Atletico Madrid power past Sevilla to close gap on top three
Atletico Madrid 3 - 1 Sevilla

Atletico Madrid power past Sevilla to close gap on top three

20/03/2017

Diego Godin, Antoine Griezmann and Koke fired Atletico Madrid to a crucial 3-1 victory over rivals Sevilla.

Godin scored with a first-half header before Griezmann and Koke struck in the second half to move Atletico to within two points of their third-placed visitors.

Sevilla were looking to close the gap on leaders Real Madrid, but only had Joaquin Correa's consolation to show for their efforts and remain eight points adrift as their already faint title hopes suffered another blow.

Defeat capped a miserable week for Sevilla after they were dumped out of the Champions League by Leicester on Tuesday.

In Diego Simeone's 100th home match in charge at the Vicente Calderon, Atletico were inches from taking an 18th-minute lead when Yannick Carrasco put Kevin Gameiro in behind the visiting defence.

The French striker showed superb technique to send an angled chip over the advancing Sergio Rico but his effort came back off the crossbar.

Sevilla claimed they should have had a penalty in the 34th minute after Wissam Ben Yedder attempted to round keeper Jan Oblak only to tumble to the floor.

Referee Jesus Gil Manzano took a long, hard look before shaking his head and replays proved him right, as Oblak had taken his hand away and made no contact with Ben Yedder.

And three minutes later Atletico made the breakthrough after a bizarre foul by Adil Rami, who was on the ground yet penalised for trying to head the ball away from Carrasco's feet.

Griezmann floated the free kick into the area to where defender Godin had been left completely unmarked to plant a powerful header past Rico.

Griezmann should have doubled the advantage shortly after half-time following a delightful exchange of passes.

He took Gameiro's ball into the penalty area in his stride but slipped his shot the wrong side of the near post.

As the hour mark approached Carrasco threaded another pass into the box, this time into the path of Gameiro, but his touch was poor and Rico was able to save.

The second goal eventually arrived in the 61st minute via another free kick, this time Griezmann going straight for goal and lashing a superb effort in off the crossbar.

Koke wrapped up the victory with 12 minutes remaining, tapping into an empty net after Rico palmed Juan Fran's cross into his path, before substitute Correa pulled one back with a late burst forward and cool finish.

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