a central area 20 yards from goal.
Instead of shooting himself, captain Gabi teed up Thomas instead and the midfielder caught out Pantilimon with a curling effort into the far corner, his third goal in four games.