Four goals for Griezmann as Atletico close gap on Barcelona

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Madrid, March 1 (IANS) Atletico Madrid moved to within four points of FC Barcelona at the top of the Spanish football league table as striker Antoine Griezmann scored four goals — his second hat-trick in four days — at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Atletico’s 4-0 victory over Leganes on Wednesday night puts pressure on the league leaders, who will receive Atletico at the Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon in a meeting that will go a long way toward deciding the destiny of this season’s title race, reports Xinhua.

Griezmann scored twice in the first half with goals in the 26th and 35th minute, and doubled his tally after the break with further strikes after 56 and 67 minutes to see his side to a comfortable win.

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The Frenchman now has 15 league goals this season, while Atletico have won their last five league games before the vital Camp Nou fixture.

Valencia remain fourth after a 1-1 draw away to Athletic Club Bilbao.

Geoffrey Kondogbia put Valencia ahead with a smart first-half shot, but Oscar de Marcos equalised shortly after the break after Aritz Aduriz saw a first-half penalty saved for the Basques.

Sevilla moved back into fifth thanks to a 1-0 win in a scrappy game against bottom of the table Malaga, with Joaquin Correa’s 15th-minute goal leaving Malaga with just 13 points.

Villarreal drop back to sixth after Kike Garcia’s 16th minute goal gave Eibar a 1-0 home win over Javier Calleja’s side to move the Basques back into seventh.

Getafe also moved closer to a place in Europe for next season with a simple 3-0 win over struggling Deportivo la Coruna.

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Angel Rodgriguez’s 11th goal of the season opened the scoring five minutes from the break, before Eneko Boveda’s own goal doubled Getafe’s lead on the stroke of halftime and Jorge Molina sealed the win in the 82nd minute.

–IANS

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