Atletico beats Zaragoza to stay perfect at home
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -Radamel Falcao scored to help Atletico Madrid brush off Real Zaragoza with a convincing 2-0 win on Sunday, as Diego Simeone's team kept its perfect home record through 10 games this season in the Spanish league.
Atletico's latest victory at Vicente Calderon stadium cut the gap with Barcelona to eight points ahead of the league leader's visit to Malaga later.
Tiago Cardoso turned in Gabi Fernandez's corner kick with a glancing header at the near post to open for Atletico in the 31st minute.
Falcao then doubled the lead by driving home a penalty kick seven minutes later after Arda Turan was brought down in the box by Ionut Sapunaru. It was the Colombia striker's 18th goal of the season, second only to Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and his 27.
Also, Ruben Castro scored one goal and set up another to give Real Betis a 2-0 home win over Levante as the Seville-based side provisionally rose into fourth place, while 10-man Deportivo La Coruna earned a 1-1 draw at Real Sociedad that allowed it to crawl out of the cellar.
Castro set up Joel Campbell to finish off a well-orchestrated counterattack sprung from a corner kick at the other end to put Betis in front in the seventh minute.
The striker added his own goal in the 63rd, firing a shot just inside the far post to seal the victory that lifted Betis to within three points of third-place Real Madrid.
"Ruben has been showing that he's a great goal scorer for a long time,'' Betis coach Pepe Mel said. "He doesn't need much to pull out a goal. He has scored 11 this season without needing one single penalty. I feel like a proud father.''
At Anoeta stadium, midfielder Alejandro Bergantinos stole the ball and set up Luis "Pizzi'' Afonso to give Deportivo the lead with a chipped shot in the 27th.
Carlos Vela curled in Sociedad's equalizer one minute before halftime, but the hosts failed to capitalize on the dismissal of Evaldo for a second yellow card in the 64th.
Deportivo's draw left Osasuna at the bottom of the standings. Sociedad stayed in ninth place.
On Saturday, Madrid drew 0-0 at Osasuna. Also, it was: Valladolid 3, Mallorca 1; Espanyol 1, Celta Vigo 0; and Valencia 2, Sevilla 0.
Rayo Vallecano won 2-1 at Athletic Bilbao on Friday. Getafe hosts Granada on Monday.