Real, Atletico draw in Madrid derby

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Madrid, April 9 (IANS) Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of the Spanish football league standings despite being held to a 1-1 draw at home by city rivals Atletico Madrid.

Real dominated the Madrid derby on Saturday night but were denied victory by a late goal from Atletico striker Antoine Griezmann, reports Xinhua news agency.

Griezmann finished off a pass from Angel Correa to give Atletico a point they scarcely deserved in the 85th minute after a game in which Real Madrid had the majority of chances, but thanks to a series of fine saves from Atletico keeper, Jan Oblak, all they had to show was a headed goal from Pepe to reward their efforts, reports Xinhua news agency.

It looked as if the two dropped points would allow second place Barcelona to draw level with Real Madrid, but once again Luis Enrique’s side badly fluffed their lines as they lost 2-0 away to Malaga, who are now just about safe from relegation.

The Barca coach brought Jeremy Mathieu, Denis Suarez and Andres Gomes into his side and was rewarded with a poor display in a game in which referee Gil Manzano also made countless important errors on both sides.

Former Barca striker Sandro Ramirez opened the scoring late in the 32nd minute and in the second half things went from bad to worse for Barca as Neymar was sent off for two yellow cards, before Jony sealed Malaga’s win in the last minute of the game.

Sevilla closed the gap on Atletico thanks to a 4-2 win at home to Deportivo la Coruna after a chaotic first half in the Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

Stefan Jovetic opened the scoring for Sevilla in the first minute, only for former Sevilla forward, Gail Kakuta to equalize the minutes later. Pablo Sarabia reestablished Sevilla’s lead in the ninth minute, only for Kakuta to again level the scores in the 25th minute.

However, after Joaquin Correa again put Sevilla ahead just after the half hour there was no way back for the visitors, although they tried to find an equalizer until Wassim Ben Yedder sealed Sevilla’s first win in six games.

Earlier in the day, Pablo Piatti’s goal gave Espanyol a 1-0 win over Alaves, while Friday night saw Villarreal win 3-1 at home to Athletic Club Bilbao.

–IANS

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