Real Sociedad beats Atletico Madrid 2-1 in La Liga
SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — Goals by Carlos Vela and Imanol Agirretxe gave lowly Real Sociedad a 2-1 home win against 10-man defending champions Atletico Madrid in the Spanish League on Sunday.
The win meant Sociedad rose four places to 15th place in the standings after 11 rounds and left Atletico in fourth-place on 23 points. Real Madrid leads the standings with 27 points, two ahead of Barcelona with Valencia in third place on 24.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Sevilla drew 1-1 against Levante, Athletic Bilbao drew 0-0 at Valencia and Villarreal drew 1-1 at Espanyol.
Atletico forward Mario Mandzukic opened the scoring in the 10th minute when he netted his fifth goal of the season by latching onto Raul Garcia’s precise cross to the far post.
Mexico forward Vela equalized five minutes later with a curling shot from outside the area that cleared Atletico’s back four and beat leaping goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya at the far post.
“We have to keep on working and wait and see what comes up, we need to carry on in this vein,” said Vela.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone was seen fuming at his team’s poor defense while Asier Santana stood in as Sociedad’s coach as the team looks for a replacement for the fired Jagoba Arrasate amid rumors that former Manchester United manager David Moyes could be in line for the job.
Vela was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty in the 23rd when Diego Godin tripped him in the area, but the referee instead penalized the Mexican with a yellow card for diving.
“I think it was a penalty, he stood on my foot and it could have been given,” Vela said.
Striker Agirretxe missed a chance when he ran clear of Moya only to see Godin race back and clear the ball as it was heading into an open goal in the 35th.
Atletico’s Brazilian defender Siqueira was shown a second yellow card after fouling Xabi Prieto in the 50th.
Vela was again unlucky not to get a penalty two minutes later when he was obstructed in the penalty area by Mandzukic, causing him to bleed from the mouth.
Agirretxe scored his second goal of the season when he headed in Joseba Zaldua’s cross in the 83rd.
“I leave reasonably happy because it’s been a good round, Valencia and Sevilla drew their matches so the truth is our defeat wasn’t that bad,” Simeone said.
Victor Casadesus struck late to give lowly Levante a 1-1 draw at Sevilla in a fierce match.
Sevilla left-winger Víctor Machin headed in Gerard Deulofeu’s pinpoint cross in the 31st minute, boosting his team’s bid to reach third place behind leader Real Madrid and Barcelona.
But Casadesus pounced on a poor clearance by Sevilla goalkeeper Antonio Alberto Bastos to equalize in the 80th. The game lasted 96 minutes due to injury stoppages, including Bastos who was treated three times for a bleeding jaw.
Bastos cut his chin when he collided with Machin during a jump in the 22nd and had to receive stitches and wear a bandage. The goalkeeper had to receive treatment again in the 78th when his injury started to bleed after another collision.
“We knew they would press us hard, they’re playing at home, are further up the standings and their aspirations are different to ours,” said Casadesus. “But working hard and running a lot, taking advantage of our talents, we managed to get a draw that is very good for us,” said Casadesus.
The game had to be stopped five times to treat players off the field.
Sevilla occupies fifth place on 23 points with Levante is 18th on nine.
Bilbao had won three matches in a row before its draw but becomes the first team to take a point off Valencia at its Mestalla stadium this season.
Villarreal defender Mario Gaspar beat goalkeeper Francisco Casilla to scores in the 25th and Diego Colotto equalized in the 90th.