MADRID: France winger Antoine Griezmann headed home two goals as Atletico de Madrid launched their new year with a 3-1 win Liga victory over Levante to maintain pressure on leaders and neighbours Real.
New loan signing Fernando Torres watched from the stands as Griezeman claimed his first from a deflected Guilherme Siqueira cross after 18 minutes and his second just after half-tijme wjen keeper Diego Marin failed to hold a shot from Mario Mandzukic.
Griezmann thus extended the goal-scoring form which saw him secure a hat-trick in Atletico’s final game before Christmas against Athletic Bilbao.
Substitute Nabil El Zhar deflected an Ivan Lopez shot into the net for sixth-from-bottom Levante before Diego Godin sealed the win with eight minutes to go thanks to another header.
Atletico are third and level on 38 points with Barcelona, who face Real Sociedad on Sunday when leaders Real Madrid, a point clear, take on Valencia looking to extend their 22-match winning streak.
In England the FA Cup third round brought Tony Pulis a perfect debut as manager of West Bromwich Albion in place of sacked Alan Irvine. The former Stoke and Crystal Palace boss saw his new team Gateshead of the fifth division by 7-0.
England under-21 forward Saido Berahino scored four goals. Berahino has been linked with a move to Liverpool but possible transfer talks have been delayed while he awaits a court appearance on a drink-driving charge.
HOLLAND: Champions Ajax Amsterdam have signed teenage goalkeeper Andre Onana from Barcelona on a three-year contract. The 18-year-old, originally from Cameroon, has has been in Barcelona’s youth system since 2010 and played against Ajax in November in the UEFA Youth League.