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Soccer PHOTOS: Atletico blitz Osasuna; Mainz stun Dortmund

June 18, 2020 11:33 IST
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IMAGES from football matches played in the Spain, Germany and Portugal on Wednesday.

Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa in action with Osasuna's Jon Moncayola during their La Liga match at El Sadar Stadium, Pamplona, on Wednesday

IMAGE: Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa in action with Osasuna's Jon Moncayola during their La Liga match at El Sadar Stadium, Pamplona, on Wednesday. Photograph: Vincent West/Reuters

Atletico Madrid hammered Osasuna 5-0 away from home in La Liga on Wednesday to secure their biggest win of the season and give a huge boost to their chances of qualifying for the Champions League.

Atleti's record signing Joao Felix put the visiting side ahead by arriving in the box and drilling the loose ball into the top corner in the 27th minute, scoring again soon after the re-start by nudging home a fine pass from Diego Costa.

 

Substitute Marcos Llorente stretched Atleti's lead in the 79th and laid on passes for Alvaro Morata and Yannick Carrasco to complete the drubbing.

The victory took Diego Simeone's side into fourth place in the standings on 49 points after 29 games, two ahead of fifth-placed Real Sociedad who visit Alaves on Thursday. Osasuna are 11th on 35.

"We have a brilliant squad and if we can keep performing like we did today we can go as far as we want to," said the Atletico coach.

Atletico had a subdued return to action after Spanish football's three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic by drawing 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao.

But against Osasuna they produced a defiant response and after edging a difficult first half showed no mercy in the second, obliterating their previous best tally of two goals in any away game this campaign.

Felix and Costa did most of the heavy lifting in attack to break down a rigid Osasuna but Simeone will be equally pleased with the attitude of his substitutes.

Llorente showed nimble feet to dance past three defenders to score a third goal in his last three outings, after netting twice to knock Liverpool out of the Champions League in March.

The midfielder played a cross-field ball to Morata who was initially ruled offside after slotting home but the goal was awarded after a VAR review.

Carrasco, another substitute, chased down an Osasuna defender to play in Llorente, who passed back for the Belgian to score his first goal since returning to Atletico from Chinese club Dalian Yifang.

VAR called into action as Eibar draw with Athletic Bilbao

Video technology played a key role as Eibar drew 2-2 at home with Athletic Bilbao in a La Liga Basque derby played behind closed doors on Wednesday.

Athletic went ahead in the eighth minute when Raul Garcia scored a penalty awarded after the referee went to the pitch-side monitor and spotted that home defender Gonzalo Escalante had blocked a shot with his hand.

Eibar forward Kike Garcia equalised in the 19th minute and the home side went in front with a spot-kick from Fabian Orellana in the 78th after the referee again consulted the monitor and saw Dani Garcia had hauled down Escalante while contesting a corner.

Dani Garcia quickly made amends, however, by sending in a cross for substitute Asier Villalibre to equalise with his first touch in the 81st minute.

Athletic are 10th in the standings on 39 points from 29 games while Eibar are 16th on 28.

Elsewhere, Celta Vigo drew 0-0 at Real Valladolid as their talisman Iago Aspas had penalty saved by Valladolid's Jordi Masip in the second half.

The draw left Celta hovering above the relegation zone in 17th place on 27 points. Valladolid are 14th on 33.

Mainz stun Dortmund to all but secure Bundesliga survival

Borussia Dortmund's Emre Can and 1. FSV Mainz 05's Adam Szalai vie for possession during their Bundeliga match at Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund

IMAGE: Borussia Dortmund's Emre Can and 1. FSV Mainz 05's Adam Szalai vie for possession during their Bundeliga match at Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund. Photograph: Guido Kirchner/Pool via/Reuters

Mainz 05 scored either side of the break through Jonathan Burkhardt and Jean-Philippe Mateta to stun hosts Borussia Dortmund 2-0 on Wednesday and take a big step towards remaining in the Bundesliga for another season.

With Bayern Munich having on Tuesday secured their eighth consecutive league title and Dortmund certain of a top-four finish and a Champions League spot, the hosts rarely threatened in the first half.

Mainz were the livelier team and 19-year-old Burkhardt, who minutes earlier had gone close, grabbed the lead in the 33rd minute with his first league goal on his second start.

Although Dortmund club bosses had warned that the season was not finished despite having secured a Champions League spot, they looked completely unmotivated.

The visitors doubled the advantage four minutes after the restart with Mateta's penalty after Roman Buerki had saved a shot from Pierre Kunde and defender Lukasz Piszczek brought down Danny Latza.

Dortmund made feeble attempts to fight back and Achraf Hakimi's free kick was tipped over the bar but they were lucky not to concede a third goal as Mainz created several good chances.

Mainz are now 15th on 34 points, five above the relegation playoff spot with two games remaining.

Dortmund remained in second place on 66 points, 10 behind Bayern, after RB Leipzig, in third on 63, conceded two late goals to draw 2-2 with Fortuna Duesseldorf. Leipzig host Dortmund on Saturday.

Leipzig throw away two-goal lead in Duesseldorf draw

Fortuna Duesseldorf's Andre Hoffmann celebrates with teammates on scoring their second goal against RB Leipzig at Red Bull Arena, Leipzig

IMAGE: Fortuna Duesseldorf's Andre Hoffmann celebrates with teammates on scoring their second goal against RB Leipzig at Red Bull Arena, Leipzig. Photograph: Ronny Hartmann/Pool via/Reuters

RB Leipzig missed a chance to cement a Champions League spot for next season when they threw away a two-goal lead in a 2-2 home draw against Fortuna Duesseldorf in the Bundesliga on Wednesday.

Goals by Kevin Kampl and Timo Werner were cancelled out by late strikes from Steven Skrzybski and Andre Hoffmann as Leipzig stayed third on 63 points, four ahead of fifth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Duesseldorf, in 16th place with 29 points, occupy the relegation playoff spot with a one-point advantage over Werder Bremen.

Leipzig dominated in the first half and came close to an early opener, only for Dani Olmo's fierce shot to be parried away by Florian Kastenmaier.

Duesseldorf sat back and hoped to hit the hosts on the break, a stategy that almost paid off in the 13th minute when Rouwen Hennings's shot hit the post.

Leipzig continued to press on after the interval and they were rewarded on the hour.

Kampl unleashed a splendid 30-metre shot that went into the top corner and three minutes later, Werner also found the top corner with a curled effort from just inside the area.

Skrzybski deflected Marcel Sobottka's attempt into the back of the net three minutes from fulltime and two minutes into stoppage time, Hoffmann secured a point that could prove vital in the race for safety.

Benfica go joint top by beating nine-man Rio Ave

Benfica joined Porto at top of the Primeira Liga standings when goals by Haris Seferovic and Julian Weigl secured a 2-1 win at nine-man Rio Ave on Wednesday.

Seferovic and Weigl struck in the second half as Rio Ave, who are sixth on 41 points from 27 games, had Ali Al Musrati and Nuno sent off.

Benfica, who have 64 points, are behind Porto on the head-to-head rule.

Mehdi Taremi headed the opener home for Rio Ave in the 26th minute against the run of play, but the hosts lost their cool after the break.

Al Musrati picked up a second yellow card in the 63rd minute and Seferovic soon equalised from point-blank range after the goal was validated by a VAR review.

Weigl headed the winner in the 87th, 14 minutes after Santos was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle. 

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