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Atletico hit Sociedad for four, go top of La Liga

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02 Feb 2014 21:32:19

Atletico hit Sociedad for four, go top of La Liga

Atletico Madrid moved to the top of La Liga outright for the first time since their double winning season in 1996 with a 4-0 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday.

On an emotional evening at the Vicente Calderon, former players and fans paid their tributes to former Spain and Atletico player and coach Luis Aragones, who died on Saturday, before the match.

Fittingly it was David Villa, the competition's top scorer when Aragones led Spain to the European Championships in 2008, who opened the scoring as he swept home Diego Costa's low cross.

Costa himself doubled Atletico's advantage with a composed finish before Miranda headed home the third.

And Diego Ribas rounded off a fine evening for Atletico as he marked his debut after returning to the club on loan from Wolfsburg with a thumping finish three minutes from the end.

Following Barcelona's shock home defeat to Valencia on Saturday, Atletico now lead the Catalans by three points, but Real Madrid can move to within a point of the leaders should they beat Athletic Bilbao later on Sunday.

The Atletico fans remained silent for the first eight minutes before beginning to chant Aragones' name in a tribute to the number he wore as a player with Los Rojiblancos.

And Atletico boss Diego Simeone was pleased with how his side dealt with the emotion of the evening.

"When someone like Luis leaves us there is pain and sadness, but today the fans, the game and that silence for the first eight minutes before they sang his name moved me. From above he would be wearing red and white and happy with the bravery we showed.

"Real Sociedad made it difficult without creating great chances. Defending didn't worry me, but the problem was when you don't attack and it was difficult for us to get out in the second-half.

"The changes gave us some freshness. We had the ball more and we managed to get going again. It is a win against a very difficult opponent."

After a quiet start, the hosts went in front seven minutes before the break when Villa finished off a fine team move for his 12th goal of the season.

Villa's joy didn't last long, though, as he had to be substituted just two minutes later after pulling up with a muscular injury.

Sociedad enjoyed the majority of possession after the break as Atletico decided to sit on their lead, but the Basque side failed to seriously test Courtois.

The home fans then gave Diego a hero's welcome as he replaced Jose Sosa.

Costa made sure of the three points 18 minutes from time when he coolly slotted Raul Garcia's through ball into the far corner.

Atletico struck again just two minutes later as Miranda rose highest to power home Koke's corner.

And Diego rounded off the scoring when he showed great poise inside the Sociedad box before blasting high into the roof of the net.


AFP

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