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Atletico wastes chance to close in on Barca

AP
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Should have done better!Atletico Madrid failed to make ground on Spanish leaders Barcelona. Radamel Falcao would know that Atletico likely let escape its last chance to add some drama to the title race.Photo: reuters
Should have done better!Atletico Madrid failed to make ground on Spanish leaders Barcelona. Radamel Falcao would know that Atletico likely let escape its last chance to add some drama to the title race.Photo: reuters

Atletico Madrid squandered a chance to reduce the gap with leader Barcelona to single digits after being held to a 0-0 draw at Malaga on Sunday, while Real Sociedad and Real Betis duelled to a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Atletico started well and bossed the first half hour of play at La Rosaleda Stadium, when pressure applied by strike pair Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa led to Arda Turan’s and Cristian Rodriguez’s long-range attempts. But after a frenetic first half, the defences reduced the match to an ugly stalemate for most of the final 45 minutes.

Anoeta stadium was treated to one of the most entertaining games so far this season, as Sociedad and Betis put on a tireless display of attacking football that featured a double by Betis’ Dorlan Pabon and five goals in a 17-minute span before ending in a deserved point for each.

After Jorge Molina capped a counterattack to give Betis the lead on the half-hour mark, Pabon doubled the visitors’ advantage in the 49th by taking advantage of a defensive mistake.

Yet instead of folding, Sociedad responded in fine fashion and the game quickly became a shootout.

Carlos Vela scored his 12th goal of the season for Sociedad two minutes later, and the Mexico forward then crossed for Inigo Martinez to head Sociedad level in the 56th.

The Basque side then went ahead for the first time in the 62nd when Xabi Prieto converted a penalty in the “Paneka” chipped style but Pabon struck his second in the 66th to level 3-3.AP


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