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2017/2018 Spanish Primera División
  • Saúl Ñíguez (29')

Saul Niguez nets winner as Atletico Madrid edge Real Betis

Saul Niguez celebrates after his first-half goal. CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images

Saul Niguez scored the only goal as Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 1-0 to keep Diego Simeone's team in the chase for the La Liga title.

Betis made a promising start by setting a fast tempo and pushing Atletico into their area.

But the visitors were comfortable in absorbing the pressure until a well-orchestrated counterattack tilted the contest in their favour.

Diego Godin found Sime Vrsaljko alone on the right flank with a long pass to start the move. The right-back quickly fired in a cross for three teammates arriving in the area, with the ball reaching the far post where Saul slid and tapped it in.

Betis tried to respond after half-time, but goalkeeper Jan Oblak denied the best chance to level in the 60th minute when he stretched to tip Cristian Tello's powerful strike over the bar.

Atletico have remained undefeated through 15 rounds and have recovered third place ahead of Real Madrid.

Spanish Primera División Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Barcelona 12 +16 24
2 Sevilla FC 12 +10 23
3 Atletico Madrid 12 +8 23
4 Alavés 12 +5 23
5 Espanyol 12 +6 21
6 Real Madrid 12 +4 20
7 Real Valladolid 12 0 17
8 Levante 12 -1 17
9 Girona 12 -1 17
10 Real Sociedad 12 +1 16
11 Getafe 12 +1 16
12 Real Betis 12 -3 16
13 Eibar 12 -6 15
14 Celta Vigo 12 +2 14
15 Valencia 12 -1 14
16 Villarreal 12 -2 11
17 Athletic Bilbao 12 -6 10
18 Leganes 12 -7 10
19 Rayo Vallecano 12 -11 7
20 Huesca 12 -15 6