Out of Europe, Sevilla loses more ground in Spain

3/19/2017 1:14:19 PM

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Eliminated from the Champions League, Sevilla"s challenge for the Spanish league title appears almost over following a 3-1 loss at Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

A third round without a win left Sevilla in third place and seven points behind leader Real Madrid, which also has a game in hand.

The defeat at Atletico came five days after Sevilla failed to protect a 2-1 first-leg advantage and was eliminated from the Champions League Round of 16 after losing 2-0 at Leicester.

""After you have a very difficult loss and you play against one of the best teams in Spain, you are vulnerable, and we paid for it today,"" Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli said. ""We have to pull ourselves together for the last 10 rounds and find the path we were on.""

Atletico closed to within two points of Sevilla after Antoine Griezmann steered it to a third straight victory.

The France forward first crossed the ball for Diego Godin to head home in the 36th minute before Griezmann scored from a free kick taken well outside the area in the 61st.

The goal was Griezmann"s fifth in a four-round scoring run and took his tally to 14 in the competition and 22 overall this season.

Jorge ""Koke"" Resurreccion put the result beyond doubt in the 77th before Sevilla got a consolation goal from Joaquin Correa with six minutes to play.

In a match-up of two of the league"s most respected coaches, Diego Simeone came out on top over fellow Argentine Sampaoli.

Atletico lost defender Sime Vrsaljko to a left-knee injury in the opening minutes of the match.

Second-placed Barcelona hosts Valencia later, trailing Madrid by five points.



Iago Aspas scored in the 74th as Celta Vigo won a regional derby at Deportivo La Coruna.



Malaga"s 0-0 draw at Leganes left both sides on the brink of the relegation zone.

Sporting Gijon scored three goals in an eight-minute span to beat Granada 3-1 and climb to within five points of Leganes. Granada remained in second-to-last place ahead of Osasuna.