De Paul scoreless but key in building 3-0 win for Atletico Madrid over Betis
Madrid, Oct 31 (EFE).- Atletico de Madrid regained its mojo on both attack and defense, romping to a well-deserved 3-0 win over Real Betis on Sunday before 56,838 fans at Wanda Metropolitano stadium with goals by Yannick Carrasco, Betis player German Pezzella into his own net and Joao Felix, thus moving to within two points of the top slot on the La Liga table After two consecutive 2-2 draws – to Real Sociedad and Levante – Atletico managed to be effective not only in its rivals’ area but also in its own, something the squad had been unable to do since defeating Barcelona a month ago, and thus the capital team broke Betis’s string of three consecutive wins and positioned itself one point ahead of the visitors in the rankings.
Argentine international Rodrigo de Paul led the way for Atletico, working hard everywhere on both offense and defense to craft the team’s push, but it was Carrasco who sank the first goal in the 26th minute after a pass from Angel Correa and fending off Martin Montoya to fire a bazooka-blast past Claudio Bravo and into the net.
And there the score remained into the break and until minute 62, when Pezzella knocked one into his own net for the 2-0, thus putting Diego Simeone’s men in good control of the contest.
Felix came off the bench, replacing Luis Suarez, in the 71st minute and eight minutes later made it 3-0, with Betis only rarely providing any mediocre challenge to the hosts, going down to defeat for the eighth time in nine road matches against the capital squad after failing to find the net in any of the last six outings.
Although the match started with a blur of activity and Betis’s William Carvalho in minute 1 fired a shot-on-goal that netminder Jan Oblak easily dealt with, that was just about the end of the visitors’ threat and they simply could not force Atletico into a repeat of its poor defensive performance in two of its previous three games.
A 2-0 goal by Hermoso was invalidated by VAR review in the early going of the second half, but Pezzella made his fatal error shortly thereafter and ultimately Felix sank his first goal this season for the final result.
Atletico de Madrid: Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Gimenez, Hermoso, Carrasco (Lodi, m. 88); De Paul (Matheus Cunha, m. 83), Koke; Correa (Herrera, m. 83), Griezmann; Luis Suarez (Joao Félix, m. 71).
Real Betis: Claudio Bravo; Montoya, Pezella, Edgar, Alex Moreno; Guardado (Rober, m. 77), William Carvalho (Guido Rodriguez, m. 65); Rodri (Aitor Ruibal, m. 46), Canales, Juanmi (Tello, m. 46); Willian Jose (Borja Iglesias, m. 77).