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Atletico extends unbeaten run with 3-0 win over Alaves in La Liga action

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Madrid, Dec 8 (IANS) Atletico Madrid stretched its impressive unbeaten streak in the Spanish football league with a 3-0 home victory over Deportivo Alaves in La Liga match-day 15 on Saturday.

Atletico has been undefeated at home at Wanda Metropolitano stadium this season and provisionally jumped to the second position in the league standings behind La Liga defending champion Barcelona, reports Efe news.

Atletico put an end to the resistance of Alaves after depending on counterattacks and thanks to one goal from forward Nikola Kalinic in the first half and two second-half goals from forward Antoine Griezmann and midfielder Rodrigo Hernandez, respectively.

Both teams sought to open the scoring from the very beginning until Kalinic gave his side a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute after following a cross sent by teammate Santiago Arias from the right side.

Atletico continued to dominate the game with ball possession, but it lost the efforts of its left-back Lucas Hernandez, who had to leave the field in the 35th minute after suffering an injury to his right knee when was he was vying for the ball with Alaves’ forward Jonathan Calleri.

After failing to net the equaliser before the half time, Alaves continued to fight back in the second half, while the post prevented a header by Atletico defender Jose Gimenez.

Atletico netted two goals in the last eight minutes of the match to smash hopes of Alaves and secure the win, as Vitolo led a counterattack finished successfully by Griezmann in the 82nd, as the latter followed the ball that hit the post to find the back of the net.

Just five minutes later, Rodrigo managed to follow up the ball saved by Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco Flores to score the third goal with a short-range shot inside the penalty box and seal the 3-0 win.

Atletico is now in the second position with 28 points, on goal difference behind leader Barcelona, which is set to be hosted by Espanyol later on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Alaves provisionally holds the fourth position with 24 points after failing to earn a single win in its last three matches.

–IANS
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Declaration of poll schedule to expedite candidate selection, alliances

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New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) With the Election Commission announcing the Lok Sabha poll schedule on Sunday, political parties are expected to expedite the process of candidate selection as also that of forming alliances in the next few days.

While the Congress has come with its first list of 15 candidates that includes names of party chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party is yet to come up with its first list, which is expected this week.

The opposition parties in Bihar have not yet announced their grand alliance in the state. There has also been no formal announcement of a tie-up in Jammu and Kashmir as also in West Bengal.

In Delhi, though the ruling Aam Aadmi Party has declared its candidates on most of the seats and Congress has declared its intentions to fight separately, there is still speculation of the possibility of the two parties coming together.

The notification for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls will be made on March 18 and the last date of filing nominations is March 25. The polling of the first phase for 91 seats across 20 states will be held on April 11, almost a month from now.

The political parties are expected to draw out a detailed schedule of campaigning by their top leaders over the next few days as also give final touches to their manifestos.

–IANS
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