Atletico keep winning as Real Madrid slump deepens
Sports Desk, Nov 28 (efe-epa).- Atletico Madrid edged Valencia 1-0 on Saturday to stay level on points with LaLiga leaders Real Sociedad while defending champions Real Madrid lost 2-1 at home to Alaves, extending their domestic winless run to three matches, and Sevilla continued their renaissance with a victory over Huesca to climb to fifth after a spell in the bottom half of the table.
Every match began with a tribute to soccer legend Diego Maradona, who died Wednesday in Buenos Aires, and Atleti coach Diego Simeone had tears in his eyes as he recalled his friend and former teammate on the Argentine national side.
Playing without strikers Luis Suarez and Diego Costa, the Colchoneros had 67 percent possession against hosts Valencia at the Mestalla.
Even so, the score was still 0-0 with just over 10 minutes left in regulation when Valencia defender Toni Lato inadvertently deflected a Yannick Carrasco cross into his own net, which proved to be all Atleti would need to win their sixth straight domestic match.
Unbeaten in their last 25 in LaLiga, Atleti have 23 points, the same as Sociedad, who are ahead on the basis of goals scored.
Atletico Madrid have a game in hand on Sociedad, who will be in action Sunday against third-place Villarreal.
Hosting Alaves, Real Madrid fell behind in the 5th minute after the visitors won the first corner and Nacho was called for hand ball. Lucas Perez converted from the spot.
Just four minutes into the second half, a botched clearance by Blancos goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois set up an easy score for Joselu to put Alaves up 2-0.
Casemiro’s goal in the 86th minute cut the deficit in half before Isco Alarcon hit the cross-bar on a chance for the equalizer in the final sequence of the contest.
The result leaves Real Madrid in fourth place with 17 points after 10 matches. To make matters worse, Eden Hazard, who has been plagued by injuries during his 17 months with the Blancos, left the pitch hurt in the 28th minute.
Sevilla, who not long ago looked to be foundering after losing three in a row, posted a fifth consecutive win in all competitions thanks to a goal in the 83rd minute by Youssef En-Nesyri.
Lucas Ocampos assisted on En-Nesyri’s fifth marker in six games as Sevilla went fifth on 16 points, just a point behind Real Madrid with a game in hand.
Huesca, the only team in LaLiga without a victory this season, are 19th with 7 points from 11 matches.
Saturday’s action began with a clash between two promoted clubs who have cooled recently after making impressive starts.
Lucas Boye put hosts Elche ahead 1-0 in the 38th minute, only to get sent off in first-half stoppage time for a second yellow card. Alvaro Gimenez equalized for Cadiz 10 minutes into the second half, but coach Alvaro Cervera made it clear afterwards that his side should have done more with the man advantage.
Cadiz sit in sixth place with 15 points from 11 matches, while Elche are eighth with 13, the same as ninth-place Alaves, who trail on the basis of goal difference. EFE id/dr