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Football

Atletico close the gap

Atletico Madrid close in on Spanish leaders Barcelona with 2-0 win over Levante maintaining their perfect home record.
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2013 20:58
Another brilliant performance for Atletico who have 18 straight victories on all competitions at home [Reuters]

Atletico Madrid took full advantage of Barcelona's defeat at Real Sociedad and trimmed the gap on the Primera Division leaders to eight points when Adrian and Koke struck in a 2-0 win at home to Levante on Sunday.

Barca crashed to their first reverse of the campaign when they let slip a two-goal lead and were beaten 3-2 at Sociedad on Saturday and Atletico maintained their perfect home record with an efficient performance against Valencia-based Levante.

Diego Simeone's side, whose latest victory was soured by an injury to top scorer Radamel Falcao, have won all 10 of their league matches at their Calderon stadium and are second on 47 points from 20 games.

Decisive win

Adrian fired Atletico ahead in the 32nd minute when he connected with a Javi Manquillo centre at the far post and his first-time shot from a tight angle went into the net off Levante defender David Navarro.

Midfielder Koke curled in a second from the edge of the area on the hour and Atletico have now gone 10 games in all competitions without conceding a goal at home.

Colombia striker Falcao, who is coveted by several of Europe's richest clubs, had earlier pulled up clutching the back of his left leg and had to be replaced by Diego Costa.

The club said later on their Twitter feed he had damaged his hamstring but did not say how long he might be sidelined.

Real Valladolid climbed back above Getafe, who drew 1-1 at home to Sevilla on Saturday, when they inflicted a third-successive defeat on Real Zaragoza.

Javi Guerra put Valladolid ahead in the 12th minute at their Jose Zorrilla stadium before their best player, German winger Patrick Ebert, limped off with an apparent muscle strain and Oscar made it 2-0 16 minutes from time.

Deportivo La Coruna's tentative revival under new coach Domingos Paciencia faltered when they lost 2-1 at fellow strugglers Osasuna and dropped below the Pamplona-based club to the bottom of the standings.

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Source:
Reuters
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