Lewandowski scores Barca’s goal vs. doughty Mallorca, Atletico blanks Sevilla

Sports Desk, Oct 1 (EFE).- Atletico de Madrid, playing a very serious and effective game, blanked Sevilla 2-0 on the road on Saturday with goals by Marcos Llorente at the half-hour mark and Alvaro Morata near the one hour point at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium.

The capital squad dominated the match from the start against a Sevilla coached by Julen Lopetegui seemingly without a plan or any desire, with the latter slipping into yet a deeper crisis and being seen off the pitch at the close of play with derogatory whistles and jeers from the 37,754 fans in the stands.

Llorente scored in the 29th minute after a centering pass by Koke, sending the ball into the net well out of reach of Sevilla goaltender Bono, and Morata found the twine in the 57th minute, taking advantage of a mistake by Jose Carmona and putting the ball high up over the netminder for the 2-0.

Atletico’s goalkeeper, Jan Oblak, finally got a little action with just a quarter hour remaining before the end of play, making a stretching horizontal dive to knock away a nice header by Youssef En-Nesyri, but that was the only threat posed to Diego Simeone’s boys by their hosts.

The win moves Atletico – provisionally, at least – into the No. 6 spot on the La Liga table, with Sevilla way down in 16th position just one point above the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski scored the lone goal in the 20th minute of their match against Mallorca on Saturday at Son Moix Stadium in Palma, Spain, despite the problems posed by Javier Aguirre’s hard-charging men at a number of points during the match.

Lewandowski has now scored in six of the team’s seven La Liga matches so far this season. The tally came after he received a pass from Ansu Fati, whereupon he cut back to beat his defender and then fired a low, but laser-like shot on goal right into the bottom corner.

Mallorca showed fight all the way through the match, however, manufacturing chances that – had the chips fallen a little differently – could have nabbed them at least a tie and perhaps a victory. Jaume Costa and Antonio Sanchez fired shots on goal that Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to defend against, although he has now gone 500 minutes and more without giving up any goals to Barca’s rivals in La Liga play, a new personal record.

The home squad was still trying to get something going, even in stoppage time, but Lee Kang-In missed on a final shot and they had to settle for being blanked in the loss.

The first half of play ended in a festival of yellow cards, with the referee dealing them out to Christensen, Pique, Kessie and Jaume Costa, along with a direct red card to Barca’s assistant trainer Oscar Hernandez for protesting.

The win puts Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table, a point past Real Madrid, who have a game in hand, but the capital team may jump back on top if they can beat Osasuna at home on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, No. 6 Villarreal was unable to find the right combination to secure anything but a scoreless road draw from Cadiz, but Real Valladolid downed hosts Getafe 3-2.

EFE pcl-cc/sab-jl/bp

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