Atletico and Sevilla win

Diego Costa's second-half double sent Atletico Madrid top of the table after victory over Levante, while Sevilla enjoyed an impressive win at Villarreal.

Last Updated: 21/12/13 at 23:19 Post Comment

Diego Costa: Scored twice as Atletico beat Levante 3-2

Diego Costa: Scored twice as Atletico beat Levante 3-2

Real Sociedad picked up three points away from home against Granada as Almeria got the better of fellow strugglers Real Betis.

Atletico Madrid overcame an almighty scare to beat Levante 3-2 and go top of the Primera Division, albeit potentially for just 24 hours.

Levante took a shock early lead when left-back Nikos Karabelas split the Atleti defence with a low pass and Andreas Ivanschitz ran through and his shot ricocheted off the foot of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and into the far corner.

Just before the half-hour mark, Atleti equalised when Juanfran crossed into the box again after his initial attempt was sent back to him, and this time it cleared the defence and landed on the head of Diego Godin, who headed past Keylor Navas.

Atleti were in front inside the opening two minutes of the second half when Diego Costa volleyed home from just outside the six-yard box after Gabi had sent in a free-kick.

But Levante levelled on 56 minutes when Koke was dispossessed by Pedro Rios following an Atleti corner and the winger ran through the middle of the pitch unchallenged before placing his shot beyond the reach of Courtois.

Diego Simeone's side claimed all three points on 77 minutes, though, when Costa slammed home a penalty after Gabi was tripped by Ruben Garcia.

Sevilla continued their excellent recent run of form by beating Villarreal 2-1 away from home to move up to seventh place.

The visitors went ahead on 24 minutes when Ivan Rakitic launched a free-kick from 40 plus yards into the box and Juan Cala's looping header sailed over the head of a stranded Sergio Asenjo.

Unai Emery's side increased their lead on 71 minutes when Mateo Musacchio made a mess of a clearance which went straight to Carlos Bacca, who pounced on the loose ball and buried it in the net.

Villarreal were handed a lifeline in the 86th minute when Jaume Costa was tripped in the box by Cala and the defender was sent off, with substitute Jeremy Perbet sending Beto the wrong way from the spot, but Sevilla held on.

Carlos Vela scored a goal in each half as Real Sociedad moved up to fifth in the table after a 3-1 win away to Granada.

Former Arsenal striker Vela opened the scoring on 29 minutes before Piti drew Granada level eight minutes later.

However, Antoine Griezmann restored Sociedad's advantage three minutes before half-time and Vela made certain of the points with his second of the game on 64 minutes.

Ramon Azeez's early goal was enough for Almeria to claim a much-needed 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Real Betis.

Azeez drilled home from 30 yards in only the third minute to lift Almeria out of the bottom three and into 15th place while Betis remain rooted to the bottom of the standings.

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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