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Villarreal dominant in victory over Atletico

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Villarreal leapfrogged Atletico Madrid and up to fourth in La Liga after a commendable 3-0 victory at El Madrigal.

Manuel Trigueros and Jonathan dos Santos struck to give the Yellow Submarine the reward their first-half endeavour deserved as they went in at the break two goals to the good.

In a battle of the two sturdiest defences in the Spanish top-flight, it was Atletico’s which creaked under pressure as Bruno added a third late on to give Villarreal a first win in four as they moved above their opponents and into the Champions League qualifying places.

Fran Escriba’s men came out of the traps quickly and were only denied taking an early lead when Dos Santos’ overhead kick from outside the area was headed off the line by Stefan Savic.

In a rare Atletico foray, Angel Correa’s shot from a narrow angle was beaten away by Sergio Asenjo, while Koke’s deflected effort from the resulting corner came back off a post.

But the visitors fell behind in the 28th minute as Tiago’s backpass to Diego Godin was pounced on by Trigueros, who dribbled into the area and finished low past Jan Oblak.

Tiago was hauled off almost immediately afterwards — although there was some uncertainty as to whether that was due to his part in Villarreal’s opener.

Atletico’s defence, which had conceded just 11 in 14 league matches prior to this fixture, suddenly looked all at sea and they were torn open again as Dos Santos doubled Villarreal’s lead 10 minutes later.

The Mexican midfielder followed up his own rebound which came back off a post to tap in after Pato’s cross was spilled by Oblak, who was himself replaced on the stroke of half-time by Miguel Moya.

Atletico failed to fashion much on the resumption and it seemed their opponents were content to keep their clean sheet in tact, having conceded only 10 goals so far this season, the best record in the division.

Villarreal ended their evening in ideal fashion when Bruno dribbled his way into the box and his low left-footed effort, while lacking venom, found its way into the back of the net in time added on.

Credit:PA SPORT@ESPN.COM

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