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Atletico Madrid held by Real Betis, Las Palmas down

Atletico held by Betis, Las Palmas down
By Reuters

22/04/2018 at 21:52Updated 22/04/2018 at 22:08

Atletico Madrid failed to break down Real Betis in a 0-0 draw on Sunday which further reduced their slim chances of catching Barcelona at the top of La Liga, while Las Palmas were relegated after a crushing 4-0 home defeat by Alaves.

Diego Simeone's Atletico moved 11 points behind Barcelona with four games remaining and the unbeaten leaders need one more point to win the title.

With the Europa League semi-final first leg at Arsenal on Thursday in mind, Simeone rotated key players and Betis tried to take advantage.

Javi Garcia missed two excellent chances and Cristian Tello struck the post for the visitors, who extended their club record run of games without conceding a goal to six.

Atletico Madrid's Spanish forward Fernando Torres gestures during the Spanish league football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Betis at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on April 22, 2018.

Atletico Madrid's Spanish forward Fernando Torres gestures during the Spanish league football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Betis at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on April 22, 2018.Getty Images

However, Atletico's defensive resilience ended Betis’ run of six wins in a row as they recorded their 11th consecutive home clean sheet.

Aissa Mandi headed a Fernando Torres effort off the line and Saul Niguez struck the bar as Atletico also came close, but neither side could earn a victory.

In the Canary Islands, Munir El Haddadi struck twice with Alvaro Medran and Ruben Sobrino also netting as four second-half goals from Alaves consigned Las Palmas to relegation in a mostly-empty stadium.

Paco Jemez's side have 21 points from 34 games and are 13 short of Levante in 17th with only four matches left and they will join bottom side Malaga in the second division next season.

Las Palmas have gone 12 matches without a victory and this was their fifth straight defeat.

Alaves' triumph confirms their safety, sitting 13th with 41 points from 34 games, an impressive feat masterminded by Abelardo Fernandez who took over in December with the Basque side bottom of the table.

Malaga beat Real Sociedad 2-0 and Espanyol won 2-0 at Girona to damage their Catalan rivals’ dreams of finishing in a Europa League spot. The result left Girona ninth and Espanyol 16th in the standings, 11 points clear of the relegation zone. (Reporting by Rik Sharma, Editing by Ed Osmond)

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