Simeone is animating the crowd and telling them to enjoy these final minutes. Spanish TV try to interview Diego Costa at the final whistle but he perhaps wisely runs off into the changing rooms. He scored the winning goal, wound up the Betis players with a foul or two of his own and then survived a series of retaliation attempts by the visiting side. Moral victory?
- 2nd Half
- PabónJorge Molina63'
Atlético Madrid - Real Betis
Spanish Liga - 4 February 2013
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Now Amaya has disgustingly spat in Diego Costa's face off the ball. Hope the Spanish league authorities pick up on that. Horrible.
The ball in from the free kick reaches who else but Diego Costa and Amaya tackles him fairly but very hard. Costa stays down and the Betis players try to pick him up.
Now Nacho fouls Raul Garcia on the right and Atletico Madrid will take their time over this free kick.
A long cross field ball by Betis' Nacho goes striaght out for a throw in. Betis running out of ideas.
Ateltico are sitting deep and are happy to just protect this one goal lead.
Raul Garcia and Juanfran work the ball down the right but eventually the cross in from the latter goes straight to Adrian.
Diego Costa is now playing as a lone striker for the hosts as they look to keep things tight and close the gap at the top of the table to nine points following Barcelona's draw earlier.
Well that goal from Diego Costa is the difference at the moment and Atletico will hope their usually solid defence can see them through these final few minutes.
Guillermo Molins, on loan at Betis from Anderlecht, comes on for Campbell.
Falcao looked sharp again but is not quite ready for a full 90 minutes. A shame as it's a joy to watch him and Diego Costa at work together.
Falcao's night comes to an end and Raul Garcia comes on for Atletico to replace the hit man.
Nacho becomes the fourth Betis player in less than ten minutes to be booked as he floors Miranda. Atletico played the advantage with Falcao supplying Rodriguez who shot just wide.
Now Amaya has floored Diego Costa but the striker thrives on this sort of encounter.
Diego Costa is being targeted by the Betis players after a foul on Cañas just before Perez went in on Rodriguez.
It's all got out of hand here and it's a surprise no-one has been red carded yet.
Cañas was saving that one up for Diego Costa and he flies in on the Brazilian and gets booked.
Miranda for Atletico was also booked for his involvement in that 'coming together' of players. This is silly, can we have some football please?
Perez is unsurprisingly angered and flies in on Rodriguez. Then Perquis runs the length of the field to join in an ensuing scuffle. Perez and Perquis get deserved yellow cards.
Then Diego Costa shows his physical side with a nasty studs down shin attack on Ruben Perez.
Now Atletico make another change, Arda Turan departing to be replaced by Cristian 'Cebolla' Rodriguez.
Betis' reaction to the goal is a double change. Off go Pabon and Beñat and on come Jorge Molina and Pozuelo.
GOAL!!! Well that was a good substitution by Simeone as Diego Costa heads home from a yard out as the corner comes in from Koke.
Falcao shoots from way out and he low shot needs an alert near post save from Adrian. Corner for Atletico.
Diego Costa has just set up Koke for a shot on goal and is making the difference already. Koke shoots over under pressure.
What a player Diego Costa is to be able to bring off the bench. The Brazilian is often a game changer and doesn't get the credit he deserves alongside the remarkable Falcao in attack.
Nacho has a chance to shoot as he cuts in from the left for Betis but his shot goes straight to Courtois.
Diego Costa comes off the bench to replace Adrian for the home side as Diego Simeone looks to take the initiative.
But the sense is that an Atletico goal could be on the way as the momentum is building.
Ruben Perez read Juanfran's cross well to clear the danger and Betis get back in numbers to deal with the resulting corner.
But the exciting Juanfran soon makes up for his mistake with another good run and wins another corner.
An mix up between Koke and Juanfran on the right sees a promising Atletico Madrid attack come to a frustrating end.
Atletico captain brings down raiding Betis defender Nacho on the left, but the visitors are unable to work an opening from the resulting free kick.
Juanfran skips up the right wing and wins a corner, but the cross which subsequently comes in is straight into the arms of Adrian.
New feature Dorlan Pabon, who is on loan with Betis from Parma, hits a shot way wide of the left hand post of the Atletico goal from the edge of the box.
The substitutes from both sides are warming up on the sidelines but neither manager has made any changes at half time.
The hosts restart the game and launch the ball forward on the right but soon give the ball away and Betis push forward.
Arda Turan is not happy after receiving a kick from Antonio Amaya on the left wing, but Atletico do nothing with the free kick. Betis will be the happier of the two sides as the half reaches its conclusion.
Gabi takes the free kick but it is wasted as Campbell heads clear at the near post.
Juanfran is fouled on the right wing and Atletico have a free kick.
And now Adrian under no pressure at all plays the ball straight out for a throw in when he has all the time in the world to pick out a teammate or play a long ball forward.
Betis 'keeper Adrian has just come out and cleared the ball with another one of his flapping punches.
