Sevilla earn late victory over Atletico Madrid


A Lucas Ocampos strike in the final minutes of the match gave second-placed Sevilla a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid in LaLiga on Saturday.

In a feisty match between two sides that are trying to stay in contention with league leaders Real Madrid, Sevilla came out on top.

They now have 37 points, putting them five behind Real, while Atleti fall to fifth place on 29 points, leapfrogged by surprise outfit Rayo Vallecano, who beat Alaves 2-0 earlier in the day and remain unbeaten at home this season.

Ivan Rakitic gave Sevilla the lead early in the first half with a fabulous long-range strike that could be a contender for goal of the season.

Felipe equalized from a corner, timing his jump perfectly and thumping his header past Sevilla goalkeeper Bono.

But right before stoppage time, Ocampos reacted quickly to smash in a shot after a Thomas Delaney header came off the crossbar.

“The objective now is to continue enjoying ourselves,” Rakitic told reporters.

“There are still things to improve but this victory, against the league champions, gives us a lot of strength. With the fans we have, we want to continue surfing this wave.”

It is the first time Atletico manager Diego Simeone has seen his side lose three consecutive league matches since he arrived at the club in 2011.

Usually known for being rock-solid in defence, the champions have conceded 20 goals this season in 17 games.

“It’s time to work in silence and get better,” Simeone told reporters after the match.

“We are going through some difficult times and the results are reflecting that. But I trust my players; I know we will get there together.”

Barcelona struggle to beat Elche

Barcelona again blew a lead on Saturday evening, this time seeing a two-goal cushion disappear in just two minutes, but they managed to dig in and beat Elche 3-2 at the Camp Nou.

Xavi Hernandez’s side came into this weekend’s set of LaLiga Santander fixtures in desperate need of a win, and it appeared as though they were in for an afternoon of smooth sailing early on. But anybody who has watched this Barcelona would have known better than to expect such an easy route to victory.

The Blaugrana started well and Ferran Jutgla had the ball in the net after a well-taken finish, only for his effort to be chalked off for offside.

But the product of Espanyol’s academy wasn’t to be left waiting long to get on the scoresheet, working some space with a nice turn before a composed finish put the hosts ahead.

Seventeen-year-old Gavi then took centre stage with a goal that had the Camp Nou on its feet. The gifted youngster elegantly carved through Elche’s midfield before reaching the edge of the area, from where he sent a finish into the bottom corner that he made look so simple.

More chances came, but Jutgla, Ousmane Dembele, and Frenkie de Jong were unable to take advantage, and they were made to pay after the break as the visitors grew into the game a little more.

Just after the hour mark, Elche netted twice in two minutes. Tete Morente was first to finish on the end of a quick break, and he then teed up Pere Milla to level with a diving header.

With Barcelona looking destined to end the day frustrated again, substitute Nico Gonzalez won it late on, less than 15 minutes after coming off the bench. Gavi, again involved, teed up his fellow teenager to finish.


 Courtesy: Reuters and MARCA

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