AAP Soccer

Atletico and Sevilla strike in La Liga

By AAP Newswire

Joao Felix has scored on his return from injury as Atletico Madrid climbed to third in La Liga with a 3-1 win over Villarreal on Sunday.

Sevilla are fourth after surprisingly thrashing Getafe 3-0 away, their first win in six matches across all competitions.

Paco Alcacer fired Villarreal in front at the Wanda Metropolitano with a fine effort from the edge of the area after 16 minutes.

Yellow Submarine goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo made an excellent double save to deny Alvaro Morata and Vitolo as Atletico pushed for an equaliser, which they found through Angel Correa five minutes before the break.

Diego Simeone brought on Joao Felix just before the hour mark, with the club's record signing having missed the last month with an ankle injury.

Jan Oblak made a good save to keep out Gerard Moreno's header, before Koke put Atletico ahead at the other end.

The captain nodded home from Correa's cross on 64 miutes before Felix struck ten minutes later.

"It was very important for us to take the three points at home because we know the results that our rivals had got," Correa said.

"The (Champions League) win over Liverpool gave us a lot of strength and confidence and we have to continue in this line."

Victory took Atletico to 43 points, 12 behind leaders Barcelona and level with Sevilla.

Lucas Ocampos, Fernando and Jules Kounde's goals earned a vital win for Julen Lopetegui's Sevilla, with pressure mounting on the coach in recent weeks because of their shaky form.

The visitors took the lead two minutes before halftime, with Ocampos finishing Sergio Reguilon's low cross from close range.

Fernando doubled the lead in the 67th minute from close range and Kounde netted the third, which Getafe goalkeeper David Soria should have kept out.

Getafe, who had begun the game in third, dropped to fifth on 42 points.

Elsewhere, Rodrigo Ely's stoppage-time goal earned Alaves a 2-1 Basque derby win and consigned Athletic Bilbao to a 10th consecutive league game without a win.

Real Valladolid earned a 2-1 win over bottom side Espanyol while Darwin Machis struck twice for Granada as the Andalusians earned a 3-0 win at Osasuna in a mid-table battle.