Atletico overtakes Barca with comfortable Alaves win | Inquirer Sports

Atletico overtakes Barca with comfortable Alaves win

/ 06:00 PM October 30, 2023

Alvaro Morata

FILE – Atletico Madrid’s Spanish striker #19 Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring his team second goal during the UEFA Champions League group E football match between Celtic and Atletico Madrid at Celtic Park stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, on October 25, 2023. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)

Atletico Madrid eased to a 2-1 win over Alaves on Sunday to rise above champions Barcelona to third in La Liga.

After league leaders Real Madrid beat the Catalans 2-1 in Saturday’s Clasico, Diego Simeone’s Atletico took full advantage to move a point ahead of Xavi Hernandez’s side.

Atletico trails Los Blancos and second-place Girona by three points, having played a game less.

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Alvaro Morata scored and set up Rodrigo Riquelme’s opener as Atletico cruised to victory over Alaves, 17th, at the Metropolitano stadium.

Ander Guevara pulled one back at the death for Alaves but it was too little, too late.

Atletico have now won 14 consecutive league matches at home, equalling the club’s all-time record set in 2013 at their former stadium, the Vicente Calderon.

“(The record) is not by chance, at home with our fans we feel more comfortable, they make us feel stronger, this win is very important for us,” Riquelme told Movistar.

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“We’re on the right path, going game by game and we aren’t thinking about the league table.”

Riquelme sent Atletico ahead after 26 minutes when Antoine Griezmann slipped in Morata, who crossed to the back post.

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The Spanish midfielder cleverly opened up some space and flashed a shot into the near top corner.

Morata doubled Atletico’s advantage just before half-time when he gathered Koke’s long ball, cut inside from the right and swept home.

Griezmann had a goal disallowed in the second half for a foul by Marcos Llorente in the build-up as Atletico largely cruised.

Alaves pulled one back deep in stoppage time when Guevara struck from the edge of the box, with goalkeeper Jan Oblak partly to blame as he should have kept the shot out.

“We were a lot better in the second half, we should have played like that in the first half,” Alaves defender Javi Lopez told Movistar.

“We haven’t had good results away from home … (but) if we compete like this, the results will come.”

Earlier Bebe’s fine late strike earned Rayo Vallecano a 2-2 draw against high-flying Real Sociedad.

The former Manchester United midfielder netted a vital stoppage-time goal for the second week running after his late penalty against Las Palmas last weekend.

Mikel Oyarzabal scored a brace for La Real, fifth, after Abdul Mumin opened the scoring for Rayo, but Bebe hammered home a low drive from long distance to share the spoils.

Rayo Vallecano are seventh, level on points with eighth-placed Betis, who beat Osasuna 2-1 earlier on thanks to Isco’s superb late goal.

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The ex-Real Madrid playmaker set up Willian Jose for the opener and then after Ruben Garcia appeared to rescue the visitors a point, Isco flashed a strike home in stoppage time to delight the Benito Villamarin.

TAGS: Atletico, Barcelona

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