Villa double helps Atlético close in on Barça

David Villa ended his seven-game scoring drought with a double as Atlético Madrid closed to within a point of Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a 5-0 win over Real Betis.

Villa double helps Atlético close in on Barça
Villa made the game safe with a quickfire brace just after half-time. Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP

Eighteen-year-old sensation Oliver Torres got the hosts off the perfect start on his full league debut with the fastest goal this season after just 13 seconds.

Villa then made the game safe with a quickfire brace just after half-time.

La Liga's top-scorer Diego Costa took his tally to 13 goals in 13 games in all competitions when he slotted home from Villa's pass 25 minutes from time before Gabi rounded off the scoring in stoppage time.

Torres had been handed a start in place of the injured Arda Turan and the Spanish Under-21 international was in the right place at the right time as he slotted home at the back post from Koke's cut-back.

Diego Godin should have made it two on 16 minutes when he was left in space inside the box but somehow headed Torres' perfect cross wide.

Costa also ought to have scored twice before half-time as he firstly slotted wide when clean through on goal and was then denied by Betis keeper Guillermo Sara who stood up well to turn his effort behind for a corner.

Sara had to be replaced by Stephan Andersen at half-time due to an injury, but the Dane's first job was to pick the ball out of the net as Villa neatly flicked home Costa's cross at the near post eight minutes after the restart.

And three minutes later Villa smashed home his fifth goal of the season after Koke's pass towards Torres deflected fortunately into his path.

Costa finally got the goal he craved when Villa's lovely through ball allowed him to plant a left-footed finish into the far corner.

He was then withdrawn with one eye on the upcoming league matches against Granada and Athletic Bilbao in mind, but Atlético still had one more goal in them when Gabi fired low into the corner with the last kick of the game.

Villarreal strengthened their hold on fourth spot with a 4-1 thrashing of Valencia at the Madrigal.

Early goals from Ikechukwu Uche and Hernan Perez put the hosts 2-0 up at half-time before a Giovanni Dos Santos double completed the rout after the break.

Real Sociedad continued their recovery with a 3-0 win over the still winless Almeria to move up to ninth.

Sevilla also moved into the top half of the table with a 2-1 win over 10-man Osasuna.

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Godin says he’s going nowhere despite reports of English interest

Centre-back Diego Godin said on Tuesday he wanted to stay with Atletico Madrid "for personal reasons", but that he is yet to extend his contract which expires in 2019.

Godin says he's going nowhere despite reports of English interest
Godin greets supporters during celebrations for their Europa League victory at the Fountain of Neptune in Madrid on May 18th 2018.

The Uruguayan international had been linked with a move to Manchester United before the English transfer window closed on August 9th.

“I received offers, but decided to stay for personal reasons,” the 32-year-old Godin told Movistar+.

“I have not yet extended (my contract). I've seen a lot of things in the  press, but now, what's important is to wait and concentrate on the (UEFA Super Cup) final.”

Europa League winners Atletico take on city rivals and Champions League holders Real Madrid in the Super Cup in Tallinn on Wednesday before the start of the La Liga season this weekend.

Godin has played 350 matches for Atletico since joining from Villarreal eight years ago, winning the Spanish league title in 2014, the Europa League in 2012 and earlier this year, and the 2013 Copa del Rey.

The capital-city club has a policy of “only extending the contracts of players over the age of 30 on an annual basis”, according to Spanish sports daily AS.