La Liga

Falcao strikes as Atletico tops Betis

Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid continued their impressive start in La Liga Wednesday night at Sevilla.
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Atletico Madrid won 4-2 at nine-man Real Betis to rise to second place in the Spanish league on Wednesday, with Radamel Falcao scoring a double to become the leading scorer.

Falcao inspired the comeback and cancelled out Salvador Agra's bizarre opener before Juan Carlos nudged Betis ahead before half-time.

But the free-scoring Colombian made it 10 goals from six games with a penalty following Damien Perquis' professional foul just after half-time to make it 2-2 before Diego Costa put the visitors ahead in the 55th minute.

Raul Garcia then sealed a fourth straight win in the 90th minute after Joel Campbell's late dismissal.

Atletico midfielder Gabi whipped a speculative strike over the crossbar as both teams sized each other up, and then Arda Turan tested Betis goalkeeper Casto with a drive from distance.

But it was the hosts who took the lead in the 26th minute.

Agra's misleading cross evaded all his team-mates and crucially, Atletico keeper Sergio Asenjo, as the ball somehow ended up in the net.

The lasted just two minutes though as Falcao swept in Garcia's cross from six yards to make it 1-1 and Atletico might have edged ahead if Cristian Rodriguez had kept a snapshot on target.

Casto repelled efforts from Garcia and Falcao and it seemed Betis would settle for parity at the break.

But Juan Carlos thought differently, taking aim and beating Asenjo from just outside the box before the half-time whistle sounded.

Atletico were level again three minutes after the interval, though, Falcao placing his spot-kick out of reach after Perquis had been dismissed for hauling him down in the area.

There was concern for the visiting fans as Falcao went down injured in the 52nd minute, Costa his replacement, but their fears was allayed somewhat as the new man made an instant impact.

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Joao Miranda wriggled free down the right wing to tee up the Brazilian, who clipped underneath Casto to give Atletico the lead for the first time.

Betis boss Pepe Mel threw Arsenal loanee Campbell into the fray, but the Jamaican striker picked up a booking for a foul on Juanfran just four minutes after his arrival.

And Campbell received a second yellow and his marching orders in the 78th minute when the referee called deliberate handball.

There was no way back for Betis from that point and Garcia duly added gloss to the comeback by putting Turan's cute pass away deep into stoppage time.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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