Atletico drop points after Real win
Madrid, March 15 (IANS) The race for the La Liga title got tighter over the weekend as league leaders Atletico Madrid dropped two points when they settled for a 0-0 draw away to Getafe.
Getafe goalkeeper David Soria made a series of excellent saves to deny Atletico, especially after defender Allan Nyom was sent off for a bad foul with 20 minutes left to play, Xinhua reported.
Atletico pushed hard for a win and Luis Suarez hit the post with seven minutes to play, but lacked the clarity to take all three points.
Karim Benzema’s two late goals gave Real Madrid three points against Elche, who had taken a 61st minute lead thanks to Dani Calvo’s header.
The entry of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos after the goal changed the game and they combined for Benzema to equalize with a 73rd minute header, before sealing the win in the first minute of injury-time with an angled left-foot volley that went in off the post.
The win leaves Real Madrid six points behind their neighbours and FC Barcelona can close the gap to four if they win away to Huesca on Monday night.
Youssef En-Nesyri’s 27th minute goal gave Sevilla a 1-0 win in an entertaining Seville derby, after he had rounded Real Betis keeper Joel Robles and scored from a tight angle on Sunday.
Both sides had chances in a high-octane encounter and Nabil Fekir was inches away from equalizing with the last kick of the game, but Sevilla take the points that strengthen their position in fourth.
Villarreal’s 3-1 win on Sunday away to Eibar ended their run of eight league games without a victory while extending Eibar’s own winless streak to 10 matches.
Moi Gomez and Carlos Bacca put Villarreal 2-0 up in the first half, while Esteban Burgos missed a penalty for Eibar, and although Sergi Enrich got the visitors back into the game 10 minutes into the second half, they couldn’t find an equalizer and Alfonso Pedraza sealed the win for Villarreal on the break three minutes from time.
In other games on Sunday, Granada overcame an injury crisis and tired legs from Thursday’s Europa League game to beat fifth-placed Real Sociedad 1-0 thanks to Victor Diaz’s deflected shot in the first half. Celta Vigo and Athletic Bilbao drew 0-0 in game that started brightly but ran out of steam as both sides performed better in defense than attack.
Alaves remain deep in relegation trouble after a 1-1 draw Saturday at home to Cadiz with both goals coming from the penalty spot. Joselu put the home side ahead in the 38th minute with Alex Fernandez levelling for the visitors in the 81st minute after home captain was Manu Garcia sent off two yellow cards in one minute.
Osasuna and Real Valladolid drew 0-0 in a result that edges both sides closer to safety. The home side had the better of the first half, while Valladolid were the better team after the break. The round of games kicked off on Friday with Roger Marti’s goal giving Levante a 1-0 win over neighbors Valencia in the city derby.