La Liga, Week 19: Atletico Madrid strengthens their hold on second place

Denis Doyle

Atletico Madrid took firm control of second place, Real Betis took over a Champions League spot and Deportivo inched closer to escaping the relegation zone with a draw against Real Sociedad.

Here's a recap of the rest of the day's action in La Liga.

Atletico Madrid 2-1 Real Zaragoza

Atletico Madrid padded their lead over Real Madrid for second place in the league with a 2-0 defeat of Real Zaragonza.

Atleti took the lead in the 31st minute after Tiago out jumped his defender and headed Gabi's corner kick past Roberto Gago. Radamel Falcao added the second goal just seven minutes later, beating Gago from the penalty spot after Arda Turan was taken down in the box by Cristian Sapunaru.

It's Atletico's 16th straight win at home and they now lead their city rivals by seven points.

Real Betis 2-0 Levante

Real Betis moved two points clear of Malaga in to fourth place thanks to a 2-0 defeat of Levante.

Joel Campbell out Betis in the lead for good just seven minutes form the opening whistle, finishing a flourishing attack from Betis by burying a pass from Ruben Castro. Levate wasted a handful of chances to pull themselves back in the match, but it was Castro who closed the door in the 63rd minute. After receiving a pass from Perez Nacho, Castro spun around Levante's Sergio Ballesteros and beat Gustavo Munua to the bottom corner.

Levante, who going in to the day could have taken over fourth place themselves with a win, drop all the way to eight place.

Real Sociedad 1-1 Deportivo La Coruña

It was an interesting day for relegation battlers Deportivo who took an early lead, conceded right before halftime then survived a harrowing 27 minutes down a man to hold on for a point against Real Sociedad.

Pizzi have Deportivo the lead in the 27th minute but Carlos Vela equalized for Sociedad right before the halftime break. After a card-less first half, referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande handed out eight cards in a 20-minute strech in the second half, including two for Deportivo's Evaldo who was sent off in the 64th minute.

Despite the advantage, Sociedad couldn't find the winner and had to settle for a point. Deportivo stays out of last place but remains in the relegation zone, behind Granada and Mallorca.

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