Atletico re­turn to top four with com­fort­able win at Osasuna

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Atletico Madrid put last week’s painful de­feat by Real Madrid be­hind them with a 3-0 win over Osasuna yes­ter­day that in­cluded two goals in the space of a minute and al­lowed them to re­turn to the top four in La Liga.

De­fender Diego Godin gave Atletico the lead in the 36th minute with a tow­er­ing header from a cor­ner and Kevin Gameiro added the sec­ond im­me­di­ately af­ter, latch­ing on to a lofted through ball from An­gel Cor­rea and pro­duc­ing a crisp, low fin­ish.

Sub­sti­tute Yan­nick Car­rasco rounded off the vic­tory in the 90th by rob­bing Unai Gar­cia in Osasuna’s half and tear­ing to­wards goal be­fore pow­er­ing home the ball. Atletico had what looked to be a clear penalty turned down in the sec­ond half when Osasuna’s Oier San­juro ap­peared to block Ti­ago Men­des’s goal­bound shot with his arm, the mid­fielder also es­cap­ing a red card.

Diego Sime­one’s side cap­i­talised on Vil­lar­real’s sur­prise 2-0 de­feat by Alaves ear­lier on Sun­day to pro­vi­sion­ally go fourth on 24 points.

Cham­pi­ons Barcelona can leapfrog Sevilla to go sec­ond when they visit Real So­ciedad, sixth on 22 points, later.

Sime­one veered from the more at­tack-minded tac­tics he has em­braced this sea­son, re­verted to em­ploy­ing Koke on the left wing and re­warded Ti­ago for his ex­cel­lent dis­play in Wed­nes­day’s 2-0 win over PSV Eind­hoven by again play­ing the Por­tuguese vet­eran along­side Gabi in the mid­dle.

It made for a more solid if less threat­en­ing team and there were signs of the dogged Atletico side that won the La Liga ti­tle in 2014 thanks to an un­com­pro­mis­ing de­fence and mak­ing use of set plays.

Godin be­came the first Atletico de­fender to score this sea­son when he rose high­est to nod in Koke’s curled cor­ner and the vis­it­ing side were well on course for their first vic­tory in three league games when Gameiro slipped be­hind the Osasuna back­line to meet Cor­rea’s ball and score the sec­ond.

Car­rasco’s late goal equalled the score­line by which Atletico had lost to Real last week while Sime­one’s side also recorded a first clean sheet in six league games.

Vil­lar­real felt the strain of re­turn­ing to ac­tion less than 72 hours af­ter their Europa League game away to Zurich and were beaten by two early goals from Alaves to sur­ren­der their un­beaten home record. Ibai Gomez pounced on a loose ball at the far post to put the vis­i­tors ahead in the eighth minute while Vic­tor Ca­ma­rasa cap­i­talised on in­de­ci­sive de­fend­ing from a long ball by the hosts to knock in the sec­ond in the 17th. — Reuters

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