SEVILLE, SPAIN - DECEMBER 18: Lucas Ocampos of Sevilla celebrates after scoring their team's second goal during the LaLiga Santander match between Sevilla FC and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on December 18, 2021 in Seville
Lucas Ocampos scored a late winner for Sevilla over Atletico Madrid to narrow the gap on Real Madrid at the top of La Liga to five points.
A Felipe header looked to have given Atletico Madrid a share of the points at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, but Julen Lopetegui’s side found a winner on 88 minutes to boost their title hopes.
While Atleti started on the front foot, it was Sevilla who opened the scoring after seven minutes when Ivan Rakitic struck a thunderous effort into the top corner of Jan Oblak’s net from outside the box.
Atletico Madrid responded just after the half-hour mark when Felipe got on the end of a Thomas Lemar corner kick delivery to head past Bono and restore parity for the visitors.
A cagey second half saw few opportunities created by either team with tensions raised on the pitch and on the touchline, where Diego Simeone was spoken to by the referee.
And Simeone’s mood darkened further when Ocampos reacted quickest at a corner kick to slam a powerful shot past Oblak who was unable to keep the ball out of his net as Sevilla opened up an eight-point advantage over the defending champions.
TALKING POINT - Sevilla are Real Madrid’s only remaining title rival
Real Madrid will have the opportunity to extend their lead over Atletico Madrid to 16 points with a win over Cadiz on Sunday evening with Barcelona a long way off the top of the La Liga table. This leaves Sevilla, who went some way to proving their credentials with this victory over the defending champions, as Real Madrid’s only remaining title rival. If Lopetegui’s side are to become Spanish champions, this might be their best opportunity.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla)
Rakitic lit up this match with an arrow of a strike that found the top corner of the Atletico Madrid net after seven minutes and the Croatian was the best player on the pitch throughout. He gives Sevilla so much in the centre of the pitch, driving the home team forward and providing goal threat with his shooting in and around the box. Atleti struggled to handle him.
SEVILLA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 18: Ivan Rakitic of Sevilla FC celebrates 1-0 with Papu Gomez of Sevilla FC during the La Liga Santander match between Sevilla v Atletico Madrid at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on December 18, 2021 in Sevilla Spain (Photo by
Atletico Madrid - Oblak 6, Trippier 6, Felipe 7, Kondogbia 5, Hermoso 5, Carrasco 6, Koke 5, Llorente 3, Lemar 7, Correa 6, Suarez 3. Subs - de Paul 4, Felix 7, Cunha 6.
7’ GOAL! Sevilla 1-0 Atletico Madrid: What a goal! Rakitic gives Sevilla the lead within the opening seven minutes and that is one of the goals of the season in La Liga! The space opened up for the Croatian midfielder and he lashed home a finish! It flew into the top corner! Oblak had no chance!
33’ GOAL! Sevilla 1-1 Atletico Madrid: An equaliser! Felipe timed his run perfectly and met a corner kick delivery into the box to head past Bono! That goal had been coming. Atletico Madrid have grown since the opener and now they are back on level terms after Felipe's goal.
88’ GOAL! Sevilla 2-1 Atletico Madrid: Is that the winner? Sevilla have taken the lead in the final minute of normal time! A header came off the crossbar from the corner kick and Ocampos reacted quickest, smashing home a finish that Oblak couldn't keep out of his net.
90+3’ Off the bar! Inches away from an incredible equaliser! Felix might have been crossing, but his effort nearly caught out Bono who was beaten! The ball comes back off the crossbar!
Luis Suarez has now played seven consecutive games without scoring (all competitions), his worst run since he arrived in Spain in 2014.
Ivan Rakitic became the second-top scoring Croatian player in La Liga history after Davor Suker.
Atletico Madrid have now lost three consecutive La Liga games for the first time under Diego Simeone.