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Atletico Madrid beat Espanyol, extend home unbeaten run

Atletico Madrid beat Espanyol 2-0 on Sunday to extend their unbeaten home streak in the Spanish league to 24 games.

Associated Press http://jaspreet_sahni

Updated:October 19, 2014, 5:21 PM IST
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Atletico Madrid beat Espanyol, extend home unbeaten run
Atletico Madrid beat Espanyol 2-0 on Sunday to extend their unbeaten home streak in the Spanish league to 24 games.

Atletico Madrid brushed aside Espanyol 2-0 to extend their unbeaten home streak in the Spanish league to 24 games on Sunday, while Deportivo La Coruna beat Valencia 3-0 for its first defeat of the season.

Atletico limited Espanyol to one shot on goal and earned 12 corners to just one for the overmatched visitors.

Goalkeeper Miguel Moya saved Espanyol's sole chance by Lucas Vazquez in the 13th minute, and midfielder Tiago Cardoso put Atletico ahead in the 43rd when he floated a header over goalkeeper Kiko Casilla from Gabi Fernandez's pass.

Atletico have excelled at set pieces under coach Diego Simeone and finished off Espanyol with a corner kick in the 71st, which was headed on by center backs Diego Godin and Jose Jimenez before Mario Suarez tapped the ball in.

The defending champion rose to fourth place, level on points with third-placed Valencia at five points behind leader Barcelona.

"My team played the game it had to play, controlling the pace of the match and our rival throughout," said Simeone. "We attacked constantly and were patient until the first goal arrived and dominated the second half."

Espanyol's first defeat in five rounds left it in the middle of the table. The team lost forward Sergio Garcia to an apparent leg injury.

Atletico have scored 10 of its 14 league goals from set pieces, with nine of its goals coming from headers.

"We work hard at our set pieces and it is paying off," Suarez said.

Atletico's last league loss at the Vicente Calderon Stadium was in May 2013.

Deportivo entered the round in last place after losing four straight games and hosting a Valencia side that had yet to lose.

In need of a win, first-year coach Victor Fernandez revamped his starting 11 with several changes.

The decision worked and Deportivo outplayed the visitors throughout, pressuring up the pitch and never letting Valencia's midfield connect with striker Paco Alcacer.

Haris Medunjanin almost put Deportivo ahead with a free kick that hit the crossbar and bounced off the back of goalkeeper Yoel Rodriguez's head before falling outside the upright.

But the resulting corner kick gave the hosts the lead in the 36th when the ball eventually went in after ricocheting off Valencia's Shkodran Mustafi, the bar and fellow defender Jose Gaya's arm.

Lucas Perez took Deportivo's second goal in the 43rd to cap a perfect debut for his hometown team at the age of 26. Striker Ivan Cavaleiro headed the ball on for the forward to fire in off the far post.

Valencia manager Nuno Espirito Santo made two changes at halftime, but the closest his team would come to scoring was Antonio Barragan's deflected pass that found the post before Deportivo substitute Jose Toche put the result beyond doubt on the break in the 79th.

Barcelona are the only team yet to lose through eight rounds.

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