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Atletico Madrid scores early and late to beat Villarreal away from home

Mon, Apr 1, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Atletico Madrid scores early and late to beat Villarreal away from home

MADRID (AP) - Atletico Madrid scored early and late to beat Villareal 2-1 in an entertaining Spanish league game and snap a two-game losing streak on Monday.

Villarreal won its last four matches and was nine games unbeaten, but a last-gasp goal from substitute Saul Niguez gave Atletico all three points and took it into fourth place in La Liga, two points above Athletic Bilbao.

Niguez got the winner with three minutes remaining when he coolly side-footed a low shot past the goalkeeper from 17 yards out. It was the first league goal of the season for the central midfielder, who went on to replace Pablo Barrios just three minutes earlier.

Axel Witsel put the capital club 1-0 up when he headed home a corner from Rodrigo Riquelme after eight minutes.

Villarreal's Norwegian striker Alexander Sorloth equalized four minutes into the second half with his 14th goal of the season.

The late defeat was a crushing blow for Villarreal, which started poorly but came into the match in the second half. It remained in 10th place, ahead of Getafe on goal difference and a point behind Osasuna in ninth.

Of the late goal, Villarreal defender Raul Albiol said, "Atletico have a punch and that can happen. They are one of the teams who most score goals in the final minutes of a game. We just weren't able to hold on for the draw."


AP soccer:

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