MADRID, March 9 (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid kept up their pursuit of La Liga leaders Barcelona by beating Leganes 1-0 at home on Saturday as coach Diego Simeone rotated his squad in preparation for next week’s Champions League game against Juventus.
Midfielder Saul Niguez struck the only goal of the match, following up to score on the rebound in the 50th minute after his penalty was saved.
Atletico, who travel to Serie A champions Juventus on Tuesday defending a 2-0 lead in the last-16 second leg, were without first-choice defenders Lucas Hernandez, Diego Godin and Filipe Luis, allowing 21-year-old Colombian full back Andres Solano to make his debut.
Simeone withdrew talismanic forward and usual penalty taker Antoine Griezmann at halftime, bringing on Saul in his place, and he left in-form striker Alvaro Morata on the bench to keep him fresh for the trip to Turin.
The win took second-placed Atletico on to 56 points, four behind leaders Barcelona who play Rayo Vallecano later on Saturday, and eight clear of Real Madrid, who visit Real Valladolid on Sunday. (Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)