Madrid, Jan 12 (efe-epa).- Atletico de Madrid notched a 2-0 victory over visiting Sevilla on Tuesday on goals by Angel Correa and Saul Ñiguez, further cementing its position at the top of the La Liga table.
The match was played at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium before empty stands due to coronavirus gathering restrictions.
Atletico now stands four points ahead of Real Madrid, seven in front of Barcelona and nine ahead of Villarreal, the No. 2, 3 and 4 teams in Spanish soccer’s First Division.
The Madrid powerhouse – an ambitious, steady and reliable squad managed by Diego Simeone – has now won 5 of its last 6 league matches.
It was Correa on the scene in the 17th minute to take a pass from Kieran Trippier in the box, whereupon he finessed the ball before turning and firing a tallying strike past goaltender Yassine Bono low right into the net to give the hosts the lead.
Trippier – who was back in the lineup after having his 10-week FIFA ban for violating betting rules suspended – almost got another assist in the 25th minute when he passed the ball to Luis Suarez for a close-range shot, although Bono charged out and blocked what looked like it was going to be an early 2-0 tally.
Sevilla was unable to get anything on the scoreboard, although it had a few – but very few – chances during the contest.
Late in the match, it was Ñiguez coming off the bench for the second goal in the 76th minute after Marcos Llorente took the ball down the right edge of the pitch before knocking a pass to his teammate, who took his time getting closer to firing position but ultimately sent the ball home from the edge of the area.
With the loss, Sevilla sits in sixth position on the table with 30 points, tied with fifth-ranked Real Sociedad.
Atletico de Madrid: Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Gimenez, Hermoso, Carrasco (Felipe, m. 88); Correa (Joao Felix, m. 65), Llorente, Koke, Lemar (Saul, m. 65); Luis Suarez (Torreira, m. 82).
Sevilla: Bono; Jesus Navas (Oliver Torres, m. 78), Kounde, Diego Carlos, Acuña; Jordan (Oscar Rodriguez, m. 59), Fernando, Rakitic; Ocampos, Suso (De Jong, m. 78), En-Nesyri (Munir, m. 84).
Official Estrada Fernandez showed yellow cards to Koke and Savic.