Atletico leave it late to beat Osasuna, Sevilla frustrated by Alaves


Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid climbed to within two points of the top of La Liga on Saturday after Felipe’s 87th-minute header sealed a 1-0 victory over Osasuna.

Atletico close the gap on Sevilla, who had earlier moved into first place despite being held to a 2-2 draw by a resurgent Alaves, with Ivan Rakitic grabbing a late equaliser at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Rakitic’s late drive into the corner was only enough to salvage a point for Sevilla, who failed to win for a third time in five league games.

Alaves started the season with seven defeats from eight matches but they have now won three and drawn two of their last five.

Sevilla go top on goal difference, above Real Sociedad, who can reclaim top spot by beating Valencia on Sunday. Real Madrid could also capitalise by winning at Granada.

After just one win in their last six games, Atletico’s victory over Osasuna was much-needed, particularly ahead of their crunch Champions League match at home to Benfica on Wednesday.

Felipe was the unlikely source, heading in at the near post with three minutes left for his first goal of the season.

Victor Laguardia also headed Alaves in front before Lucas Ocampos smashed home Gonzalo Montiel’s cut-back to pull Sevilla level.

But Alaves struck again on the brink of half-time as Luis Rioja’s free-kick was adjudged to have caught the arm of Ocampos in the wall. Joselu’s penalty squirmed under the body of Sevilla goalkeeper Bono.

Torrential rain made playing conditions tough, with one Ocampos cross stopping dead in the water in the penalty area.

Sevilla, though, found a way through in added time as Rakitic drove a loose ball into the corner from close range.

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