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Real Betis 1-0 Atletico Madrid: Sergio Canales’ second half penalty damages Atleti’s title bid

Real Betis 1-0 Atletico Madrid: Sergio Canales’ second half penalty damages Atleti’s title bid

Los Colchoneros knew coming into this one that they could move within three points of league leaders Barcelona but a Sergio Canales penalty keeps the gap at six.

Diego Simeone was bound to be confident ahead of kick off, his side had lost just once in La Liga all season when they suffered a 2-0 away defeat to Celta Vigo in September.

In addition, Betis had never beaten an Atleti side managed by Simeone.

That all changed today, in a game that saw contrasting styles go head to head. The passing style of Betis against the efficient and organised style of Atleti.

Atleti started the stronger of the two teams, debutant Álvaro Morata tried his luck early on, but the strike failed to trouble Pau Lopez.

The first half ended goalless and Filipe Luís replaced Santiago Arias at left back at the break.

Atleti had claims for a penalty dismissed by referee David Medié Jiménez when Zou Feddal brought Morata down in the box.

Before, Betis were handed a penalty 20-minutes into the second half when Luís handled a cross.

Canales was calmly stroked the ball left footed past the outstretched hand of Jan Oblak to seal all three points.

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Quique Setién’s side have now beaten both Barça and Atleti this season as they end a run of one win in five league games.

Alongside booking their place in the Copa Del Rey semi-final midweek with a 4-2 aggregate win over Espanyol.

Another positive for Betis was the return of Júnior Firpo who made his first appearance since December. The 22-year-old was also key in the 3-4 Barça triumph earlier in the season.

Betis have now moved up to sixth place, level on points with Getafe who occupy 5th.

As for Atleti, they failed to close the gap between themselves and leaders Barça to three points, and face a revitalised Real Madrid in the Madrid derby next week.

A debut to forget for Morata in front of goal who registered four attempts on goal, three of which failed to hit the target and just seven touches in Betis’ box.

Real Betis: (3-5-2) Lopez; Mandi, Bartra (Sidnei, 52), Feddal; Barragán, Canales, Guardado, Kaptoum, Francis (Júnior Firpo, 73); León, Joaquín (García, 84). Unused subs: Robles, Lo Celso, Loren, Jesé.

Atleti: (4-4-2) Oblak; Arias, (Filipe Luís, 46) Giménez, Hernández, Juan Fran; Correa (Kalinic, 75), Partey, Rodrigo, Lemar (Vitolo, 63); Griezmann, Morata. Unused subs: Adán, Rodríguez, Muñoz, Montero.

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Goal: Sergio Canales (Penalty) (1-0).

Cards: (Yellows: Santiago Arias, Ángel Correa, Lucas Hernández, Aissa Mandi, Júnior Firpo, Sergio León, Pau López)

Stadium: Estadio Benito Villamarin (50,864 attendance).