A good spell of possession finally for Betis who are pushing forward via Campbell and Castro, but eventually Juanfran gets a foot in for the home team.
The Vicente Calderon stadium is not full tonight, but the Atletico faithful are making plenty of noise as usual.
A corner for Atletico taken by Koke on the right eventually falls to Suarez on the edge of the box and he hits a half volley wide of the right hand post.
Betis, by the way, also went down 3-0 last weekend, on their visit to nearby Rayo Vallecano.
Falcao has just clipped the heels of Betis defender Nacho who looks to be in pain initially but eventually gets up and the free kick is taken.
Ruben Perez is playing in the middle of the Betis midfield and is on loan with the Seville club from... Atletico Madrid. He's soon back on his feet after that unintentional knock from Suarez.
Atletico's Mario Suarez has just smashed a forearm into the face of Ruben Perez and Betis have a free kick.
Betis may take heart from Atletico’s 3-0 trouncing by Athletic Bilbao last Sunday, although that was an away fixture and they were without Falcao.
Campbell pushes forward on the left for Betis but is well marked by Juanfran who sees the ball out for a goal kick.
To be fair to Betis they are putting just as much pressure on Atletico when the hosts have possession, meaning there is no rhythm to the game at present as it's too high paced.
That was a momentary lapse but Atletico’s defence is one of the tightest in La Liga and the cup goal conceded to Sevilla on Thursday ended a spell of ten consecutive home clean sheets in all competitions.
Joel Campbell almost plays in Ruben Castro for a clear chance on goal but the alert Juanfran is just close enough to get in Castro's way and Atletico somehow clear the danger.
Falcao is doing his usual grafting up front for the home side, returning to the side tonight after a short spell on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury.
Betis are the second team to visit Los Rojiblancos from Andalusia this week as Sevilla were in town for a cup semi-final first leg fixture in midweek. Atletico were 2-1 winners on the night and it is worth noting that the penalty scored by Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo was the first goal that the Madrid side had conceded in front of their home fans since early November.
That's because Atletico are working so hard and are pressing to win the ball back quickly any time Betis get any possession.
Betis are trying patiently to build and to get their new signing Dorlan Pabon into the game. The Columbian is playing in a central attacking role but hasn't seen much of the ball so far.
Atletico attack on the left and Domingo Cisma plays a lovely one-two pass back to Arda Turan who again should do better with the final product. He shoots wide right with plenty of option available.
Atletico Madrid’s home form in all competitions over the last year is excellent – it is nearly ten months since they have suffered a defeat on home territory and they have won 22 of their last 23 matches at the Vicente Calderon.
Ruben Castro goes on a solo run forward for Betis but is eventually stopped by that man Godin.
The excellent Diego Godin at centre half for Atletico plays a long ball forward to Arda Turan and the Turkish player crosses for Falcao but Betis clear the danger before the 'Tiger' can react.
The last time these two sides met in La Liga Atletico emerged 4-2 winners at the Manuel Ruiz de Lopera Stadium down in Seville in September.
Betis are slowing the game down a little with some passes around the back in defence, after a frantic start to this encounter.
In Betis’ cup visit to Atletico the Andalusian side left on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline and could only hold their opponents to a 1-1 draw in the return leg.
This could be a long night for Betis goalkeeper Adrian judging by the opening ten minutes.
It's all about Adrian at the moment as he flaps at a corner and then makes a good save from a wicked driven Gabi half volley.
Again Betis flood forward for a corner and leave themselves short at the back at the hosts counter attack. Arda Turan gets a chance to shoot from inside the box and Adrian has to make a good save.
Koke takes ages to take the resulting free kick and when he does it's hit too high over the wall and over the crossbar.
Betis waste a corner and Atletico go on the counter attack. Damien Perquis can't cope with Falcao and fouls him as the striker turns on the edge of the box.
Betis will have to be on top of their game to secure a result in this game, given their recent record against Atletico and given their hosts’ superb home form in all competitions.
That should have been a goal. Arda Turan is a highly talented player and it was surprising to see him try a little chip shot when he should have buried it past Adrian, who in fairness was alert and made a good save.
What a chance! Arda Turan is played clear through by Juanfran and Falcao but he shoots straight at Betis goalkeeper Adrian.
After facing each other over two legs in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals in January, these two sides know each other well and are aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Both sides are in their usual colours, so that's Atletico in red and white shirts and Betis in their famous green and white shirts. Betis take the kick off and we're underway!
With Barcelona having been held 1-1 by Valencia, Atletico have a chance to close the gap on the Liga leaders to nine points - and also pull seven clear of Real Madrid in third.
TEAMS: Atletico - Courtois, Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Cisma, Mario, Gabi, Arda, Koke, Adrián, Falcao.. /// Betis - Adrian, Chica, Amaya, Perquis, Nacho, Cañas, Rubén Pérez, Beñat, Pabón, Campbell, Rubén Castro.
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