Angel Correa's habit of scoring crucial goals as a substitute continued against Real Betis, to the delight of Diego Simeone.
Diego Simeone credited second-half substitutes Angel Correa and Thomas Partey after the pair combined to create and score Atletico Madrid's goal in a 1-0 victory over Real Betis.
After a goalless first half, Simeone replaced Thomas Lemar and Nikola Kalinic midway through the second period and was rewarded for the decision in the 74th minute.
Correa won possession for the home side before exchanging passes with Partey and charging forward to score his 11th goal as a substitute in LaLiga since the start of 2015-16 – more than any other player in the division.
Simeone acknowledged the strength of his squad in his post-match comments, telling reporters: "The teams who challenge up the top of the table are strongest due to the players they can bring off the bench.
"If I put on Thomas for Kalinic, it is to win the game, to rob the ball and break forward.
"Having Correa on the bench gave us the chance for him to change the game."
Record for Simeone
The result left Simeone with a record of five wins and one draw from the six LaLiga matches in which he has gone head to head with Betis coach Quique Setien, who said he was pleased with his side's performance.
The visitors starved Atletico of possession but failed to convert the few chances that fell their way, leaving Setien to reflect on a tough contest.
"It is not easy to do damage to Atletico, who have these strong players ideal for how they play," he said.
"We could have done a bit more today, but you must consider who we were playing.
"When we were fresher we controlled the game better and played in their half, but it is very difficult to keep that up against Atletico.
"We lacked precision and calm to keep the ball for longer periods.
"I am happy as it not at all easy to come here and control the ball for great parts of the game, and cause danger, which we did.
"They were calling out for the whistle at the end. We must be satisfied given the gap between the teams."