Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014

Diego Costa header keeps Atletico top of La Liga

Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa (C) heads the ball between Granada's goalkeeper Roberto Fernandez and Jose Luis Garcia during their Spanish First Division football match in Madrid. (Reuters) Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa (C) heads the ball between Granada's goalkeeper Roberto Fernandez and Jose Luis Garcia in Madrid. (Reuters)
By: Reuters | Barcelona | Posted: March 27, 2014 10:52 am

A second-half Diego Costa header gave Atletico Madrid a 1-0 victory over Granada on Wednesday that lifted them a point clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga as Real Madrid slipped to third after losing 2-1 at Sevilla.

Neymar struck twice to inspire Barcelona to a 3-0 win over Celta Vigo but the victory was soured by a torn cruciate knee ligament for goalkeeper Victor Valdes who will now miss the rest of the season.

The Catalan side were brimming with confidence after their weekend Clasico victory over Real and Neymar scored from close range to put them ahead after six minutes before Lionel Messi slotted home on the half-hour mark.

Neymar latched on to a long ball from Alexis Sanchez and scored his ninth league goal of the season to complete the rout in the second half.

Atletico continued their remarkable season as Costa nodded home a Jose Sosa cross after 63 minutes for a win over Granada that put them on 73 points. Barcelona have 72 and Real are three points off the pace on 70 after suffering their second consecutive defeat.

A deflected Cristiano Ronaldo free kick gave Real the lead but Sevilla responded with a double from Carlos Bacca to record their sixth successive league win and they now have 50 points in fifth.

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