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PICS: Atletico slump to shock defeat; Eintracht stun Bayern

February 21, 2021 00:36 IST
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Atletico de Madrid's Joao Felix reacts after conceding their side's first goal during their La Liga Santander match against Levante UD at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid on Saturday

IMAGE: Atletico de Madrid's Joao Felix reacts after conceding their side's first goal during their La Liga Santander match against Levante UD at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid on Saturday. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid's recent wobble in form continued as they fell to their first defeat in 12 league games when they were beaten 2-0 at home to Levante on Saturday.

Jose Luis Morales gave the visitors the lead on the half-hour mark with a deflected strike from just inside the area to deceive keeper Jan Oblak, while Jorge de Frutos knocked into an empty net to score the second in added time after Oblak had committed himself forward to contest a corner.

 

A first league defeat since December left Atletico with 55 points after 23 games and second-placed Real Madrid could reduce the gap to three points when they visit Real Valladolid later on Saturday.

After a poor first half, Atletico came out fighting in the second but could not beat Levante keeper Daniel Cardenas, who made a total of 10 saves including an outstanding late stop to deny substitute Thomas Lemar.

Luis Suarez hit the post with a vicious free kick while Angel Correa saw a goal ruled out for a foul by Suarez.

Joao Felix missed two gilt-edged chances while Suarez, Marcos Llorente and Renan Lodi also will feel they should have equalised as Atletico had a total of 28 shots on goal.

But Levante, who had held Diego Simeone's side to a 1-1 draw three days earlier, clinched their first ever away league win over Atletico in 17 attempts when De Frutos surged forward and launched the ball into the net from just past the halfway line.

Atletico went on a relentless run of eight league victories since losing to Real Madrid on December 12.

However, they have taken only five points from four games in February, ceding ground in the title race to champions Real as well as Barcelona, who can move to within six points of the leaders if they beat Cadiz on Sunday.

"We're not happy at all with the result," said Atletico defender Mario Hermoso.

"We had so many attempts on goal but weren't able to score. And if you don't score any goals and keep letting them in you'll be in trouble.

"But I'm sure we'll start scoring soon, we're the same team that got to this stage. It's not easy for us right now but this is a marathon not a sprint."

Younes sparkles as Eintracht stun Bayern 2-1

Eintracht Frankfurt's Tuta celebrates after the match against Bayern Munich at Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt, on Saturday

Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Amin Younes scored a superb goal and helped create another as they beat Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich 2-1 on Saturday to stay on course for a Champions League spot.

Bayern remain on 49 points, with second-placed RB Leipzig, who have 44, in action at Hertha Berlin on Sunday. Fourth-placed Frankfurt are level on 42 points with VfL Wolfsburg, who are third and won 3-0 at Arminia Bielefeld on Friday.

Former Germany international Younes, on loan from Napoli, helped set up Daichi Kamada for the first goal after 12 minutes as Frankfurt stretched their unbeaten run to 11 league games.

With Germany coach Joachim Loew watching in the stands ahead of international matches in March, Younes, who won the last of five Germany caps in 2017, thundered in a shot from the edge of the box in the 31st after taking on the entire Bayern defence.

The Bavarians, who won their sixth title in less than nine months with their Club World Cup triumph last week in Qatar, looked anything but fresh and were struggling for ideas to find a way back into the game.

They were missing several players, including Thomas Mueller and Benjamin Pavard, to COVID-19 infections but upped the tempo considerably after the break with the introduction of Leon Goretzka.

Bayern had a string of chances, with Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp kept busy throughout the second half.

They did cut the deficit with Robert Lewandowski's 26th goal of the campaign in the 53rd minute after good early work from Leroy Sane.

But Frankfurt, playing without injured top striker Andre Silva, hung on for their fifth straight league win.

Borussia Moenchengladbach's European aspirations suffered a big blow with a 2-1 loss at Mainz 05 after Kevin Stoeger's 86th minute winner saw them drop to eighth place on 33.

It has been a whirlwind week for Gladbach after coach Marco Rose announced he would join Borussia Dortmund next season.

Luis Alberto earns Lazio narrow win over Sampdoria

IMAGE: Eintracht Frankfurt's Tuta celebrates after the match against Bayern Munich at Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt, on Saturday. Photograph: Daniel Roland/Pool via Reuters

Luis Alberto's first-half goal earned Lazio a 1-0 win over Sampdoria on Saturday, with a seventh win in eight league games putting Simone Inzaghi's side fourth in the Serie A standings.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's lovely through pass put Luis Alberto clear in the 24th minute, with the Lazio midfielder curling his seventh league goal of the season into the net to score what proved to be the winner.

While the scoreline suggests the match was a tightly-contested affair, Lazio never looked troubled. Sampdoria did not muster a shot on target all match, while the hosts themselves missed plenty of chances.

The result moves Lazio above Juventus into fourth on 43 points with the champions, who have played two games fewer, in action against bottom side Crotone on Monday. Sampdoria stay 10th on 30 points.

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Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021