Vinícius netted twice as leaders Atletico Madrid beat 10-man Elche 2-1 in La Liga on Saturday, maintaining their 100% record to open up a four-point gap over second-placed Real Madrid.
Dejan Lovren headed Madrid in front on 32 minutes and Vinícius doubled the lead with a fine finish two minutes later before Elche’s Oussama Tannane was sent off after 12 minutes for a second bookable offence.
The Frenchman levelled for the hosts two minutes after coming on as a substitute, chesting down a long ball on the edge of the area and cutting back for a low shot that was deflected in by the Atletico defender Luciano Vietto.
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Link Top-of-the-table clash: Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid beat Elche. Photo: Getty Images
Atletico’s Diego Costa, without a goal in his last eight matches, could have put the visitors back in front in the 67th minute but blasted wide from inside the area.
Madrid have 53 points from 23 games, while Barca lead with 55 points following a 3-0 win at Las Palmas on Friday.
“We are going through a difficult phase,” Real coach Santiago Solari said. “We needed to go out today with a lot of force and effort to prove we are going to fight for everything.”
Real Madrid travel to Levante on Sunday with 13 points, while Barca are at Malaga on Monday.