Diego Costa, David Villa keep Atletico Madrid on Barcelona's heels

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Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa (C) heads the ball next to Granada's Manuel Rolando Iturra (R) during their Spanish First Division soccer match at Nuevo Los Carmenes stadium in Granada (Reuters) Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa (C) heads the ball next to Granada's Manuel Rolando Iturra (R) during their Spanish First Division soccer match at Nuevo Los Carmenes stadium in Granada (Reuters)
SummaryAtletico kept pace with Barcelona and restored their five-point lead over third-placed city rivals Real.

Atletico Madrid kept pace with leaders Barcelona and restored their five-point lead over third-placed city rivals Real when Diego Costa and David Villa each scored a penalty in a 2-1 win at Granada in La Liga on Thursday.

Atletico have won 10 of their 11 games this season, a record only bettered by unbeaten champions Barca, and their only setback was this month's 1-0 defeat at Espanyol.

They have 30 points in second place, with Barca, who won 3-0 at Celta Vigo on Tuesday, on 31 and Real, 7-3 winners at home to Sevilla on Wednesday, on 25.

Spain forward Villa won both of Atletico's penalties at Granada's Los Carmenes stadium, La Liga top scorer Costa netting the first in the 38th minute for his 12th goal of the campaign.

Villa converted his spot kick in the 78th before Atletico fullback Felipe Luis was shown a second yellow card and sent off and Odion Jude Ighalo pulled a goal back for the home side in the first minute of added time.

Getafe closed to within a point of fourth-placed Villarreal when they won 2-0 at the Madrigal after the home side had defender Pablo Iniguez dismissed just before the break.

Madrid-based Getafe, who have won five of their last six matches, have 19 points in fifth, with promoted Villarreal on 20.

The 12th round of matches begins on Friday when Barca host city rivals Espanyol (2000 GMT) at the Nou Camp.

Real play at struggling Madrid neighbours Rayo Vallecano on Saturday (1900) and Atletico host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday (1600).

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