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Spanish Primera BBVA

Benito Villamarin (ATT 31,132) 23rd March 2014 - Kick off 16:00 Ref: J Estrada Fernandez

Real Betis Real Betis vs Atletico Madrid A Madrid

Real Betis 0

B Rodriguez (S/O 55)

ft

A Madrid 2

Gabi (58)
D Costa (64)

Sky Sports 1 HD

Atletico maintain title challenge

Last Updated: 23/03/14 10:11pm

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Juanfran and Raul Garcia battle for the ball

Juanfran and Raul Garcia battle for the ball

Atletico Madrid capitalised on the second-half dismissal of Real Betis forward Braian Rodriguez to win 2-0 - a result which was enough for them to go top after Barcelona beat Real Madrid 4-3 later in the evening.

Rodriguez saw red in the 55th minute for his second bookable offence, and Atletico scored twice in the next 10 minutes through Gabi and Diego Costa as rock-bottom Real Betis were made to pay.

It was a sudden capitulation from Betis, who had frustrated Atletico for long periods in the first half. The Sevilla club, knocked out of the Europa League by rivals Sevilla on Thursday night, have turned their focus completely to trying to dig their way out of a significant hole at the foot of the standings but are running out of time.

A sudden rush of chances as soon as the game kicked off was hardly a sign of things to come.

Juanfran and Juan Carlos had early sighters for Betis while Diego Costa twice missed the target for Atletico inside the opening 10 minutes, but - aside from Mario Suarez's long-range effort which drifted over the crossbar in the 25th minute - they proved the only efforts on goal of the entire first half.

There was a quick start to the second half too as Juan Carlos struck the post in the 48th minute, but things turned after Rodriguez - booked for a first-half foul on Diego Godin - handled the ball and received his marching orders.

Barely three minutes later, Gabi drilled the ball home from 30 yards and Betis' game plan was in tatters.

Raul Garcia fired narrowly wide from close range moments later but Atletico did not need to wait long for a second, with Diego Costa nodding in Koke's cross in the 64th minute.

Betis did not have the wherewithal to mount a comeback, barely mustering a chance in response.

Jose None's long-range effort sailed wide in the 78th minute, but Atletico saw out another win with ease.

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Matches

Table

Spanish Primera BBVA

Spanish Primera BBVA
Pos Team P Pts
1 Barcelona 38 94
2 Real Madrid 38 92
3 Atletico Madrid 38 78
4 Valencia 38 77
5 Sevilla 38 76
6 Villarreal 38 60
7 Athletic Bilbao 38 55
8 Celta Vigo 38 51
9 Malaga 38 50
10 Espanyol 38 49
11 Rayo Vallecano 38 49
12 Real Sociedad 38 46
13 Elche 38 41
14 Levante 38 37
15 Getafe 38 37
16 Deportivo La Coruna 38 35
17 Granada 38 35
18 Eibar 38 35
19 Almeria 38 32
20 Cordoba 38 20