European round-up: Diego Costa keeps Atletico Madrid on the trail of Barcelona
Sunday 15 December 2013
Diego Costa scored twice as Atletico Madrid beat Valencia 3-0 to maintain their winning home run this season and keep pace with Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
The in-form forward broke the deadlock just before the hour mark and with Valencia's resistance broken Raul Garcia added a second moments later. Costa then missed a penalty but made amends from the spot with nine minutes to go.
Real Madrid staged an impressive comeback to salvage a point against lowly Osasuna but for once Cristiano Ronaldo failed to get his name on the scoresheet.
The Portuguese, who opened a Ronaldo museum in his birthplace of Madeira, had found the net in each of his eight previous matches for club and country before Saturday. However, Carlo Ancelotti's side found themselves trailing after two goals from Oriol Riera, with Sergio Ramos also dismissed for two bookings. Isco pulled one back before half-time and, with Gareth Bale substituted in the 55th minute, Madrid eventually equalised through Pepe to leave them five points behind leaders Barcelona.
Having lost their unbeaten record in their last league match, Gerardo Martino's side edged out Villarreal 2-1 thanks to two goals from Neymar.
In Italy Napoli kept their hopes of a first Serie A title since 1990 alive with an epic 4-2 win over 10-man Internazionale. Goals from Gonzalo Higuain, Dries Mertens, Blerim Dzemaili and Jose Callejon saw Rafael Benitez beat his old club in a hugely entertaining game.
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