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Torres scores early as Atletico Madrid edges Getafe 1-0 to regain 2nd place in Spanish league

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MADRID — scored shortly after kickoff and Atletico Madrid held on for a 1-0 win over Getafe on Sunday, overtaking Real Madrid for second place in the Spanish league.

Torres scored his 101st goal for Atletico Madrid with a shot into the roof of the net after a low cross by Yannick Carrasco just two minutes into the match in Getafe. The victory gave Atletico a one-point advantage over city rival Real Madrid, which on Saturday defeated Athletic Bilbao 4-2 with two goals by .

Atletico is tied with leader Barcelona on 54 points, but the Catalan club has two games in hand. It hosts Celta Vigo later Sunday at the Camp Nou and plays at Sporting Gijon on Wednesday in a match postponed from December because of the Club World Cup.

Good defense was key again for 's Atletico, which had been struggling in recent matches. The team recorded a clean sheet again after conceding six goals in its last three games. It was bolstered on Sunday by the return of , and Juanfran, who missed the 3-1 win over Eibar last weekend because of suspensions.

"We knew that it wasn't going to be easy playing at Getafe and it showed," Juanfran said. "But we were efficient once again, just like it was happening a few rounds ago, and we didn't concede any goals, like it was happening a few rounds ago."

Torres' goal early also helped. The striker easily found the net after slipping behind Getafe's defenders to meet Carrasco's cross near the far post.

It was the second game in a row in which Torres scored. He had netted his 100th goal with Atletico in second-half injury time last weekend, ending a scoring drought that started in the league's fourth round last year.

Carrasco had to be substituted in the 54th because an apparent knee injury.

It was the fourth consecutive loss for Getafe, which dropped to 13th in the 20-team standings.

Also Sunday, fifth-place Sevilla — which last week qualified to play in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona — defeated Las Palmas 2-0 with second-half goals by Argentina midfielder and French striker . Sixth-place Eibar beat last-place Levante 2-0.


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PHOTO: Atletico's Filipe Luis, center, duels for the ball with Getafe's Damian during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Atletico de Madrid and Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium in Getafe, Spain, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Atletico's Filipe Luis, center, duels for the ball with Getafe's Damian during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Atletico de Madrid and Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium in Getafe, Spain, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

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PHOTO: Atletico's Filipe Luis, center, duels for the ball with Getafe's Damian during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Atletico de Madrid and Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium in Getafe, Spain, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
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