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Spanish Primera BBVA

Vicente Calderon (ATT 45,000) 3rd February 2013 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: A Undiano Mallenco

A Madrid Atletico Madrid vs Real Betis Real Betis

A Madrid 1

D Costa (61)

ft

Atletico cut Barca's lead

Last Updated: 03/02/13 11:26pm

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Diego Costa celebrates the only goal

Diego Costa celebrates the only goal

Atletico Madrid cut the gap to Barcelona at the top of the Primera Division to nine points as Diego Costa's second-half header was enough to hand them all three points against disappointing Real Betis.

Arda Turan had a hat-trick of early chances but failed to find the net as Atleti started brightly, but the game descended into a scrappy affair with both defences on top until Betis goalkeeper Adrian flapped at a corner just after the hour mark and Costa was on hand to nod home his 11th goal of the season.

Atleti's 20th successive home victory maintained their 100 per cent record at the Calderon this season, while a second straight defeat for Betis leaves them in fifth.

As when the sides met at the Calderon in the Copa del Rey a fortnight ago, Atleti flew out of the traps but this time failed to turn their early chances into goals.

Arda was first to threaten after he was played in by Radamel Falcao but his weak chip was batted behind by Adrian.

The Betis goalkeeper was then called into action twice in quick succession as he turned another drive from Arda wide and from the resulting corner tipped Gabi's fierce drive over.

Arda was then presented with another clear shooting opportunity just inside the box after a neat one-two with Domingo Cisma but he again failed to make a decent contact as his effort trickled wide.

Betis had shown nothing as an attacking force in the opening period but they nearly took a shock lead 12 minutes into the second half as Nacho's powerful drive was well held by Thibaut Courtois.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone introduced Costa for the ineffective Adrian Lopez and the Brazilian made an almost immediate impact as Falcao fired a shot from 40 yards that Adrian did well to tip wide.

Adrian flapped at the resulting corner, however, and Costa was left with the simplest of tasks to head into an empty net from two yards.

The goal forced Betis onto the front foot but the closest they came to an equaliser was a 30-yard piledriver from Ruben Perez that flashed by Courtois' right-hand post.

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Matches

Table

Spanish Primera BBVA

Spanish Primera BBVA
Pos Team P Pts
1 Atletico Madrid 34 85
2 Real Madrid 33 79
3 Barcelona 33 78
4 Athletic Bilbao 33 62
5 Sevilla 33 56
6 Villarreal 33 52
7 Real Sociedad 33 51
8 Valencia 33 44
9 Espanyol 33 41
10 Levante 33 40
11 Malaga 33 38
12 Celta Vigo 33 37
13 Granada 33 37
14 Rayo Vallecano 33 37
15 Elche 34 35
16 Osasuna 33 34
17 Real Valladolid 33 32
18 Getafe 33 31
19 Almeria 33 30
20 Real Betis 33 22