Villarreal beat Atletico Madrid 3-0, up to fourth in La Liga

Villarreal (Spain), Dec 13 (IANS) Villarreal thumped Atletico Madrid 3-0 to vault into the fourth place in La Liga football, dropping them to sixth.

Adding to Atletico’s misery, midfielder Tiago and goalkeeper Jan Oblak left the match in the first half with injuries here on Monday, reports Efe.

The hosts took a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute, when Manu Trigueros took advantage of a mispass by Tiago and beat Oblak with an angled shot.

Stung by the goal, Atletico did their best to respond and Antoine Griezmann would have equalised but for a fine stop by Villarreal keeper Asenjo.

Oblak set up the home side’s second goal with a poor clearance that ended up at the feet of Jonathan Dos Santos, who hit the post once before putting away his own rebound to make it 2-0 in the 38th minute.

Asenjo needed to be sharp again at the start of the second half to stop Kevin Gameiro’s shot off a cross by Juanfran.

Atletico fought hard to make it a contest, but a disciplined Villarreal held the visitors at bay until Roberto Soriano settled the matter with a third goal for the hosts in stoppage time.

The outcome brings Villarreal to 26 points from 15 matches, the same as the fifth-placed Real Sociedad, but with a significant advantage on goal difference.

Atletico Madrid has 25 points.

–IANS

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