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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

Real Betis 0

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 Real Madrid 12 30
2 Barcelona 12 28
3 Atletico Madrid 12 26
4 Valencia 12 24
5 Sevilla 12 23
6 Malaga 12 21
7 Celta Vigo 12 20
8 Villarreal 12 18
9 Athletic Bilbao 12 15
10 Getafe 12 14
11 Rayo Vallecano 12 14
12 Eibar 12 13
13 Levante 12 12
14 Espanyol 12 11
15 Granada 12 11
16 Real Sociedad 12 10
17 Almeria 12 10
18 Deportivo La Coruna 12 10
19 Elche 12 10
20 Cordoba 12 7