Atletico edge Betis to end slide and stay fourth in Liga

Atletico edge Betis to end slide and stay fourth in Liga

© AFP 2022
March 3, 2024 at 6:06 PM
Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata flies over Betis goalkeeper Rui Silva to win a penalty
Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata flies over Betis goalkeeper Rui Silva to win a penalty. Photo: Thomas COEX / AFP
Source: AFP

Atletico Madrid ended a run of three winless games as they edged Real Betis 2-1 on Sunday to tighten their grip on fourth place in La Liga.

The victory left Atletico two points behind Barcelona and six ahead of Bilbao, before those two clubs met in the evening.

In Sunday's other late match, second-place Girona visit Mallorca trying to gain ground on leaders Real Madrid.

Real Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw at Valencia on Saturday.

Jude Bellingham, who thought he had just scored the winner, was sent off for protesting after his strike was ruled out because the referee had blown the final whistle.

On Sunday, Atletico took the lead after eight minutes with help from the visitors.

Memphis Depay drove a cross toward Alvaro Morata, lurking at the far post, but the ball never reached the Spain striker as three Betis players combined to put the ball into their own net.

Hector Bellerin scuffed the ball onto team-mate German Pezzella who deflected it toward the line where goalkeeper Rui Silva could only parry it into his own goal.

Rui Silva brought down Morata to concede a 27th minute penalty but the goalkeeper saved the spot kick and two follow-up attempts by Morata.

Morata found the target in the 43rd minute, nodding in a rebound from close range after Rui Silva saved a shot by Rodrigo de Paul.

William Carvalho pulled one back for Betis with a long-range blast after 62 minutes.

Goalkeeper Jan Oblak pushed a shot from Guido Rodriguez onto the post as Atletico absorbed late Betis pressure.

Earlier, Alexander Sorloth scored a hat-trick as Villarreal crushed struggling Granada 5-1.

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© AFP 2022 photo
© AFP 2022