[QODLink]
Football

Atletico back to winning ways

A Diego Costa brace gives Atletico victory at Osasuna as Malaga waste a chance to stay fourth in the Primera Division.
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2013 21:39
Atletico’s win leaves them one point behind second-place Real Madrid [AFP]

Diego Costa scored twice as Atletico Madrid battled to a 2-0 victory at Osasuna that kept them hot on the heels of second-placed Real Madrid in Spain’s Primera Division on Sunday.

The combative striker, who has been called up to Luiz Felipe Scolari's Brazil squad for their friendlies against Italy and Russia, finished off a counter-attack at the second attempt in the 35th minute.

Just after the re-start he guided Koke's free kick into the net from close range and he came close to completing a hat-trick in a typically bruising encounter in Pamplona.

Costa was forced to limp off with an ankle injury midway through the second half.

After two games without a win or a goal, Atletico moved on to 60 points in third with 10 games left to play, one behind their King's Cup final rivals Real, who came from behind to beat Real Mallorca 5-2 at home on Saturday.

Malaga lose

Earlier, Malaga's joy at qualifying for the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time was cut short when Espanyol condemned them to a 2-0 home defeat.

Manuel Pellegrini's side, on their first venture into Europe's top club competition, came back to beat Porto 2-1 on aggregate at a festive Rosaleda on Wednesday, but they struggled against a well-organised Espanyol.

Goalkeeper Willy Caballero, the rock upon which much of their success has been built this season, made a rare mistake when he fumbled a corner in the 49th minute and Diego Colotto volleyed the visitors in front against the run of play.

The hosts looked short on spark and were undone again in the 66th when Mubarak Wakaso burst down the left and crossed for Sergio Garcia to volley a superb second into the top corner.

Home fans continued to sing and applaud their side despite the setback, but the defeat left Malaga, who have not won in their last four league outings, in sixth place with 44 points.

Real Sociedad and Valencia won on Saturday to climb above them into fourth and fifth respectively.

Sociedad thumped Real Valladolid 4-1 to move on to 47 points and Valencia beat 10-man Real Betis 3-0 to climb on to 45.

Sevilla are 10th with 38 points after hammering 10-man Real Zaragoza 4-0 at home, when Alvaro Negredo's 15th goal of the campaign made him the highest scoring Spaniard in the Primera Division.

421

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list