Atletico Madrid beats Real Betis 1-0 in La Liga

Madrid, Jan 15 (IANS) A goal by Argentine midfielder Nicolas Gaitan in the eighth minute was all Atletico Madrid needed in a 1-0 victory over Real Betis in La Liga at Vicente Calderon Stadium here.

The Colchoneros have turned their La Liga season around after a slow start by converting their scoring opportunities and Saturday’s game was another example, reports Efe.

Just as they did against Las Palmas on December 17 and against Eibar last weekend, Atletico Madrid grabbed the lead and was able to hang on for victory despite not showing clear dominance of the proceedings.

The only goal of the contest came when Betis midfielder Ryan Donk failed to clear a cross and instead inadvertently sent the ball toward the left upright where Gaitan was in perfect position to knock the ball home amid a pair of defenders.

Afterward, Atleti’s head coach, Diego Simeone, said what matters in the end is the result.

“It was a very important victory, hard-fought especially in the first 30 minutes,” Simeone said.

“Logically, Betis tried to get the draw with runs down the sides and crosses into the area. Even though they didn’t have many chances, the possibility (of a draw) was there,” he added.

Atletico Madrid has now won three straight La Liga contests and currently sits in fourth place with 34 points after 18 matches.

–IANS

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