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Primera División

  • 20 November 2011
  • • 19:00
  • • Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid
  • Referee: Pedro Jesús Pérez Montero
  • • Attendance: 35000

Atletico Madrid 3-2 Levante: Gregorio Manzano's men edge out visitors for vital win in late show

Atletico Madrid 3-2 Levante: Gregorio Manzano's men edge out visitors for vital win in late show

Diego Ribas - Atletico Madrid

All five goals came in the last 25 minutes as the hosts rallied after the break to take all three points in an ultimately-entertaining game at the Vicente Calderon

Second-half goals from Pizzi, Adrian and Diego were enough for Atletico Madrid as they narrowly defeated Levante 3-2 in La Liga action at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday evening.

The first half was a tense affair and devoid of any real goalscoring opportunities. It was the home side who controlled possession in the opening 45 minutes, but a lack of quality passing in the final third left both sides fairly comfortable in defence.

The match began provided some half-chances around the half-hour mark, with Atletico passing the ball at a higher tempo in the opposition half. They came closest to scoring when Arda Turan tested the gloves of Gustavo Munua in the Levante goal with a fizzing shot from just outside the box but the goalkeeper did well to parry the ball away to safety.

There was drama five minutes before the break when Adrian dribbled dangerously in the Levante box only to take a heavy touch. Javier Farinos then slid in at the feet of the Spanish Under-21 striker and appeared to clip his heels. The Atletico players were furious when referee Pedro Montero waved play on.

The clash finally exploded into life in the 67th minute when substitute Jose Antonio Reyes picked up the ball in midfield and drove towards the Levante defence before sliding a pass into the path of Pizzi and the forward, on loan from Braga, scored through the legs of Munua.

The lead was short-lived however as Levante equalised just three minutes later. Jose Barkero took advantage of some poor defending from Luis Perea to get down the left wing and swing a reverse pass into the Atletico box for Xavi Torres who guided a shot into the right corner.

The hosts quickly regrouped and were able to edge ahead again in the 75th minute. Arda showed impressive determination and strength to drive down the right wing to get to the byline and chip a fantastic cross to the back post for Adrian, who headed into the open goal.

Atletico killed the game off in the 82nd minute when a misjudgement in the Levante penalty area from Javi Venta allowed Diego to take advantage and emphatically drive a shot into the bottom-left corner.

The visitors managed to grab a second goal seconds before the final whistle when Juanfran dribbled down the left wing and cut a pass back to Ruben Suarez, who blasted the ball into the top corner. It was too late to impact the game, however, as the referee ended the match moments after the goal.

Atletico now find themselves in ninth place with 16 points taken from 12 matches. Levante remain in fourth but have now lost three times on the bounce in La Liga.