La Liga - Forlan helps Atletico to first win of year

Mon, 17 Jan 22:02:00 2011

Diego Forlan was on target as Atletico Madrid moved up to sixth in La Liga with a 3-0 win over Real Mallorca that saw both teams finish with ten men.

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Valera headed home the opener with his first goal in over two years on 13 minutes before Uruguay striker Forlan sprung the offside trap to slip home the second 11 minutes before the break.

Former Arsenal midfielder Jose Antonio Reyes slid the ball through the legs of visiting keeper Dudu Aouate for the third of the night in the final action of the match deep into time added on.

The game was never a kicking match, yet the referee somehow contrived to send two players off in the second half.

Home keeper David De Gea dived to save Pierro Webo's penalty after Antonio Lopez was sent packing for hauling down Emilio Nsue midway through the half.

Jonathan De Guzman joined him up the tunnel for a clumsy late tackle on home substitute Juanfran eight minutes from time.

Atletico were always in command in snaring their first win of the year against a Mallorca side who lacked the necessary incisiveness to cut through the home team despite their best intentions.

The home team never really looked back after Reyes picked out Valera to head high into the net from a corner, but Forlan showed what was to come when he thumped a volley narrowly over the bar on 20 minutes.

Mallorca could only threaten sporadically, but De Gea was forced to make a superb stop to halt Webo's effort on 29 minutes.

Fran Merida played in Forlan to score the second goal of the game after Valera had appeared to handle in his own area at the other end.

De Guzman saw a free-kick nudged over the bar by De Gea on 52 minutes, while Aouate did likewise with a shot from Reyes at the other end.

De Gea recovered from his blunders against Hercules in last week's 4-1 defeat as he dived to his left to pull off a stunning save from Webo's penalty.

It was to prove to be Mallorca's last notable chance to avoid defeat.

This match completed the first half of La Liga with every side having played 19 games of the 38-game campaign.

Madrid visiting Sporting Gijon on Sunday, while Mallorca must lift themselves for a daunting trip to Real Madrid, who are likely to improve from their toils in the 1-1 draw with bottom side Almeria over the weekend.


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