Barcelona, Spain: Atletico Madrid beat Espanyol 2-0 Sunday to extend its unbeaten home streak in the Spanish league to 24 games. Atletico limited Espanyol to one shot on goal and earned 12 corners to just one for the overmatched visitors.
Goalkeeper Miguel Moya saved Espanyol's sole chance by Lucas Vazquez in the 13th minute, and midfielder Tiago Cardoso put Atletico ahead in the 43rd when he floated a header over goalkeeper Kiko Casilla from Gabi Fernandez's pass. Atletico has excelled at set pieces under coach Diego Simeone and finished Espanyol off with a corner kick in the 71st, which was headed on by center backs Diego Godin and Jose Jimenez before Mario Suarez tapped the ball in.
The defending champion rose to fourth place, five points behind leader Barcelona. Espanyol's first defeat in five rounds left it in the middle of the table.
Espanyol lost forward Sergio Garcia to an apparent leg injury, while Atletico substitute Antoine Griezmann hit the post late. Atletico has scored 10 of its 14 league goals from set pieces, with nine of its goals coming from headers.
"We work hard at our set pieces and it is paying off," Suarez said.Atletico's last league loss at the Vicente Calderon Stadium was in May, 2013.
Later, Valencia visits Deportivo La Coruna, Sevilla is at Elche and Villarreal hosts Almeria. Valencia and Sevilla can overtake Real Madrid in second place with wins.