Apr 2, 2016 at 3pm UK at ​Vicente Calderon Stadium
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Real Betis
Torres (37'), Griezmann (42', 81'), Juanfran (65'), Partey (91')
Koke (38'), Torres (38')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Castro (79')
Pezzella (61'), Kadir (62'), Torres (74')

Live Commentary: Atletico Madrid 5-1 Real Betis - as it happened

Diego Simeone bellows during the La Liga game between Atletico Madrid and Villarreal on February 20, 2016
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Real Betis at the Vicente Calderon, which ended in a 5-1 home win.

Atletico Madrid welcomed Real Betis to the Vicente Calderon on Saturday looking to close the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona to six points ahead of El Clasico.

Betis impressed for long spells of the first period, but entered the interval 2-0 behind courtesy of goals from Fernando Torres and Antoine Griezmann.

Juanfran then added a third for the home side in the 65th minute, but Betis had some hope in the 79th minute when Ruben Castro struck from close range. Griezmann hit his second just two minutes after Betis struck, however, before Thomas Partey added a fifth late on.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

2.01pmAfternoon all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage continues from the Vicente Calderon as Atletico Madrid welcome Real Betis. Victory for the home side would see them cut the gap on league leaders Barcelona to six points, but they will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 defeat at Sporting Gijon before the international break. Betis, meanwhile, have lost their last two in the league, but a decent run of form has seen them move into 13th position. Let's hope for an entertaining game in the capital!

2.04pmH2H! Atletico have won each of the last five La Liga matches between the two teams and have kept a clean sheet in the last four. That run of form includes a 1-0 victory when the pair clashed in Seville earlier this season and a 3-0 success in the corresponding league match last season. Betis were also thumped 5-0 when these two teams met in Madrid during the 2013-14 campaign.

2.07pmRight, without any further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news. Who have Diego Simeone and Juan Merino placed their faith in here? Let's find out shall we...


ATLETI: Oblak; Juanfran, Lucas, Nacho, Luis; Augusto, Gabi, Koke; Saul, Torres, Griezmann

BETIS: Adan; Molinero, Pezzella, Westermann, Montoya; Ceballos, N'Diaye, Fabian; Cejudo, Castro, Musonda

2.14pmAtletico are without central defenders Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez and Stefan Savic this afternoon, which has given Simeone problems at the back. Lucas Hernandez has been passed fit to feature though and the inexperienced Frenchman is joined at centre-back by Nacho Monsalve, with the 21-year-old Atletico B defender making his La Liga debut. Further forward, Saul Niguez has been passed fit, while Fernando Torres will lead the line with support from top scorer Antoine Griezmann.

Fernando Torres points and scores during the La Liga game between Valencia and Atletico Madrid on March 6, 2016© AFP

2.17pmAs for Betis, Juan Manuel Vargas and Cristiano Piccini are both still injured, which has left Martin Montoya and Francisco Molinero in the two full-back positions. Dani Ceballos also keeps his spot in the team, while on-loan Chelsea midfielder Charly Musonda will play a supporting role to Ruben Castro.

2.20pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in and we are now around 40 minutes from kickoff on this mild afternoon in the Spanish capital. I shall talk about Betis a little bit later, but let's start with Atletico, who will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2-1 defeat at lowly Sporting Gijon before the international break. That loss saw Simeone's side miss the chance to close the gap on leaders Barcelona - who drew at Villarreal - but victory here would cut the gap to six points at the summit.

2.23pmIndeed, Barcelona will welcome Real Madrid for El Clasico this evening so at least one of Atletico's main rivals in the league will drop points this weekend. As it stands, Real Madrid sit third, just one point behind second-place Atletico. In theory, Atletico could end the weekend in third, but they could also end it six points behind Barcelona on the same number of games if the leaders lose at Camp Nou.

Atletico Madrid's coach Diego Simeone looks on prior to kick-off in the Champions League semi-final first leg match against Chelsea on April 22, 2014© AFP

2.26pmAtletico's record from 30 league matches this season is won 21, drawn four and lost five. Incredibly, they have only scored 46 goals, which is 40 fewer than Barcelona and 41 less than top scorers Real Madrid, but they have only conceded 14 times – no team in La Liga history has posted a better defensive record at this stage of the season. The capital side might not have the firepower of Barcelona or Real Madrid, but they know how to keep clean sheets and grind out important wins.

