Madrid (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 2-0 in La Liga on Saturday. Coach Diego Simeone doubled the lead at half-time thanks to goals from Marcos Laurent and Luis Suarez.
At the start of the second half Laurent put Atletico in front, pulling the ball from the left wing into the box and pulling the ball from a tight corner inside the next post.
Betis played well in the first half and dominated the ball. However, Atletico took control of the game in the second half after pulling out Simeone Lucas Torrera and Thomas Lemaire for Yannick Carasco and Hector Herrera, instantly giving the team more speed and goal in midfield.
When Martin sent Montoya to drag Carasco, the visitors turned into 10 men. Initially the referee gave a booking to the defender but after a VAR review it was changed to a straight red card.
After Bayern Munich ‘s 4-0 defeat in the Champions League on Wednesday, Suarez combined well with left – back Renan Lodi to give Atletico a theatrical victory.
“Betis made things very difficult for us, we struggled in the first half, but in the second half we came out with the same mentality and were lucky enough to score very quickly, which gave us oxygen,” Laurent said.
“Simeon believes in us, we believe in him. We believe in ourselves too. Together we form a very strong union. Today we have made that clear and we have achieved the success we need.”
Five games later, Atletico won by 11 points to move into second place. Two matches behind Real Madrid, Barcelona beat 3-1.
Meanwhile, Manuel Pellegrini’s Betis have lost four of their last five league games and are 10th in the table with nine points.
Elsewhere, Sevilla suffered their second consecutive league defeat.
Julen Lopetegui, who drew 0-0 with Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday, has failed to score in his last three appearances.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; editing by Christian Radonezh and Toby Davis)
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