Mar 23, 2014 at 4pm UK at ​Estadio Benito Villamarin
Real Betis
0-2
AtleticoAtletico Madrid

Rodriguez (29'), Molina (61'), Mati (88')
Rodriguez (56')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Gabi (58'), Costa (64')
Luis (41'), Diego (89')

Live Commentary: Real Betis 0-2 Atletico Madrid - as it happened

Atletico boss Diego Simeone on the touchline against Rayo on August 25, 2013
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's coverage of the La Liga clash in Seville where Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 2-0.

Atletico Madrid travelled to Real Betis on Sunday knowing that victory would move them top of La Liga ahead of El Clasico.

An untidy first period produced few clear chances, with both sides entering the interval on level terms.

Betis were reduced to 10 men just before the hour mark, however, when Braian Rodriguez was given his marching orders.

Moments later, Atletico were ahead through their skipper Gabi, before Diego Costa made it 2-0 after 64 minutes.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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3.31pmAfternoon all! Our La Liga coverage for the afternoon comes from Seville as basement side Real Betis welcome Atletico Madrid. Betis are unbeaten in their last three in the league, but remain nine points from safety at the foot of the table. Atletico, meanwhile, currently sit second behind Real Madrid, but would move to the summit with all three points. Right, the team news has already filtered through this afternoon.

3.34pmTEAMS:

BETIS: Adan; Chica, Amaya, Paulao, Jordi; Juanfran, Reyes, N'Diaye, Carlos; Braian; Molina

ATLETICO: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Luis; Koke, Suarez, Gabi; Garcia, Costa, Turan


3.37pmSo there we have it. No Ruben Castro in the Betis XI this afternoon, while Cedrick Mabwati also drops to the bench. However, there are starts for Jorge Molina and Braian Rodriguez. Atletico, meanwhile, leave David Villa on the bench, meaning that Arda Turan and Raul Garcia will start alongside top scorer Diego Costa.

3.40pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, Atletico have won four of the last five in all competitions, with the further fixture ending in a draw. Atletico won 4-2 in the corresponding clash last season, while they also won 5-0 at the Calderon earlier this season. That said, a Copa del Rey clash at Betis last January did end in a 1-1 draw. Both sides are in need of the points, but for very different reasons.

3.43pmAs mentioned, Betis' league form has been solid in March, but it has surely come too little too late. As it stands, they are bottom of the table on 19 points, seven behind 19th-place Almeria and nine from Getafe, who sit just outside of the drop zone. In truth, it is going to take a minor miracle for the Seville-based side to avoid relegation to the Segunda Division.

3.46pmBetis, who were also knocked out by rivals Sevilla on penalties in the last-16 stage of the Europa League on Thursday, have won just four league games this season. All four of those victories have come on their own patch, but they have also lost seven times in front of their supporters – only fellow relegation candidates Rayo Vallecano have a worse home record at this stage of the season.

3.49pmFinding the back of the net has been a problem for Betis this season with just 23 goals in their 28 matches, which is the worst record in the league. Atletico have had no such problems, however, with 64 strikes to their name. Down the other end, Betis have conceded 56 times – the second worst record in the league – while Atletico have conceded just 21, which is the best total at this stage of the campaign.

3.52pmAhead of El Clasico this evening, Atletico know that victory at Betis would move them top of the table. It would leave them level on 70 points with Real Madrid, but Diego Simeone's side have a stronger head-to-head record. Should Barcelona win later this evening, Atletico would top the table by one point ahead of the Spain's big two with just nine games remaining. It really is a fascinating title race in La Liga.

3.55pmAtletico's away record this season has been extremely strong with nine wins from their 13 matches, but all three of their league defeats this season have come on the road. Osasuna, Almeria and Espanyol are the sides that have beaten Atletico thus far, but Simeone's side have conceded just 12 times in their 13 league games on the road – the joint-best defensive away record alongside current champions Barcelona.

3.58pmPREDICTION: Looking at both sides this afternoon, I am finding it extremely difficult to back Betis. In truth, it is going to take a minor miracle for the home side to survive this season and Atletico simply cannot afford to slip up ahead of El Clasico. My score prediction is 2-0 Atletico Madrid.