2.30pmSpeaking of clean sheets, Atletico have managed seven shutouts in their last 12 league games on home soil and recorded nine wins in the process. Atletico have not actually lost at home in the league since September 12, when Barcelona recorded a 2-1 victory. That has been their only home defeat in the league this term, but as mentioned, they are missing three key centre-backs here.

2.33pmLooking ahead, Atletico have the small matter of a Champions League quarter-final first leg away to Barcelona next week. They will then travel to Espanyol in the league next weekend, before welcoming Barcelona for the second leg of their European tie. It is a massive couple of weeks for Simeone's side, who could find themselves out of the running for both competitions by the middle of April.

Luciano Vietto celebrates with teammates during the La Liga game between Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad on March 1, 2016© AFP

2.36pmAs for Betis, they will enter this match off the back of a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Malaga before the international break. That loss followed a 3-1 reverse at Basque outfit Athletic Bilbao, but a run of six without defeat before that saw the Andalusian club move away from danger into 13th position in the table. As it stands, they are six points clear of the relegation zone in Spain's top flight.

2.40pmBetis' record from 30 league matches this season is won eight, drawn 10 and lost 12. They have only conceded 40 times, which is far from the worst defensive record in the league, but incredibly, they have only netted 27 times, which is the poorest offensive record in the division. What is even more astounding is that 34-year-old Ruben Castro has 15 of Betis' 27 league goals this season.

2.43pmBetis won the Segunda Division last season to return to the top flight and they are on course to avoid repeating their struggles from the 2013-14 campaign, when they finished bottom of La Liga. They have spent three of their last six full seasons in the second tier, but will be keen to re-establish themselves at the top having spent so much time competing at the highest level in Spain.

Dani Ceballos of Real Betis Balompie controls the ball during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Betis Balompie at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 29, 2015© Getty Images

2.46pmLevante (H), Celta (A), Las Palmas (H), Sevilla (A), Barcelona (H), Eibar (A) and Getafe (H) are what Betis have to come in the final weeks of the season. There are some tough games in there, but you sense that they have enough to stay in the division. This game, Sevilla away and Barcelona at home are very tough indeed, but home games against Levante, Las Palmas and Getafe will be crucial.


2.52pmPREDICTION! I am finding it difficult to back against Atletico this afternoon. It is very much a makeshift central defence for the home team, but they are so strong at the Vicente Calderon and Betis are not exactly the most attacking of outfits. For me, a routine 2-0 victory for Atletico here.

2.55pmThere has been a late change on the Atletico bench...

2.58pmA final reminder of the two starting teams for this afternoon...

ATLETI: Oblak; Juanfran, Lucas, Nacho, Luis; Augusto, Gabi, Koke; Saul, Torres, Griezmann

BETIS: Adan; Molinero, Pezzella, Westermann, Montoya; Ceballos, N'Diaye, Fabian; Cejudo, Castro, Musonda

0 minKICKOFF! Here we go then - the pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Atletico must bounce back from their defeat to Sporting last time out, but Betis have been much improved in recent weeks. It is the away side that get the first period underway here...

2 min... it must be said that the atmosphere inside the stadium is just wonderful. Betis are well-represented in the stands and those in green and white are making some noise. As expected, Atletico are enjoying early possession of the ball as they attempt to settle into an early rhythm here.

4 minSome supporters are still making their way into the stadium this afternoon and they have not missed much in the opening four minutes. Betis are enjoying decent possession, without really threatening to test Atletico's inexperienced central defence. Still goalless early on in Madrid.

6 minSmart running from Castro as the Betis striker breaks free inside the Atletico box and the pass from Montoya is excellent, but Lucas is across at the vital moment to clear for a corner to the visitors.

8 minNot an awful lot to report in terms of chances in the opening eight minutes, but Betis are currently the team on the front foot. They are moving the ball very quickly in the final third and Atletico are just struggling to find their own rhythm, although smart running from Torres takes his side up the field.

9 minHalf-chance for the home side as Augusto's header falls to Saul inside the Betis box, but the midfielder's header was always over the crossbar. Poor marking from the visitors there!

10 minCROSSBAR! Adan is tested for the first time this afternoon as Griezmann goes through on goal, but the Betis stopper is down to make a smart save. The ball rebounds to Koke, but his header hits the top of the crossbar before bouncing over! Much better from the home side here.

