Diego Simeone has welcomed the return to scoring form of David Villa after Atletico Madrid beat Celta Vigo.
The game was goalless at half time but Villa scored two goals in as many minutes just past the hour mark to give Atletico three points.
Atleti have moved into second place after Barcelona were beaten by Real Valladolid, with Real Madrid hosting Levante on Sunday.
“In the first half both teams tried to take control of the game, then in the second we played a great game,” Simeone told his post-match Press conference.
“I’m very pleased by the performance of Diego, for creating the Villa goal, and that I was able to give minutes to Jose Sosa and Cristian Rodriguez.
“This feeds the group’s confidence and we’re looking good for the end of the season.”
Speaking about the goal scorer, Simeone added that Villa would be vital for the rest of the campaign.
“Villa lives on goals. He is a specialist in them. The more chances he has to score, the better for all of us.
“His accuracy and strength have been features throughout his career. He has put in a great effort for the team and he’s a very important player for us.
“We need him. We need his goals, his experience…Villa is one of the few players we have that is used to to fighting every Sunday for top spot. He is very forceful in the penalty area.”
Simeone also noted that the second half of the season is proving much more difficult than the first in light of Barca’s loss.
“It’s clear that in the final rounds the teams don’t play as they did before. These are games that can trap you.”