MADRID (AP)Players from both teams went over to console Real Sociedad goalkeeper Alex Remiro after the final whistle in the Basque Country derby on Sunday.
It was Remiro’s major mistake a few minutes earlier that cost his team victory against Athletic Bilbao, its fiercest rival, in the Spanish league match.
Remiro mis-hit the ball while trying to punch it away after a stoppage-time free kick taken by Iker Muniain, allowing 10-man Athletic Bilbao to salvage a 1-1 draw that limited Sociedad’s lead at the top of the standings.
Remiro tried to push the ball over the crossbar but it wasn’t redirected enough and it struck the woodwork before going in.
”I went there to support him,” Muniain said. ”I wanted to give him my love. This (mistake) shouldn’t be a big deal.”
Remiro was back in the starting lineup despite Australian Mathew Ryan being widely praised for his performance in the team’s 2-0 win over Celta Vigo in the previous round.
”It’s a shame to concede like that at the end of a derby,” Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil said. ”Alex has to keep his head high, he kept us in the game until the end and I’m very happy with the great season that he is having so far.”
The victory at home would have given Sociedad a three-point lead at the top, but instead it is only one point in front of Real Madrid and Sevilla, and has played an extra game.
The result extended Sociedad’s unbeaten run to 11 straight league matches, with seven wins and four draws. It hasn’t lost in 14 consecutive matches in all competitions, with its only defeat coming in the league opener against Barcelona at the Camp Nou Stadium.
Alexander Isak scored Sociedad’s goal by converting a 58th-minute penalty kick.
Athletic, which stayed in eighth place, played with 10 men from the 84th as Inigo Martinez was sent off for a second yellow card.
Atletico Madrid put an end to its winless streak by comfortably beating Real Betis 3-0 to stay within striking range of the league leaders.
Atletico got on the board with goals from Yannick Carrasco and Joao Felix, and an own-goal by Betis defender German Pezzella, under heavy rain at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. It was its first win after consecutive draws against Levante and Sociedad in the league and a loss to Liverpool in the Champions League.
The victory moved Atletico within three points of leader Sociedad, and two behind Real Madrid and Sevilla, which won their matches on Saturday.
Atletico’s usually solid defense had faltered recently, having conceded seven goals in its last three matches. Diego Simeone’s team next visits Liverpool in the group stage of the Champions League.
”It was very important not to concede any goals to boost our confidence on defense going into the match against Liverpool,” Carrasco said.
Betis, which had won five of its last six league matches, stayed a point behind Atletico and has played an extra game. Manuel Pellegrini’s side had won two in a row in all competitions.
Carrasco opened the scoring with a shot from inside the area in the 26th minute. The hosts added to the lead after Pezzella headed a cross from a corner into his own net in the 63rd, and Felix sealed the victory after a long run in a breakaway in the 80th for his first goal of the season.
Felix’s goal was initially disallowed for offside but video review confirmed that the Portugal forward was onside at the time of Carrasco’s pass.
Atletico also had a goal by Mario Hermoso disallowed for offside early in the second half.
Simeone watched the match from the VIP tribunes after being sent off in the team’s 2-2 draw at Levante in the previous round.
GETAFE FINALLY WINS
Enes Unal opened the scoring with a bicycle kick in the first half and netted the winner after the interval as Getafe beat Espanyol 2-1 for its first win in 12 matches this season.
The Madrid club, still in last place, had started with seven straight losses. The only winless team remaining in the league is Levante, which hosts Granada on Monday.
Sergi Gomez scored for midtable Espanyol, which was unbeaten in four matches.
MALLORCA’S LATE TROUBLES
Mallorca drew 1-1 at Cadiz after conceding a late goal for the third consecutive match.
The visitors opened the scoring with a goal by Iddrisu Baba in the 29th, and Alvaro Negredo equalized for Cadiz by converting a penalty kick three minutes into stoppage time.
Mallorca, winless in four straight matches, had also conceded in stoppage time in a 1-1 home draw against Sevilla and a 2-2 draw at Valencia, when both Valencia’s goals came after the end of regulation. In a 1-0 loss at Sociedad, Mallorca conceded in the 90th.
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