Football: Torres nets 100th Atletico goal in 3-1 win over Eibar

Torres (right) with Atletico de Madrid Football College founder Manuel Brinas after the match.
Torres (right) with Atletico de Madrid Football College founder Manuel Brinas after the match.PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (REUTERS) - Substitute Fernando Torres scored his 100th goal for Atletico Madrid as they came from a goal down to beat Eibar 3-1 at home on Saturday and go level with Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

Two headed goals from corners seven minutes apart by central defenders Jose Maria Gimenez and Saul put Atletico on track after Keko had given Eibar the lead in the 46th.

Coach Diego Simeone will be glad his team ended a run of four matches without a win in La Liga and King's Cup while Torres, who scored in added time, had been waiting since the win at Eibar in September to reach his Atletico century.

Atletico are unlikely to stay equal top on 51 points past Sunday when rampant Barcelona, who have the superior goal difference and two matches in hand, visit bottom team Levante.

Real Madrid, away to Granada on Sunday, are third four points back.

Torres's much-celebrated goal was the icing on the cake for Atletico.

"To score my 100th (Atletico) goal is a prize for my career," said Torres, back at his first club after playing for Liverpool, Chelsea and AC Milan.

Simeone also reached 100 wins in 159 Liga matches during his time in charge of Atletico and had to thank his defenders in a revamped back four, after last weekend's costly 2-1 defeat at Barcelona, for the victory.

Atletico were shorn through suspension of Diego Godin, Filipe Luis and Juanfran with only Gimenez remaining from the side that played at the Nou Camp.

The second half had barely got underway when Saul slipped in the box, allowing Sergi Enrich to pass to Keko who curled the ball into the top corner.

Ten minutes later, Eibar goalkeeper Asier Riesgo saved from Saul but gave away a corner and Gimenez rose to power a header into the net for the equaliser.

Saul then scored a near carbon-copy goal to put Atletico ahead and the substitutions Simeone made in the final 20 minutes had Eibar on the back foot.

Luciano Vietto, who replaced fellow Argentine Angel Correa, had a goal disallowed in the 75th minute in a tight offside decision before Torres put his first chance wide in the 81st.