1 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first period. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be vital this afternoon. Right, the home side get the first 45 minutes underway.

2 minNot a full house inside the stadium this evening this afternoon, but there is a wonderful atmosphere. It is also a beautiful day in Seville - perfect for a game of football. Atletico have taken control of the possession in the opening couple of minutes and force an immediate free kick when Reyes fells Juanfran.

4 minPlenty happening in the middle of the park at the moment with heavy challenges arriving from both sides. However, the referee has allowed the match to flow in the correct areas thus far. Costa attempts to meet a through pass from Gabi moments later, but the offside flag is raised. Juanfran has a half-chance down the other end in the next attack, but he fires wide of Courtois's post. Lively opening four minutes.

6 minJuan Carlos tries his luck for the home side after finding some space outside the box, but his effort was always moving into the arms of Courtois. Atletico break down the other end with Turan, but his low cross is straight into the arms of Adan. End-to-end football, but still no real clear opportunities for either side.

8 minCHANCE! Atletico's clearest opening of the match comes to Raul Garcia following a deep cross from Koke, but the midfielder's effort is deflected wide of the post by Paulao. The resulting corner also causes concern inside the Betis box, but Chica is on hand to clear. The tempo is certainly rising in Seville.

10 minJust a reminder that three points for Atletico would move them to the top of the table ahead of El Clasico this evening at the Bernabeu. Betis, meanwhile, will remain rooted to the bottom regardless of the result. Atletico are in control of the possession, but Betis continue to threaten on the counter with their movement.

12 minAnother half-chance for Atletico as Garcia meets a low cross from Luis, but the Spaniard's effort was always rising high and wide of the crossbar. Betis force a free kick down the other end moments later, but Juanfran's delivery is cleared by Miranda. Still goalless, but plenty happening at both ends in Seville.

15 minFirst real sight of Costa for Atletico as the Spanish international bursts past three Betis defenders before finding Turan, but the midfielder is challenged by Jordi. Moments later, Gabi fires one high and wide of the Betis goal, but the offside flag had been raised with Costa starting in an offside position.



17 minAtletico threaten with a short free kick into the Betis box, but Miranda cannot sort out his feet under pressure from Jordi and the danger is cleared. Not too much from the home side in terms of attacking pressure in the last few minutes, with Atletico in control and Costa more involved in the final third of the field.

20 minHalf-chance for Betis as Juan Carlos meets a deep cross from Amaya, but the Spaniard could only turn into the arms of Courtois, who has been largely untroubled in the opening 20 minutes of action. The referee has been more involved than he would have liked in the last couple of minutes, meanwhile, due to a number of late challenges. As expected, Costa has been involved in a couple of altercations!

22 minAppears to be a problem for Rodriguez as the Betis attacker clashes with Godin, but he does return to his feet following a period of treatment. Atletico are down the other end with Turan in the next attack, but his cross is straight into the arms of Adan. Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last few minutes.

24 minCHANCE! Another chance for Atletico as Turan drives past Amaya before standing up a cross to the far post, but Chica just manages to clear under pressure from Garcia. Atletico have the ball in the back of the net through Costa moments later, but the offside flag is raised. It was certainly close.

26 minBetis just cannot get out of their own half at the moment as Atletico continue to deliver crosses into the home side's box. However, the likes of Paulao and Chica have been solid in the opening 26 minutes. You just get the feeling that Betis need to score the first goal this afternoon if they are to secure a result.

28 minBetis are forced into an early change this afternoon as Nono enters the field in place of Amaya, who does not look comfortable as he leaves the pitch. Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining and still the score remains goalless. Atletico boss Diego Simeone is prowling the touchline asking for more from his team.

31 minHalf-chance for the home side as Juanfran delivers a dangerous cross into the Atletico box, but Godin just manages to clear the danger. Atletico break with Godin moments later, but Rodriguez fells the centre-back and collects a booking for his troubles. Still no real chances to speak of with 31 minutes on the clock.

