Antoine Griezmann had Diego Simeone jumping for joy as he headed in a stoppage-time winner to hand Atletico Madrid a 1-0 victory over Sporting Gijon.
It looked set to finish disappointingly for the home side, albeit with the slight consolation that a point would lift them to third place in the Primera Division. But Griezmann stayed predatory until the end, and when Diego Godin flicked on a hopeful ball forward hoisted forward from deep on the left he sneaked behind the Sporting defensive ranks to nod in.
After a goalless stalemate against Astana in the Champions League on Tuesday, Simeone's side were again repeatedly frustrated in their efforts to find a breakthrough. They might have been punished too, with Jony twice going close for Sporting with ambitious efforts. Sporting lost midfielder Sergio Alvarez and striker Miguel Angel Guerrero to injuries inside the first half, but kept at Atletico, and the late winner was hard to swallow for the promoted side, who have now lost five of 11 top-flight games, after just two league losses last season.
Tiago headed a chance wide for Atletico in the 26th minute, their best early opportunity, before Sporting threatened when Sporting's Croatian teenager Alen Halilovic forced a fine save from Jan Oblak. Atletico replaced Juanfran with Jesus Gamez for the start of the second half. Koke fired into the side-netting, and Griezmann was denied twice in quick succession as goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar kept Sporting level.
Oblak pushed Jony's left-footed 20-yard shot over the bar, having much earlier been relieved to see a menacing cross-shot miss the target. Jackson Martinez saw a volley blocked, while Atletico wanted a penalty when Angel Correa went down in the penalty area when competing for the ball in the air, but it would have been soft. With time up, Atletico made the most of the extra four minutes allowed when Godin's flick fell perfectly for French striker Griezmann, prompting Simeone to embark on a typically exuberant touchline dash.