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    Atletico Madrid gets back near the top in Spanish La Liga

    Thomas Lemar, Ángel Correa and Matheus Cunha also scored after halftime for Atlético as it rebounded from a surprising home loss to AC Milan that left it in danger of elimination from the Champions League.

    Atlético Madrid got the goals flowing in the second half, with Antoine Griezmann among the scorers in a 4-1 win at Cádiz that moved the team to second place in the Spanish league.

    Thomas Lemar, Ángel Correa and Matheus Cunha also scored after halftime for Atlético as it rebounded from a surprising home loss to AC Milan that left it in danger of elimination from the Champions League.

    Diego Simeone’s team had won only one of its last four matches in all competitions.

    The league victory at Cádiz gave Atlético 29 points from 14 matches, one point less than Real Madrid ahead of the rival’s home match against Sevilla later Sunday.

    After a slow start, Atlético secured the three points in southern Spain by scoring three goals in a 20-minute span.

    Lemar broke the deadlock in the 56th, then Griezmann scored in the 70th and Correa in the 76th. Cunha added a fourth in the 86th, after Cádiz had pulled one closer in a rare own-goal by Atlético goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who couldn’t swat away a high lob shot that went across the area and over his head.

    “We have to try to keep improving,” Simeone said. “It was important to win this match so we could stay on the right path in the league.”

    It was the second consecutive loss for Cádiz, which has won only once in its last 10 league matches. It’s 17th in the league, just outside the relegation zone.

    SOCIEDAD LOSES AGAIN

    After having its 17-match unbeaten streak ended by Monaco in the Europa League on Thursday, Real Sociedad lost 1-0 at Espanyol to miss an opportunity to stay at the top.

    The result dropped Sociedad to third place, one point off the lead.

    Yangel Herrera scored in the 77th for Espanyol, which moved to ninth place.

    Sociedad had a controversial second-half goal by Alexander Isak disallowed because the ball touched the referee in the buildup.

    BETIS THRIVES

    Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis stayed close to the Champions League spots with a 3-1 home win over last-place Levante, with forward Juanmi Jiménez scoring all three goals for the hosts in the second half.

    Levante, which took an early lead with a goal from Shkodran Mustafi, is the only team without a win after 15 league matches. Its winless streak in the competition is now at 23 games, dating back to last season.

    Betis is fifth with 27 points.

    Atletico Madrid kept the pressure on Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga with a routine 4-1 rout of struggling Cadiz.

    Diego Simeone’s team lost to Milan in midweek but made it seven games unbeaten in LaLiga thanks to second-half goals from Thomas Lemar, Antoine Griezmann, Angel Correa and Matheus Cunha.

    Atleti’s goals were rare moments of quality in a match previously lacking much invention, with Lemar heading home from close range in the 56th minute before Griezmann drilled in from Marcos Llorente’s cross.

    A slick team move saw Lemar’s replacement Correa net a third, with Cunha doubling his tally of league goals for the season after Jan Oblak’s own goal gave Cadiz a consolation.

    Heading into Sunday’s encounter aiming to end a 12-match winless streak against Atleti in LaLiga, Cadiz very nearly had the lead inside the opening minute, but Llorente denied Ruben Sobrino a tap-in.

    Atleti lost Jose Gimenez to injury and Alfonso Espino dragged wide prior to the break, with Cadiz starting the second half brightly.

    But it was Atleti who struck first – Lemar getting above his marker to nod in from Yannick Carrasco’s inviting left-wing cross, his first headed goal in Europe’s top-five leagues.

    Carrasco and Lemar combined again six minutes later, only for the latter’s heavy touch giving Ledesma chance to smother the shot.

    Where Lemar’s first touch let him down, Griezmann showed no such lack of quality, sweeping in from Llorente’s cut-back after neat interplay down the right flank.

    Atleti’s first league away win in four attempts was sealed in the 76th minute, Correa combining with fellow substitute Cunha to fire in.

    Anthony Lozano’s deflected cross bizarrely looped in over the bemused Oblak, though Cunha raced through to restore the three-goal cushion straight from kick-off.

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