33 minStop-start period of the match in the last couple of minutes with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges, which is suiting Betis. Costa was once attempts to use his power to break into the Betis box, but Paulao is across to make the clearance. Little over 10 minutes of the first period to play.

35 minJust a reminder to join us from 7pm this evening for live build-up of El Clasico at the Bernabeu. As it stands, Atletico would remain in second position in the table, but would move top ahead of the clash in Madrid with three points against Betis. Possession football from Atletico in the last couple of minutes.

37 minMore frustration for Costa as the Atletico forward picks up a smart position in the Betis box only to be denied by Jordi. Bright work from Rodriguez forces Miranda into conceding a corner down the other end, but the set piece is played short and the move breaks down. Still goalless with 37 minutes on the clock.

40 minCosta gets himself involved once more as the Atletico forward dives into a challenge with Paulao, which brings a furious reaction from the home players and supporters alike. However, the referee takes no further action. It has been an untidy end to the first half, with few clear opportunities for either side in Seville.

43 minOpportunity for Betis to threaten from a free kick as Luis fells Molina outside the box, with the Atletico left-back picking up a booking in the process. The resulting set piece is taken by Nono, but Godin is on hand to clear the danger. Not too much from Atletico as an attacking threat in the last five minutes or so.

45 minIn truth, it has been a first period short of quality, with both sides more interested in making it into a battle. Costa is on the end of a poor challenge from Paulao, which is certainly the centre-back's revenge for an earlier incident. The referee just needs to keep a lid on proceedings in Seville.

45+1 min

45+1 minHALF TIME: Betis 0-0 Atletico

4.49pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 0-0. In truth, it has been an untidy first 45 minutes of football, with both sides guilty of a number of late challenges. It would not be a surprise to see the referee bring out his card on a few more occasions in the second half.

4.54pmSTATISTICS: Atletico have just about shaded the possession with 54%, but neither side has managed a single attempt on target, which is an indication of the first period. Atletico did find the back of the net through Costa earlier in the first period, but the goal was chalked off for offside.

4.59pmBENCH WATCH: Betis have already been forced into a change with Nono entering the field in place of Amaya, but they still have the likes of Vadillo, Cedrick and Castro in reserve. Atletico, meanwhile, have attacking options in the shape of Villa, Rodriguez, Diego and Sosa.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. I suspect that there were some stern words said in the Atletico dressing room at the interval. Let's hope for more action in the second 45 minutes - a shot on goal would be nice! Atletico get the second half underway in Seville.

48 minNo changes for either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will consider alterations if the score remains goalless for the next 20 minutes or so. Atletico force a corner in the early stages of the second period, but Paulao is on hand to clear at the far post.

50 minPOST! Wonderful chance for the home side to take the lead as Juan Carlos collects a through pass from Nono before striking towards the bottom corner, but it smashes off the post. What a moment that might have been in the title race and relegation battle!

52 minOne-way traffic at the moment with Betis on the front foot. You just get the feeeling that they need to find the back of the net during this spell of pressure. Chances will arrive for Atletico in the latter stages that is for certain. Still goalless, but much better from the hosts with 52 minutes on the clock in Seville.

55 minUntidy period of the match in the last couple of moments with the challenges flying in from both sides. The referee really needs to settle things down as tempers continue to rise in this key La Liga clash.



56 minRED CARD! Rodriguez (Betis)

57 minThe home side are reduced to 10 men as Rodriguez is handed his second yellow card for handling in the middle of the park. It is soft, but the midfielder had to go. Betis' task has suddenly become a lot harder.

58 minFree kick after free kick as the referee continues to take centre stage. It has been that case throughout the 58 minutes in this match, with the football pushed aside for a number of fouls. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining and still the score remains goalless. Atletico simply have to win this match.

58 minGOAL! Betis 0-1 Atletico (Gabi)

59 minAtletico take the lead with 58 minutes on the clock as Gabi finds some space outside the box before rattling one into the bottom corner. Brilliant from the Atletico skipper. Can Betis respond?

61 minCHANCE! Incredible chance for Atletico as Costa sets up Garcia inside the Betis box, but the midfielder fires high and wide of the crossbar from close range. That proves to be Garcia's final involvement as Diego enters the field in Atletico's first change. It is all happening in Seville!

