Atletico Madrid coasted to all three points with a 2-0 win against Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.
Sevilla started brightly with Isco running the show from midfield and Erik Lamela looking lively on the right flank, but couldn’t capitalise on their early dominance.
And while the home fans rallied behind their side, the cheers turned to jeers when Marcos Llorente gave the visitors the lead after 30 minutes.
Koke, who broke the record for most Atletico appearances in Sevilla, found Llorente on the edge of the box before the midfielder jinked past his marker and rifled past Yassine Bono.
Llorente almost had a second after lashing against the side netting, but Sevilla kept within touching distance at the break.
Once again, the hosts started well and went close through Isco and Oliver Torres as Atletico played with fire in defence.
But minutes later, Diego Simeone’s side doubled their lead after more chaotic defending from Sevilla, with Alvaro Morata bundling through defence before lobbing Bono for 2-0.
Substitute Antoine Griezmann should have made it three but missed two gilt-edged chances inside the box, and Sevilla substitute Ivan Rakitic was denied at the other end by a brilliant Jan Oblak save.
Sevilla never gave in despite a hostile crowd, but Atleti managed the match and held off the hosts for all three points.
MAN OF THE MATCH – JOSE GIMENEZ
For the first time this season Atletico had their first-choice pairing at centre-back and Gimenez looked indomitable alongside Stefan Savic. Sevilla had plenty of possession but could not find a way through.
TALKING POINT – SEVILLA CLOSE TO CRISIS
Sevilla are used to challenging for the Champions League spots and Julien Lopetegui has worked wonders to keep them competitive at times.
But just one win in seven games this season has riled up the Sevilla faithful. The good faith he’s built up since joining the club in 2019 is evaporating.
The crowd were hostile as Atletico eased to victory, and if Sevilla found themselves in a relegation scrap by the time the World Cup rolls around then the pressure on the boss will only increase, perhaps to breaking point.
Sevilla: Bono 6, Rekik 4, Nianzou 6, Carmona 5, Delaney 5, Gudelj 6, Torres 4, Isco 6, Lamela 6, Dolberg 4. Subs. Nesyri 4, Navas 4, Gomez 5, Rakitic 6, Telles 5.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak 6, Molina 7, Savic 7, Giminez 8, Mandava 6, Niguez 5, Witsel 6, Koke 7, Llorente 8, Morata 7, Cunha 6. Subs. Carrasco 5, Corral 4, Griezmann 4, Kondogbia 5, Felix n/a
29′ – GOAL! SEVILLA 0 ATLETICO 1 (Llorente) A fabulous finish from Llorente against the run of play. Koke grabs the assist, switching to Llorente who jinks past his marker and rifles across Bono for the opener. Great footwork.
58′ – GOAL! SEVILLA 0 ATLETICO MADRID 2 (Morata) Game over? Morata brilliantly lobs Bono to double his side’s lead after some chaotic defending. A long way back now for Sevilla and the jeers start back up again.
78′ – WHAT A MISS! How much space does he want? Griezmann has time and space in the box but snaps at the shot early and blazes over. It’s end to end stuff now and Simeone is not happy about these wasted chances.