Atletico Madrid are confident of La Liga title hunt - Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres claimed that Atletico Madrid are growing in confidence after their 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday night kept them level on points with league leaders Barcelona.

The former Chelsea and Liverpool striker scored the only goal of the game in the 38th minute, after in-form forward Antoine Griezmann provided the deadly assist.

The win, coupled with Barca's 8-0 mauling of Deportivo La Coruna and third-placed Real Madrid's 3-0 win over Villarreal meant that only goal difference set the top two apart with 79 points. Cristiano Ronaldo's team are one point behind.

"It was the game we knew it would be. We worked really hard, and we knew they'd push us back," Torres told reporters.

"We were fortunate enough to score in first half. We had to suffer a lot in the second and it was really difficult. Athletic are a great team.

"We're very proud of the game we played. Bilbao are in a great moment, and it's really positive to come here and win.

"We keep believing and hoping that we can do great things this season."

This was Atletico's eighth victory in nine previous league outings, and with four games left to play in the season, Torres believes Atletico can keep the pressure on Barcelona, when they welcome Malaga to the Vicente Calderon this weekend.

"The most important things is that the team wins, but everyone feels more confident. We're getting closer to the aim for this season." he added.

"Against Malaga it's going to be a difficult game. They've been playing well recently, but we've been getting some good results at the Calderon.

"This win will help us go into that game with confidence. We just have to win."

Diego Simeone's team can move to the top of the table if Atletico win at home while Sporting Gijon upset the odds at the Nou Camp against Barcelona.