Saul Niguez

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La Liga roundup: Atletico Madrid win, go level on points with Barcelona (video)

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Atletico Madrid’s victory over Athletic Bilbao, inspired by Angel Correa’s genius, highlights La Liga’s Saturday action.

[ FOLLOW: PST’s La Liga coverage ]

Atletico Madrid 4-2 Granada

Diego Simeone took what many would consider to be a gamble prior to Saturday’s first whistle: starting Angel Correa over Diego Costa, Atletico’s goal scoring machine.

By the 64th minute, however, everyone at the Wanda Metropolitana and Simeone himself knew that the right choice was made. Correa – a low light coming into Saturday’s game – contributed the assists on both goals that handed Los Colchoneros their fifth win of the season.

Early on, it was Jan Oblak to the rescue, as Athletic’s attack cracked the home side’s backline. Specifically, the Slovenian showed off his impeccable abilities when, Iñigo Martínez’s header from a corner kick set piece, was just tipped over the crossbar.

The Basque’s club dominance wouldn’t last long.

In the 28th minute, following some mesmerizingly quick faints inside the penalty box, Correa laid it off to Saul, who made no mistake and put it into the back of net. It was the start of the Argentine’s special night.

Following a slew of uninterrupted passes, it was Correa again making the penultimate effort. This time, his darting, crossing service within the box found a well-positioned Alvaro Morata, who gently tapped the ball into the back of the net.

With the postponement of El Clasico, which was done because Catalan separatists are planning another large rally in Barcelona, Atletico will share the podium with leaders Barcelona for at least a week after their win against Athletic Bilbao, who host Espanyol next.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Leganes 1-0 RCD Mallorca 

Valladolid 2-0 Eibar

Atletico Madrid roster for MLS All-Star Game includes Felix

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Major League Soccer fans will get a good luck at one of the hottest prospects in world soccer when the MLS All Stars take on Atletico Madrid in next week’s MLS All Star Game.

Joao Felix, the $142 million 19-year-old, is among the roster announced by Diego Simeone for the match.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

Felix scored 20 times with 11 assists in 40 matches for Benfica before moving to Atleti in the summer. Those numbers include a hat trick against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarterfinals first leg.

The other stars will be there, too, provided no transfers happen in the interim. Koke, Thomas Lemar, Diego Costa, and Saul Niguez are in the squad.

New Atleti defender Kieran Trippier and longtime El Tri hero Hector Herrera will also be sure to help drive attendance in Orlando City.

The full roster is here.

La Liga: Atletico Madrid win again to keep pressure on Barcelona

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ FA CUPSETS: West Ham bounced by third-tier Wimbledon | Millwall oust Everton ]

Atletico Madrid 2-0 Getafe

Atleti extended their unbeaten run to 18 games with a straightforward 2-0 victory over sixth-place Getafe on Saturday. As they’ve now done three straight weekends, Diego Simeone’s side cut Barcelona’s title lead to just two points ahead of the defending champions’ fixture. Each of the last two weeks, Barca have taken the field on Sunday and restored their five-point advantage.

Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring with a left-footed strike from the edge of the box in the 27th minute, followed by Saul Niguez’s tap-in of a rebound from Nikola Kalinic’s initial effort in the 37th.

Sevilla 5-0 Levante

Sevilla hammered 11th-place Levante for five goals to snap their four-game winless skid (two straight losses) and reclaim third place — for the time being — from Real Madrid.

Pablo Machin’s side got five goals, all in the second half, from five different goalscorers — Wissam Ben Yedder (48th minute), Andre Silva (60th), Franco Vazques (71st), Pablo Sarabia (80th) and Qunicy Promes (90th).

Elsewhere in La Liga

Leganes 2-2 Eibar
Valencia 3-0 Villarreal

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Real Valladolid v. Celta Vigo — 6 a.m. ET
Girona v. Barcelona — 10:15 a.m. ET
Real Sociedad v. Huesca — 12:30 p.m. ET
Athletic Bilbao v. Real Betis — 12:30 p.m. ET
Espanyol v. Real Madrid — 2:45 p.m. ET

Atleti wins UEFA Super Cup’s Madrid Derby

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Diego Costa scored twice in regulation and Saul Niguez notched a beautiful goal in extra time as Atletico Madrid beat Real Madrid 4-2 on Wednesday in the UEFA Super Cup.

Koke added a 103rd minute marker in Tallinn, Estonia, to round out the scoring for Atleti, which claimed its third Super Cup since 2010.

Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos scored for Real, which had won the last two Super Cups. The match pits the winners of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.

[ MORE: Premier League Club Power Rankings, Week 1 ]

It took less than a minute for Atleti to take the lead, with Costa winning a 50/50 over Sergio Ramos, then rounding Raphael Varane before blasting past Keylor Navas high and tight. Not a bad trio to count amongst your victims.

Real equalized when Gareth Bale sent a sensational back post cross to Karim Benzema, whose angled-back header was equally nice.

The 62nd minute saw Real get its first chance at the lead, with Juanfran‘s flailing arm striking a cross in he Atleti box. Ramos converted his stuttered run-up to make it 2-1.

Costa leveled the score after a glittering Juanfran move through the 18 and cutback to the top of the six.

Saul’s extra time marker was sensational, catching an 18-yard side volley with fury. The ball was always tailing away from the diving Navas, and set-up by Thomas Partey.

Europa wrap: Arsenal, Atleti, Celtic on top

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There wasn’t a single nil-nil to be found as the Europa League returned Thursday with its Round of 32.

[ RECAP: Ostersunds 0-3 Arsenal ]

Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal won, as did a number of big names, but several names — Zenit and Napoli among them — slid behind the 8-ball with first leg setbacks.

[ RECAP: BVB 3-2 Atalanta ]


Copenhagen 1-4 Atletico Madrid

The Danish hosts struck first, but the lead didn’t last for long as Atletico Madrid hung a quartet of away goals on Copenhagen.

Viktor Fischer put Copenhagen up after just 15 mintues, but it was level six minutes later through Saul Niguez. By the time all was said and done, Kevin Gameiro, Antoine Griezmann, and substitute Vitolo had scored to complete the blowout.

Celtic 1-0 Zenit Saint-Petersburg

Callum McGregor was set-up by Chelsea loanee Charly Musonda as the Bhoys crucially held Zenit without a goal ahead of the return leg in Russia.

Napoli 1-2 RB Leipzig

The Serie A title contenders are having a rough time in Europe this season, now down a goal with two away goals conceded to RB Leipzig before next week’s second leg in Germany.

Adam Ounas put Napoli ahead early in the second half, but Timo Werner equalized after the hour mark and Bruma made it 2-1 with 16 minutes to play in Italy.

[ MORE: Wenger, Mkhi on Arsenal win ]

Elsewhere
Red Star Belgrade 0-0 CSKA Moscow — Tuesday
Ostersunds 0-3 Arsenal
Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Atalanta
Astana 1-3 Sporting Lisbon
Ludogorets Razgrad 0-3 AC Milan
Marseille 3-0 Sporting Braga
Nice 2-3 Lokomotiv Moscow
Real Sociedad 2-2 Red Bull Salzburg
Spartak Moscow 1-3 Athletic Bilbao
AEK Athens 1-1 Dynamo Kiev
Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Lazio
Lyon 3-1 Villarreal
Partizan Belgrade 1-1 Viktoria Plzen