Atletico keeps pace with Barcelona
Atletico's ninth victory in as many home games this season trimmed the gap with the pacesetters to six points before Barcelona visits Valladolid on Saturday.
Also on Friday, Roberto Soldado scored one goal and set up another to guide Valencia to a 4-2 win over Getafe, earning new coach Ernesto Valverde his first three points at home.
Atletico started strongly at Vicente Calderon stadium with Jorge ''Koke'' Resurrecion hitting the upright in the 12th minute.
A regular starter last season, Adrian has seen his minutes on the pitch decrease with Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa leading Atletico's usually potent attack.
But with his team stymied by Celta's defense, Simeone sent on Adrian in the 72nd for a waning Costa. And the move paid off five minutes later when the striker let rip a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that flew into the corner of the net.
''They were clear about the kind of game they wanted to play. It's always tough to pull out a game like this one,'' Adrian said. ''This goal gives me a boost of confidence.''
Atletico made it through the final five minutes with 10 men after defender Miranda received his second booking.
Falcao, who had scored six goals in the previous two rounds, was unable to add to his season tally of 17 league goals, second only to Barcelona forward Lionel Messi with 25.
The Colombia striker will miss Atletico's next game at Mallorca following the winter break after picking up his fifth yellow card of this season.
Celta recorded its eighth defeat in nine away games. The promoted club is in 15th place, two points above the relegation zone.
The Associated Press was used in this report.