La Liga: Sevilla too much for bad-tempered Betis
Kevin Gameiro nets both goals in 2-0 win at Benito Villamarin Stadium
French forward Kevin Gameiro scored twice to help Sevilla win a bad-tempered derby at 10-man Real Betis 2-0 and stay in the hunt for Spain's final Champions League berth on Sunday.
Sevilla's victory at Benito Villamarin Stadium moved it to within three points of fourth-placed Athletic Bilbao before the Basque side hosts Malaga on Monday.
The loss left Betis languishing in last place, some 10 points from safety with five rounds to go.
"We maintained our attitude from recent matches that at least we can leave the pitch with our heads held high," Betis goalkeeper Adan Garrido said. "We will keep trying until the very end."
Betis had a feisty start but Sevilla struck first when Gameiro converted a penalty on the half-hour mark after Juan Carlos Perez was dismissed with a direct red card for fouling Carlos Bacca from behind.
Sevilla lost left back Alberto Moreno to an ankle injury after he collided with Jose Antonio Reyes at the end of a first half that saw several hard tackles.
Gameiro finally capitalized on Sevilla's manpower advantage by scoring again in the 82nd for his 13th league goal this season.
Unai Emery's Sevilla continues to enjoy a strong second half of the season as it aims for a return to Europe's top-tier competition. It advanced to the semifinals of the Europa League against Valencia after eliminating FC Porto earlier this week.
In other matches, Valencia goalkeeper Vicente Guaita saved a penalty to ensure a 2-1 win at home over Elche.
Valencia's Pablo Piatti opened in the 22nd before Ferran "Coro" Corominas levelled six minutes later.
Midfielder Dani Parejo's long strike restored Valencia's lead in the 61st, and Guaita blocked Damian Suarez's spot kick in the 71st after Piatti had fouled Cristian Herrera.
Valencia stayed in eighth place and seven points from seventh and the last Europa League spot, while Elche remained four points above the drop.
Valencia finished with 10 men after Antonio Barragan picked up a second booking in stoppage time.
Atletico Madrid 2, Getafe 0
Diego Costa was carried off with a bloody leg after scoring Atletico Madrid's second goal in a 2-0 win at 10-man Getafe on Sunday, although the team said its star striker escaped without a serious injury.
Atletico extended its Spanish league lead to three points with five rounds to play as it closes in on a surprising title.
Costa slammed into the post while poking in his 26th goal of the season in the 84th minute, opening a cut on his left shin and requiring the stadium's medical crew to carry him off the pitch while he covered his face and muffled his screams.
While his teammates looked distraught as he writhed on the pitch, Atletico said less than 10 minutes after the match on Twitter that "luckily Diego Costa only has a cut after hitting the post."
Despite the scare, Atletico took advantage of Barcelona's loss on Saturday to open up a three point lead over Real Madrid with Barcelona another point behind.
Defender Diego Godin gave Atletico the lead in the 40th before Getafe's Alexis Ruano was dismissed with a red card in the 66th, with goalkeeper Jordi Codina saving Diego Costa's penalty and Raul Garcia's follow-up try.
Atletico then applied the same stout defence that it used to eliminate Barcelona from the Champions League this week and earn a semifinal against Chelsea to keep Getafe in the relegation zone.
Costa was back in Atletico's starting 11 having recovered from a right thigh injury that sidelined him for two games.
The Brazilian-born player is having a breakout season that has earned him a spot on Vicente del Bosque's squad for Spain in this summer's World Cup.
He showed no signs of slowing down as he deployed the same physical style of play that has made him the revelation of the league this season, earning three fouls and two yellow cards for Getafe's defenders in the first half hour.
And after Codina blocked his penalty kick, Costa kept hustling and got his chance to pull to within two goals of league leader Cristiano Ronaldo when he slid to meet Adrian Lopez's cross.
The goal came at a high price, with his cries heard across the pitch at Alonso Perez Coliseum following his brutal collision with the upright.
Godin put Atletico in front when the defender rose up over his marker to guide in Juanfran Torres' cross with a well-placed header over Codina, who was caught off his line and yet nowhere near Godin.