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Real Valladolid 2-3 Atletico Madrid: Sergio Gonzalez’ men push Atleti’s title credentials

Real Valladolid 2-3 Atletico Madrid: Sergio Gonzalez’ men push Atleti’s title credentials

Atletico Madrid had to fight hard to beat Real Valladolid on Saturday afternoon, beating them 3-2 in the end.

Unbeaten in their last 12 league encounters, Atletico headed to Valladolid determined to avoid an eighth draw as they aimed to build on last weekend’s 3-0 win against Deportivo Alavés.

Returning from injury were defensive duo Juanfran and Diego Godin with the latter being thrown straight into the starting line-up.

However, Diego Costa remained sidelined with a foot problem which meant Nikola Kalinic would partner Antoine Griezmann up front for Atletico.

And the Croatian striker only took 26 minutes to get on the scoresheet after he slotted in Griezmann’s through ball for his second goal in two matches.

After going 1-0 down, Valladolid reacted well and began to pose more of a threat to Atletico with Oscar Plano coming close to an equaliser 11 minutes later.

But, on the verge of the whistle being blown for half-time, a penalty was awarded to Atletico after a VAR review showed that Griezmann’s shot from the edge of the area had been deflected by Kiko Olivas’ arm.

The French forward then scored the spot-kick to put the visitors 2-0 up at the Estadio José Zorrilla heading into the break.

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Into the second-half and Valladolid made an unlikely comeback after a strong start with Enes Ünal and Olivas both testing Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

La Pucela’s persistence soon paid off with Fernando Calero heading into the bottom right corner of the goal following a corner-kick.

Shortly after Filipe Luís was withdrawn with an injury, Atletico’s problems deepened when Saúl Ñíguez accidentally put the ball into his own net from another corner.

It put the scoreline back at 2-2 between the sides to set-up an intense ending to the game with both teams uninterested in settling for a point.

In 80th-minute of the match though, Griezmann stepped up to put Atletico back in front after his left footed shot from a tricky angle found the bottom right corner of Jordi Masip’s net.

Los Colchoneros then held on to claim only their second away win in the league this season and move temporarily level with league leaders Barcelona, who visit Levante on Sunday.