2020-2021 LaLiga
  • Marcos Llorente (46')
  • Luis Suárez (90'+1')
  • Martín Montoya (74')

Atletico see off Betis after Simeone tactical switch

Atletico Madrid players celebrate after scoring a goal against Real Betis in La Liga. Getty Images

Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 2-0 at home on Saturday in La Liga thanks to goals from Marcos Llorente and Luis Suarez after coach Diego Simeone sprung a double change at half-time.

Llorente put Atletico in front at the start of the second half, tearing into the box from the left wing and tucking the ball inside the near post from a tight angle.

- Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)

Betis had played well in the first half and dominated the ball. However, Atletico took control of the game after Simeone hauled off Lucas Torreira and Thomas Lemar for Yannick Carrasco and Hector Herrera for the second period, instantly giving the team more pace and purpose in midfield.

"Betis made things very difficult for us and we struggled in the first half, but we went out in the second half with the same mentality and were lucky to score very quickly and that gave us oxygen," said Llorente.

"Simeone believes in us and we believe in him. We also believe in ourselves and together we make a very strong union. We made that clear today and we've got a victory we really needed."

The visitors were reduced to 10 men with 20 minutes remaining when Martin Montoya was sent off for hauling down Carrasco. The referee initially gave the defender a booking before he revised the play in a VAR review and changed it to a straight red card.

Suarez then struck in stoppage time after combining well with left back Renan Lodi to clinch a therapeutic victory for Atletico after Wednesday's 4-0 thrashing by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

It was Suarez's fourth goal in five league games for Atletico, tying him for the La Liga lead.

The win took Atletico, who are unbeaten in a club record 21 games in La Liga, into second in the standings on 11 points after five games, two behind Real Madrid who beat Barcelona 3-1 earlier on Saturday in the "Clasico."

Spanish Primera División Standings

1 Atletico Madrid 35 +39 77
2 Barcelona 35 +47 75
3 Real Madrid 34 +34 74
4 Sevilla FC 34 +22 70
5 Real Sociedad 35 +18 56
6 Villarreal 34 +13 52
7 Real Betis 34 -3 51
8 Athletic Bilbao 35 +8 46
9 Granada 34 -12 45
10 Celta Vigo 34 -5 44
11 Cádiz 35 -19 43
12 Osasuna 35 -10 41
13 Levante 35 -10 39
14 Valencia 34 -8 36
15 Getafe 35 -15 34
16 Alavés 35 -24 32
17 Real Valladolid 34 -14 31
18 Huesca 35 -19 30
19 Elche 35 -23 30
20 Eibar 35 -19 29