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Espanyol grabbed a shock 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid during Friday’s La Liga action, courtesy of a late goal from Sergio Garcia.
The Catalans took full advantage of a lapse of concentration at the back, countering at speed and grabbing the lead with just minutes to spare.
In Friday’s other match, Athletic Bilbao beat Real Betis 2-0.
Here are the teams and points in La Liga as they stand (for the full table, visit WhoScored.com):
Real Madrid, 31
Real Sociedad, 23
Real Betis, 21
Celta Vigo, 18
Las Palmas, 11
Atletico knew they were in for a tricky evening at the Estadio Cornella-El Prat, where Espanyol usually make life miserable on the top teams in La Liga with their physical approach.
The Catalans were keen to attack on Friday and arguably had the better chances in the first half, with talented full-back Aaron Martin standing out.
ESPN FC’s Dermot Corrigan weighed in on the action at half-time:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
HT Espanyol 0-0 Atletico. Tight, tactical, physical etc.
Atletico had their chances after the break and went very close to scoring through Kevin Gameiro, who could have played in Saul Niguez but went for personal glory and missed.
The miss would come back to haunt Atletico, who lost focus at the back chasing a late winner and ran into a perfect counter that gave the hosts the win. The result was the Rojiblancos’ first loss of the season and leaves Barcelona as the only unbeaten team left in the league.
Frank Augstein/Associated Press
In Friday’s other fixture, Athletic escaped Seville with a 2-0 win over Real Betis, getting lucky on several occasions.
Betis nearly took an early lead when Victor Camarasa’s shot took a deflection and somehow stayed out after hitting the post. It was a narrow escape for the Basques that even had some calling for the video assistant referee, although replays showed the ball didn’t go in.
The hosts made life a lot easier on Athletic when Jordi Amat got himself sent off for aiming a kick at Aymeric Laporte, a ridiculous decision from the 25-year-old. Per sportswriter Simon Harrison, it wasn’t his first:
Simon Harrison @simonhfootball
Jordi Amat sent off for kicking out at Aymeric Laporte. Not like him to be a total liability…
The kick took place inside the box on a cross, so the official placed the ball on the penalty spot, and Raul Garcia converted.
Despite the disadvantage of playing with a man down, Betis put up a great fight in the second half, and Athletic gave away several good chances. But with five minutes left to play, Zouhair Feddal put the ball in his own net to put the final score on the board.