Tue, Sep 18, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Atletico edge thriller with Rayo to remain unbeaten


Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao, left, battles for the ball with Rayo Vallecano de Madrid defender Jose Manuel Casado in their La Liga match in Madrid, Spain, on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

Atletico Madrid beat Rayo Vallecano de Madrid 4-3, after going four goals ahead in the Madrid derby on Sunday, to continue their unbeaten start in La Liga.

Mario Suarez, Koke, Arda Turan and Radamel Falcao got the goals for the European Super Cup winners in their first game since their 4-1 victory over Chelsea in Monaco. Suarez got the only goal of an even first half, turning home a Diego Costa pass on 29 minutes.

Four minutes after the restart, Koke anticipated another right-wing pass from Costa to double the lead and a minute later Turkish international Turan was in the same spot to finish of an almost identical pass from Juanfran.

On 55 minutes, Falcao converted a penalty to make it seven goals in four games for him in all competitions.

However, defensive frailties allowed Andrija Delibasic a quick brace and Leo Carrilho another goal to frighten the home side in the final eight minutes, but it all came too late for Rayo, who fought until the last kick against their larger city rivals.

The win puts Atletico on seven points after three games and into fifth position, despite playing a game fewer than most of the other teams.

Earlier on Sunday, Real Sociedad beat a poor Real Zaragoza side 2-0 with goals from centerhalf Inigo Martinez and Carlos Vela.

After a goalless first half it was former Arsenal player Vela who brought the match to life. The Mexican first placed a perfect corner on to the head of Martinez, who powered home an unstoppable header, before winning a penalty that he then converted to end Zaragoza’s challenge.

In other games, the only two pointless sides, RCD Espanyol and CA Osasuna, picked up important draws.

Osasuna were the better team throughout their 1-1 home draw with RCD Mallorca.

Kike Sola put the home side ahead on 69 minutes, only for Israel international Tomer Hemed to smash home his third goal in three games nine minutes later to leave his side undefeated.

Espanyol hosted Athletic Bilbao and they played out a remarkable 3-3 draw in the midday kickoff.

After sailing into a two-goal lead in the first half with goals from Javi Lopez and Joan Verdu, it seemed that Espanyol’s first win was in sight, but Bilbao were able to play their strongest striking partnership for the first time in the second period.

Aritz Aduriz, in his third spell at the club, had already headed one back when Fernando Llorente came on for his first appearance of the season on 68 minutes. Two minutes — and two touches — later, the want-away striker, who refused to sign a contract extension over the summer, had leveled the game.

Espanyol then thought they had snatched the win when Italian Samulele Longo finished off a Wakaso Mubarak pass with 10 minutes remaining.

The youngster was then sent off for a second yellow card after celebrating the goal with the home fans and five minutes from time Aduriz smashed home his second for a share of the points.

RC Deportivo de La Coruna also remain unbeaten after a 1-1 draw at Granada. Another Italian striker, Floro Flores, hit a late equalizer for Granada after Nelson Oliveira had given the Galician side the lead.

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