12 minBetis have a free kick in a dangerous area as Griezmann brings Ceballos to the ground...

14 min... Cejudo takes the set piece, but his effort was always moving wide of Oblak's post.

16 minJust a few signs that Atletico are warming to their task this afternoon as they start to find a rhythm in the final third, but Betis are also dangerous when they have the chance to push men forward.

18 minStill goalless with 18 minutes on the clock, but it is a very open game as both teams continue to play at a quick pace in the final third of the field. Saul finds space down the left and attempts to poke a pass into Torres, but Betis break away with Musonda, who is full of pace and purpose here.

21 minPossession football for Betis as they continue to grow in confidence, but they are finding it difficult to fashion chances in the final third. Atletico's main threat is coming on the counter and then they manage to force the ball wide, but N'Diaye is doing an excellent job in front of his defence.

23 minThe Betis supporters are in fine voice at the moment as they continue to create a brilliant atmosphere inside the Calderon. Plenty of snappy passing from both sides, but neither team has come close to scoring since Koke headed onto the top of the crossbar in the 10th minute.

23 minCeballos looks in trouble for Betis as he stays down following a challenge with Saul...

24 min... the magic sponge seems to have worked and the number 10 is back on his feet in Madrid.

26 minBetis are pretty comfortable at the moment as they continue to enjoy possession of the ball and when they do lose it, N'Diaye has been quickly across to stamp out the Atletico threat.

28 minAtletico work a free kick short and eventually Griezmann drives down the right, but Westermann is across to make the clearance and another promising attack comes to a close. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be vital in terms of the final result here.

30 minSaul flicks a Gabi free kick towards Adan's goal, but the ball was always dropping wide of the post. It has been an entertaining 30 minutes here, but clear chances have been very hard to find.

33 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of minutes, with the referee forced to intervene following some late challenges. The latest foul hands Betis the chance to threaten from a wide set piece, but Augusto is on hand to clear with a super header. Still all square in the capital.

35 minTorres looks to use his burst of speed to run away from Molinero, but the Betis full-back gets back well and Gabi is forced to concede the free kick. It has been a solid performance from Betis here.

37 minGOAL! Atletico 1-0 Betis (Torres)

38 minAtletico make the breakthrough in the 37th minute of action as Torres collects a super through pass from Koke before lifting his effort over the onrushing Adan - super, super goal for Atletico!

40 minThe game needed something like that and it was a wonderful pass and wonderful finish. Betis have been pretty comfortable for long spells of this match, but will now need to open up if they are to get back in the contest. Torres's goal has certainly raised the noise levels inside the stadium.

42 minGOAL! Atletico 2-0 Betis (Griezmann)

43 minAtletico have their second of the match in the 42nd minute as Griezmann's chip into the box, which was meant for Koke, is missed by Adan and simply rolls into the back of the net! It must go down as a terrible mistake from the goalkeeper, but Atletico will not mind as they take a 2-0 lead.

44 minSAVE! Adan uses his legs to prevent Torres from making it 3-0 here!

45 min+1SAVE! Another save from Adan as he keeps out Griezmann's close-range header!

45 min+2HALF-TIME: Atletico 2-0 Betis

3.47pmWell, Betis were quite comfortable for the opening 35 minutes of that first period, but they could well have entered the break four or five goals behind. It is 2-0 to Atletico courtesy of goals from Torres and Griezmann, but both came very close to scoring again in the final moments of the half!

3.52pmSTATISTICS! Incredibly, Betis have actually just shaded the possession with 52%, but they only managed one attempt on target in that first 45 minutes. Atletico, meanwhile, hit the target five times from their nine attempts. Just the one yellow card - Koke in the book for infringement.

3.57pmBENCH WATCH! Atletico boss Simeone might well look to rest some key players in the second period and the Argentine has the likes of Correa, Gamez, Kranevitter and Thomas on his bench this afternoon. Betis, meanwhile, have attacking options in the shape of Damiao, Petros and Portillo.

4pmIt has been another fine half for Antoine Griezmann...

Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring during the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid on February 27, 2016© Getty Images

46 minRESTART! Here we go then - both sets of players re-join us on the pitch for the second period. Can Betis find a route back into the match? We shall see! Atletico resume the action in the capital...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise at this stage of events. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind for this second period.

