Sociedad beats Atletico to move near the leaders in Spain
MADRID (AP) — Real Sociedad became the latest team to join the tight title race in Spain.
Taking advantage of two second-half penalty kicks, Real Sociedad defeated Atletico Madrid 2-0 on Saturday so that six teams are separated by only five points atop La Liga.
Forward Carlos Vela converted a 54th-minute penalty and striker Willian Jose scored from the spot in the 75th to give Real Sociedad its fourth win in five matches, and the fourth consecutive win at home.
“The truth is we are going through an incredible moment,” Vela said. “We know there is a lot of tournament left, but we are enjoying this moment, and we want to be fighting for great things in the end.”
Leader Real Madrid hosts Leganes on Sunday, and second-place Barcelona plays at fourth-place Sevilla.
Atletico remained third, and Real Sociedad was sixth. Fifth-place Villarreal hosts Real Betis on Sunday.
It was the second loss in three league games for Atletico, which had been held scoreless only twice before Saturday’s game.
“There are no excuses, they were better than us,” Atletico defender Juanfran Torres said. “We have time to prepare for the match against Madrid. We have to keep our heads high and certainly we will win at home.”
Atletico and Madrid play the derby at Vicente Calderon Stadium on Nov. 19, after the international break.
Atletico had the league lead until a 1-0 loss at Sevilla two rounds ago, a result that dropped Diego Simone’s team to fifth place. It rebounded with a 4-2 over Malaga in the last round, but missed a chance to join Madrid atop the standings after its loss on Saturday.
Forward Kevin Gameiro had an opportunity to give Atletico a 1-0 lead in the first half but his shot from inside the area struck the post in pouring rain in the northern city of San Sebastian.
“We had a great first half and created good scoring chances, especially the one with Gameiro,” Simeone said, “but in the second half they started better and we couldn’t find a way to even the match.”
GRANADA 1, DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 1
Last-place Granada remained the only winless team after this home draw.
Granada equalized nine minutes from time thanks to an own goal by Deportivo goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton.
Granada goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa made a brilliant save on a close-range shot near the end to keep the hosts from losing for the eighth time in 11 games.
OSASUNA 0, ALAVES 1
Osasuna’s struggles continued with a home loss, leaving the promoted club in the relegation zone with only one win.
Forward Christian Santos converted a 77th-minute winner for Alaves, which hadn’t won in four rounds. Alaves is 12th.
LAS PALMAS 1, EIBAR 0
Las Palmas ended a six-game winless streak thanks to a penalty kick converted by midfielder Jonathan Viera four minutes into second-half injury time.
Viera calmly scored with a right-footed shot from the spot after Eibar defender Florian Lejeune was called for a disputed foul on midfielder Roque Mesa inside the area.
Las Palmas moved to seventh place, while Eibar dropped to 10th.
In the second division, Real Zaragoza striker Juan Munoz quickly became a trending topic on social media after scoring a goal from behind the midfield line in his team’s 2-2 draw at Mallorca.
He controlled the ball with his chest after a pass from the defense, touched it forward and quickly fired the long-range shot that caught the opposing goalkeeper off guard. Munoz was about a meter behind the midfield line when he struck the ball.