On the day where Spain celebrated the 175th anniversary of the flag, an Angel Correa goal was enough to see Atletico Madrid temporarily sit at the top of La Liga.
Atleti have been in terrific form since their away loss to Celta Vigo on September 1st, dropping only four points out of an available 16. A 3-1 win at home to Belgian side Club Brugge on Wednesday also saw Los Colchoneros maintain their 100% record in the Champions League this season.
Betis went into the game on the back of two consecutive league wins over Girona and Leganes, as well as defeating Luxembourg side F91 Dudelange 3-0 at the Benito Villamarin on Thursday. Quique Setien’s men sat level on points with this weekend’s opponents prior to kick off.
Diego Costa, who turned 30 on match day, was out for the home side after suffering a muscle injury in the midweek European clash. Nikola Kalinic therefore made his first start for the club since his €15 million transfer from AC Milan in the summer.
It was the visitors that had the majority of possession in the first half, with the defence successfully keeping the ball away from Kalinic and Antoine Griezmann. Chances were minimal from both sides in the first 45 minutes however, with Loren Moron failing to finish after breaking through the middle of the Atleti defence. There was also cause for concern for Setien when Andres Guardado was forced off in the 17th minute with a muscular injury.
Atleti came to life in the second half, with Griezmann and Rodri seeing shots saved by Pau Lopez and Kalinic striking the post. The deadlock was finally broken in the 75th minute, when a clever Thomas Partey back heel was collected by Angel Correa. The Argentinian raced towards the edge of the box and struck low to grab the three points for the hosts.
Following Sevilla’s win at home to Celta Vigo, Atletico jump above Real Madrid and now sit in second place, one point behind Pablo Machin’s side. After the international break they travel to Valencia to take on a struggling Villarreal.
Betis currently sit in eighth place, just four points behind their neighbours. They welcome Real Valladolid to Seville on Sunday 21st.
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Oblak; Juanfran (Arias, 74), Godin, Lucas, Filipe Luis; Koke, Rodri, Saul, Lemar (Correa, 57), Griezmann, Kalinic (Thomas, 66)
Real Betis (3-4-2-1): Pau Lopez; Mandi, Bartra, Sidnei; Francis (Sanabria, 81), Canales, Guardado (Carvalho, 17), Junior Firpo; Lo Celso, Joaquin (Tello, 66); Loren