48 minSAVE! Wonderful goalkeeping from Oblak as the Atletico stopper somehow keeps out a close-range header from Westermann, before denying the defender at the second attempt!

49 minBETIS SUB! Kadir replaces Ruiz in Betis' first change here.

51 minIn fairness to Betis, they are really forcing the issue at the moment as they continue to commit players in the final third. Atletico seem to have taken their eye off the ball in the early stages of this half and that will not go down well with Simeone, who has been forced to his feet on the touchline.

53 minCejudo goes down inside the Atletico box under pressure from Juanfran, but the referee is not interested. Cejudo is certainly the player looking most likely to make something happen here.

55 minJuanfran delivers a super cross towards the far post where Saul is waiting, but Molinero is on hand to produce a fine defensive header and clear the danger for a corner. The visitors manage to break forward with Musonda, but the attack does not last long as Atletico close the door once again.

56 minSAVE! Torres sends Griezmann away and the Frenchman is one-on-one with Adan, but the Betis stopper is quick off his line and manages to get a vital touch to the ball!

58 minAtletico have almost turned a switch and now they are the team threatening to score the game's third goal. Betis had made the better start to the half, but the tide is starting to turn once again.

60 minBETIS SUB! Damiao replaces Cejudo in Betis' second change of the game.

62 minLittle under 30 minutes of football remaining in this La Liga contest and as it stands, Atletico are moving six points behind the league leaders Barcelona ahead of El Clasico at Camp Nou tonight.

62 minBOOKING! Pezzella (Betis) is booked for fouling Torres just outside the box.

63 minKoke delivers the resulting free kick onto the head of Torres, but Adan makes a comfortable stop.

64 minATLETICO SUB! Correa replaces Torres in Atletico's first change.

64 minBOOKING! Kadir (Betis) is booked following an altercation with Luis.

65 minGOAL! Atletico 3-0 Betis (Juanfran)

66 minJuanfran gets his name on the scoresheet for Atletico this afternoon as the Spanish right-back collects a wonderful pass from Correa before firing past Adan from inside the box!

68 minSAVE! A Koke free kick almost catches out Adan at his bottom corner, but the Betis stopper manages to make the save and prevent Atletico from adding a fourth goal here.

69 minATLETICO SUB! Thomas replaces Saul in Atletico's second change.

72 minBETIS SUB! Betis' third change sees Xavi Torres replace Musonda.

74 minPOST! Thomas breaks free inside the Betis box and looks to place his effort into the bottom corner, but the midfielder hits the post and it bounces clear! Should have been 4-0!

74 minBOOKING! Xavi Torres (Betis) is booked for a late challenge on Gabi.

76 minLittle under 15 minutes of football remaining and Atletico are not finished here as they continue to commit players in the final third. Where has this open and expensive Atletico come from then!

78 minATLETICO SUB! Kranevitter replaces Augusto in Atletico's final change here.

79 minGOAL! Atletico 3-1 Betis (Castro)

80 minNow then! Game on! Well, not quite. But Betis have a goal back here as Castro takes advantage of a loose piece of goalkeeping from Oblak before sending his effort home from inside the box!

81 minGOAL! Atletico 4-1 Betis (Griezmann)

82 minThe Betis defence parts again and Correa has all the time in the world to pick out Griezmann, who cannot miss from close range. Adan got a hand on the ball, but it still dropped over the line!

85 minIt has been a very impressive performance from Atletico, especially when considering the players that they have missing, especially at the back. Betis have really struggled in defensive areas here.

87 minJust a reminder that it is El Clasico at Camp Nou tonight and you can join me from 5.30pm for live build-up to events in Barcelona. Atletico will be able to relax and watch that game now!

89 minLittle over one minute of normal time remaining in Madrid and Atletico are keeping hold of possession inside the Betis half. Thomas has impressed since entering in the 69th minute here.

90 min+1We are into the first of three additional minutes here.

90 min+1GOAL! Atletico 5-1 Betis (Thomas)

90 min+2I said that Thomas had been impressive and the midfielder gets his name on the scoresheet here as he converts a low Griezmann cross form close range. Not sure about the defending there!

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Atletico 5-1 Betis

4.51pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Atletico running out 5-1 winners on home soil over a poor Betis team. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action once again and be sure to join me from 5.30pm for live build-up to El Clasico. See you then!

Thomas Partey for Almeria on August 29, 2014
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