Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Atletico Madrid held by Alaves to scoreless draw in Spanish league

Atletico Madrid's title chances took another hit after a scoreless draw at promoted Alaves in the Spanish league.

By: AP | Madrid |
January 29, 2017 1:54:19 pm
Football Soccer - Eibar v Atletico Madrid- Spanish King's Cup Atletico, which had won three in a row before enduring the two consecutive setbacks, was outplayed by Alaves.

Atletico Madrid’s title chances took another hit after a scoreless draw at promoted Alaves in the Spanish league on Saturday.

It was the second consecutive league draw for Atletico, keeping Diego Simeone’s team in fourth place, seven points off the lead. It is also in danger of dropping further behind in the fight for an automatic spot for the Champions League, as it was five points behind third-place Barcelona. The leaders play on Sunday.

“We won a point, which is more than we could have hoped for in this game,” Simeone said. “It was not a good game in general. We need to improve.”

Atletico, which had won three in a row before enduring the two consecutive setbacks, was outplayed by Alaves during most of the match at Mendizorroza Stadium.

The host’s best scoring chance was a close-range shot by defender Victor Laguardia that struck the crossbar in the 30th minute. Off the rebound, striker Deyverson missed the open net with a header.

Atletico missed its best scoring opportunity in the second half, when Nicolas Gaitan broke free toward the goal but wasn’t able to get a shot off as Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco charged from the net to snatch the ball away from the midfielder’s feet in the 78th.

“We leave with the feeling that we deserved more,” Alaves coach Mauricio Pellegrino said. “We played a great match against a great rival.”

Atletico defender Jose Gimenez left the match early in the second half because of an apparent muscle injury.

Alaves, winless in four matches, stayed 12th in the 20-team standings. It is playing in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey, facing Celta Vigo in the first leg on Thursday in Vigo.

VILLARREAL 2, GRANADA 0

Villarreal snapped its three-game winless streak with a comfortable victory over last-place Granada.

Bruno Soriano scored in the first half, and Alvaro Gonzalez in the second, to remain sixth and in position to fight for a spot in the European competitions next season.

Granada is last after its fourth defeat in the last five matches.

Forward Alexandre Pato was not in Villarreal’s lineup because he is negotiating to move to Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian.

EIBAR 3, DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 1

Eibar ended a three-game winless run at home by beating Deportivo. Eibar had drawn against Alaves and lost to Atletico Madrid and to Barcelona in its last three games at Ipurua.

Deportivo was winless in four matches, and six points above the relegation zone.

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