64 minI would be surprised if there was not another red card in this match as both sides continue to dive into late challenges in the middle of the park. Atletico break forward with Costa moments later, the Spanish international falls inside the box, but the referee is not interested. It looked a clear spot kick.

64 minGOAL! Betis 0-2 Atletico (Costa)

65 minAtletico have their second of the match after 64 minutes as Costa latches onto a loose ball inside the box before rattling one into the bottom corner. Game, set and match and another strike for the Spaniard.

67 minWell, not too much happened in the first period, but plenty has happened in the second. Betis have hit the post and had a man sent off, while Atletico have scored twice. As it stands, they are heading to the top of the table. Another change for the away side moments later as Villa enters the field in place of Turan.

70 minHalf-chance for the home side as Molina finds some space outside the box, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Atletico break down the other end with Diego moments later, but the Brazilian cannot find the run of Costa. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining in Seville. Can Betis turn it around?

72 minBetis look to their bench once more as Juan Carlos is replaced by Cedrick, who will provide pace and movement in the final third. One goal for the home side in the next few minutes would certainly make Atletico nervous. I would be surprised if we had seen the last of the goals as the match flows from end-to-end.

74 minBetis played extra-time against Sevilla in the Europa League on Thursday and their legs are starting to tire. Atletico continue to keep possession in the final third, with Gabi and Koke seeing plenty of the ball. A burst of pace from Cedrick does threaten the Atletico defence, but Juanfran is across on the cover.

76 minA poor pass from N'Diaye almost costs Betis with Costa lurking, but Paulao is across to clear at the vital moment. Betis have another penalty shout as Molina goes down inside the box, but the referee is not interested, which brings a furious reaction from the home supporters. Still 2-0 Atletico in Seville.

79 minBetis make their third and final change as Matilla enters the field in place of Reyes. Not too much to report in terms of clear chances in the last few moments as Atletico continue to keep possession of the ball. Just a reminder that El Clasico will take place at the Bernabeu this evening. Atletico will want a Barcelona victory.

81 minCosta has a sight of goal following a deep free kick from Gabi, but the offside flag had been raised at the final moment. The Spanish international could have easily had a hat-trick this afternoon. Betis break down the other end with Cedrick, but Juanfran is across to clear the danger. Little under 10 minutes to play.

83 minAnother half-chance for Costa as the striker meets a through pass from Gabi, but Adan is out to clear at the vital moment. In fairness to the Betis supporters, they have stayed with their side this afternoon. In truth, it is going to take a minor miracle for them to pull themselves out of relegation trouble this season.

85 minAtletico make their third and final change of the match as Sosa enters the field in place of Koke, who has another assist to his name this afternoon. Unless there is an incredible turnaround in the latter stages, Atletico are heading for the top of the La Liga table ahead of El Clasico at the Bernabeu later this evening.

87 minHalf-chance for Betis as Molina finds some space outside the box, but his final effort is weak and straight into the arms of Courtois, who has been untroubled this afternoon. This is the first-half challenge that might have seen Betis defender Paulao sent from the field...



89 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments as Atletico continue to keep possession of the ball. Diego becomes the latest name to enter the book, meanwhile, following a late challenge on Betis midfielder Nono in the middle of the park.

90+2 minThe fourth official indicates that we will play an additional two minutes and we are indeed into the second of those. Costa has his sights on another goal for Atletico, but is penalised for a push on Paulao after breaking through on goal. Little under 30 seconds of football remaining in Seville.

90+3 minFULL TIME: Betis 0-2 Atletico

5.51pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the match to an end with Atletico running out 2-0 winners. The result has moved Atletico to the top of the table, while Betis remain rooted to the bottom. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join me again from 7pm for El Clasico. Until then!

Atletico Madrid's Brazilian forward Diego da Silva Costa gives the thumbs up after scoring during the Spanish league football match Elche vs Club Atletico de Madrid at the Manuel Martinez Valero Stadium in Elche on November 30, 2013
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