Atletico pressures Madrid with 2-0 win at Betis

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MADRID (AP) -- Atletico Madrid beat 10-man Real Betis 2-0 Sunday in the Spanish league to increase the pressure on Real Madrid ahead of its clasico with Barcelona.

Atletico is tied on 70 points with Madrid, which hosts Barcelona later Sunday. Barcelona has 66 points.

Gabi Fernandez opened the scoring in what had been a hard fought contest until Bryan Rodriguez was shown a second yellow card for blatantly swiping at the ball with his hand in the 55th minute.

Gabi was afforded space about 10 meters outside the area to smash a swerving drive beyond outstretched goalkeeper Antonio Adan for the 58th-minute lead.

Diego Costa made it 2-0 in the 64th after Koke headed on to the Spain striker to fire home his 23rd league goal and 31st in all competitions.

"It was a tough game against a team playing with a lot on the line," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. "We showed great calm knowing we only need to depend on ourselves in the title race, regardless of (other) results."

While Atletico's season-long surge sees no signs of dipping with nine rounds left, last-placed Betis is running out of time to avoid relegation after falling nine points from safety.

Earlier, Sevilla continued its late bid to qualify for next season's Champions League by beating Osasuna 2-1 for a fifth straight victory. Villarreal's own aspirations to go from promotion to qualifying for Europe's top-tier event took a hit after it lost 2-1 at Valencia.

Javi Fuego scored a pair of first-half goals to put Valencia in command at its Mestalla Stadium, with Giovanni Dos Santos striking a late goal for Villarreal, which slipped 10 points back of fourth-place Athletic Bilbao.

Bilbao holds that last qualifying place with 55 points, while Sevilla moved ahead of Real Sociedad -- which has 46 points going into Monday's game at Almeria -- with 47 points from its victory, which left Osasuna two points above the relegation zone.

Jairo Samperio put Sevilla ahead after 27 minutes before Carlos Bacca scored a first-half stoppage time penalty after Damia Abella was ajudged to have handled inside the area, which led to Osasuna coach Javi Gracia being dismissed.

Sevilla never looked in danger despite Osasuna substitute Javier Acuna scoring an impressive individual effort in the last play of the game.

In other 29th round results, it was: Athletic Bilbao 1, Getafe 0; Malaga 2, Celta Vigo 0; Real Valladolid 1, Rayo Vallecano 1; and Espanyol 0, Levante 0.

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