Atletico lead in Spain

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA -

MADRID (AP): ATLETICO MADRID won early yes­ter­day and then watched a hum­bling de­feat for Barcelona, and yet an­other dis­ap­point­ing draw by Real Madrid, to lead the Span­ish league for the first time this sea­son.

Atletico dom­i­nated in a 2-0 win at Va­len­cia, while Madrid drew 1-1 at home with Eibar for their fourth­con­sec­u­tive draw, and Barcelona con­ceded three goals in 11 min­utes in the first half in a 4-3 loss at Celta Vigo. The cru­cial fourth goal was an em­bar­rass­ing mis­take by goal­keeper Marc-An­dré ter Ste­gen.

The re­sults left Diego Sime­one’s team in the lead with 15 points from seven matches. Madrid also have 15 points, but an in­fe­rior goal dif­fer­ence.

Barcelona, still with­out the in­jured Lionel Messi, stayed on 13 points af­ter their sec­ond league loss. They are one point be­hind third-placed Sevilla, which de­feated Alaves 2-1 on Satur­day.

Pique scored twice and Ney­mar once as Barcelona came close to ral­ly­ing from the three-goal deficit, but the goal­keeper’s mis­take with the game at 3-2 damp­ened the team’s chances.

In­stead of send­ing the ball into at­tack, the Ger­man goal­keeper tried to pass it to a de­fender, but Celta mid­fielder Pablo Her­nan­dez timed his jump per­fectly and the ball struck his head and hit the far post be­fore cross­ing the line.

“We know Marc is very good with his feet; a lot of our plays be­gin with him,” Pique said. “Ev­ery­body makes mis­takes, but we know him well and he won’t be af­fected by that.”


Mid­fielder Fran Rico put Eibar ahead with a header in the sixth minute and Gareth Bale equalised from close range in the 17th, but Madrid were not able to cap­i­talise on their scor­ing chances for the rest of the match, prompt­ing jeers from fans at the San­ti­ago Bern­abeu Sta­dium.


Two penalty saves by Va­len­cia goal­keeper Diego Alves were not enough to stop Atletico Madrid.

An­toine Griez­mann scored in the 63rd minute and Kevin Gameiro in in­jury time to give Atletico the win at Va­len­cia de­spite Alves’ saves in each half.

“The two penal­ties mean noth­ing to me,” Alves said. “I wanted to win the match.”

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