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La Liga: Real Madrid move ahead as Sevilla held; Barca beat Atletico Madrid

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By IANS Updated: Feb 07, 2022 11:00 am
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Madrid, Feb. 7 (IANS): Marco Arsenio’s excellent 74th-minute goal gave Real Madrid a 1-0 win at home to Granada. The forward’s powerful shot into the corner of the Granada goal gave Madrid a win they deserved for an improved second-half display after an even first 45 minutes, and moves them six points clear at the top of La Liga.

Real Madrid were without Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema on Sunday night and in the first half they struggled without the Frenchman.

FC Barcelona moved into fourth place in La Liga after a thrilling 4-2 win over Atletico Madrid in the Camp Nou Stadium. Atletico opened the scoring after a neat combination between Luis Suarez and Yannick Carrasco saw the Belgian beat Marc Andre Ter Stegen after just eight minutes, but Barca were quickly level after Jordi Alba’s volley just two minutes later.

Adama Traore was enjoying a happy return to Camp Nou and his pace was vital as he beat Mario Hermoso in the 22nd minute to cross from Gavi to head in Barca’s second and just before halftime Barca breached Atletico’s defence a third time, Xinhua reports. Gerard Pique headed against the bar and after Ferran Torres was unable to turn the ball in, Ronald Araujo provided the finish to make it 3-1.

Dani Alves rifled a loose ball home from outside of the penalty area to make it 4-1 in the 49th minute after Atletico again failed to clear a ball into their area. Luis Suarez then nodded Atletico back into the game and Atletico’s chances of getting a point increased when Alves was then sent off for putting his studs into the back of Carrasco’s calf.

The game got increasingly bad-tempered with several bad challenges but Barca held on while Atletico will be worried about new signing Daniel Wass who looked to suffer a knee injury in a bad challenge from Torres.

Villarreal continue their climb up the table with a 2-0 win away to third-placed Betis thanks to a Pau Torres header just before halftime with Etienne Capoue sealing the win with seven minutes left to play.

Valencia rested several first-team regulars ahead of their forthcoming Copa del Rey semifinal in Bilbao on February 11 for their 0-0 draw at home to Real Sociedad in a match that had more chances than the final score suggests.

Osasuna goalkeeper Sergio Herrera saved Ivan Rakitic’s 92nd-minute penalty to hold second place Sevilla to a 0-0 draw in the El Sadar Stadium.

A draw was a fair result as Sevilla looked flat against a well-organised home side and the result sees them lose ground on Real Madrid.

Two goals from Brais Mendez gave Celta a 2-0 home win against Rayo Vallecano, who made had several changes to their team ahead of next week’s Copa del Rey semifinal.

Two controversial penalties helped Mallorca to a win in their relegation duel against Cadiz, with the spot-kicks taken by Silva Sevilla and new signing Vedat Muriqi overturning Ruben Alcaraz’s seventh-minute goal for Cadiz.

Elche made it five games without defeat as they came back from conceding a goal to Joselu to beat Alaves 3-1. Pere Milla netted twice after the break and Fidel added a third with five minutes left to play as Elche extended Alaves winless run to 11 matches.

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By IANS Updated: Feb 07, 2022 11:00:49 am